My cousin Howard just sent me a link to an article in the WSJ entitled: Don’t Call It Pampering, Massage Wants To Be Medicine. Even though that seems a teensy bit patronizing, especially as the article goes on to enumerate all the health benefits of massage therapy, we believers in “alternative medicine” will take what we can get. Massage therapy as a lead article in WSJ means we’ve come a long way, baby.
Some of the conditions massage therapy is noted for, according to the article, include improved immune function for women with breast cancer, weight gain in premature babies, increase grip strength with carpal tunnel syndrome and improvement for children with asthma. There are also studies on the benefits of even brief massage for over-exercised muscles.
The American College of Physicians and The American Pain Society now recommend massage therapy for low back pain relief. I have personally wondered, like most LMT’s, what took them so long?!
Long recognized as a relaxing experience, one study has now found that “a single, 45-minute massage led to a small reduction in the level of cortisol, a stress hormone, in the blood, a decrease in cytokine proteins related to inflammation and allergic reactions, and a boost in white blood cells that fight infection.” That means massage can help with many of the diseases and syndromes people deal with, from arthritis to skin problems, obesity to lowered immune systems.
There has been a huge upswing in the research funded on massage, with the National Institutes of Health earmarking $2.7 million on a study. This is partly due to the large increase in the percentage of the population now utilizing massage therapy as part of their health and wellness treatment. Hopefully this will lead to a change in insurance policies so that massage therapy, both as treatment and prevention, will be covered, allowing a much greater number of people to receive this treatment.
To read the entire article, go to The Wall Street Journal/ Health and Wellness online. And then make an appointment for a massage! It might be the best thing you do for your health and well being.
Sukoshi Rice lives in Blairsville where she teaches and practices TAT, Reiki, yoga and massage therapy since 1985. She is happy to answer your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.