I hear it all the time. Clients come in for a birthday, anniversary, or some other special occasion and they comment that they are “treating themselves to a massage.” I get it. Massage FEELS fabulous so of course people would think that getting one is a TREAT or something special you do to PAMPER yourself. However, therapeutic massage therapy is now listed as one of the many alternative medicine treatments. The Cleveland Clinic Center for Integrative and Lifestyle Medicine has massage therapy listed along with Chinese Herbal Therapy, Acupuncture, Hypnotherapy, holistic psychotherapy, chiropractic therapy, and Reiki.
All Integrative Medicine techniques support the body’s natural ability to heal itself. It is a well-known fact that many of the complaints that bring patients in to see doctors nowadays are rooted in too much stress. Experts now estimate that about 90% of disease is stress-related. Since massage therapy helps to reduce stress and promote a state of relaxation it can lead to better overall health. Deep tissue massage techniques help the body to heal in ways that provide pain management so clients have a better quality of life.
The therapeutic benefits of massage would actually take up pages but they include:
- Encourages a higher level of wellness
- Improves circulation
- Increases energy and reduce fatigue
- Reduces or eliminates pain and discomfort
- Can reduce the symptoms of fibromyalgia
- Reduces the pain and stiffness from arthritis and osteoarthritis
- Helps to reduce anxiety and depression
- Helps you recover quicker from exercise
- Assists with quicker healing following orthopedic surgeries
- Can drastically reduce your stress level and help you become more centered and focused
- Can lower blood pressure
- Is a great pain-reliever for joint, low back, neck, shoulder, and foot pain
- Is one of the greatest alternatives to having surgery for low back pain
- Can improve range of motion
- Helps athletes prepare for and recover from intense training
- Enhances immunity – the body’s natural defense system
- Releases endorphins – the body’s natural pain killers
- Can prevent and relieve headaches
- Enhances the quality of your sleep
Hospitals, medical facilities and clinics around the world are now acknowledging the power of massage therapy for treating neurological disorders, injuries, chronic diseases, and of course, for greatly reducing stress. Massage therapy is even becoming an important part of hospice care and neonatal care and is being used by many hospitals and surgery centers as post-surgery treatment. So just realize that massage therapy goes well beyond pampering and should be a big part of your overall wellness program.