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Benefits of Massage

Physical contact such as massage may lessen depression, lower blood pressure, and even improve immunity.

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Massage really does work to ease those sore muscles after a tough workout. Just 10 minutes can reduce inflammation, which can help your body recover.
 
Massage has also been linked to decreased stiffness and pain, as well as better range of motion in people with osteoarthritis. 
 
Eight out of 10 Americans will experience debilitating back pain, according to Time.com, but a massage can help. According to a 2011 study, massage helped people in pain feel and function better compared to people who didn't receive any massage treatment. 
 
If you've ever dozed off on a massage table, you don't need to be convinced that a massage can promote healthy sleep. A number of studies have examined this link, and chalk it up to massage's affect on delta waves, the kind of brain waves connected to deep sleep, according to Health magazine.
 
Multiple studies, although often small, have linked massage to better functioning of the immune system. In one 2010 study, researchers found massage increased a person's disease-fighting white blood cells. The stress-reducing powers of massage can also help keep you healthy.
 
At least one small study found that massage can kick pesky PMS symptoms, like bloating and mood swings, to the curb.

Want to boost your brainpower?

Adults who were given a 15-minute chair massage in a small 1996 Touch Research Institute (TRI) study were more alert and completed a series of math questions faster and more accurately.
 
Just like muscle and back pain, headaches can also be alleviated thanks to massage. A regular rubdown can reduce a person’s number of migraines, according to WebMD, as well as limit how painful each migraine feels, according to the TRI. 
 
A little prodding in the right places can even have beauty benefits. "Massage increased blood flow, which plumps up slack skin, encourages lymphatic drainage (the shuttling of toxins out and away from cells so that more nutrients can travel in) and adds vitality to a dull complexion and lackluster hair," Kimara Ahnert, a New York City skin-care studio owner told Women's Health. 
 
Massage is particularly helpful for people living with or undergoing treatment for serious illnesses, like cancer. Various studies have shown that massage can relieve fatigue, pain, anxiety, depression and nausea in cancer patients.

Physical Benefits of Therapeutic Massage

  • Helps relieve stress and aids relaxation
  • Helps relieve muscle tension and stiffness
  • Alleviates discomfort during pregnancy
  • Fosters faster healing of strained muscles and sprained ligaments; reduces pain and swelling; reduces formation of excessive scar tissue
  • Reduces muscle spasms
  • Provides greater joint flexibility and range of motion
  • Enhances athletic performance; Treats injuries caused during sport or work
  • Promotes deeper and easier breathing
  • Improves circulation of blood and movement of lymph fluids
  • Reduces blood pressure
  • Helps relieve tension-related headaches and effects of eye-strain
  • Enhances the health and nourishment of skin
  • Improves posture
  • Strengthens the immune system
  • Treats musculoskeletal problems
  • Rehabilitation post operative
  • Rehabilitation after injury

Mental Benefits of Massage Therapy

  • Fosters peace of mind
  • Promotes a relaxed state of mental alertness
  • Helps relieve mental stress
  • Improves ability to monitor stress signals and respond appropriately
  • Enhances capacity for calm thinking and creativity
  • Emotional Benefits
  • Satisfies needs for caring nurturing touch
  • Fosters a feeling of well-being
  • Reduces levels of anxiety
  • Creates body awareness
  • Increases awareness of mind-body connection

Research has verified that:

  • Office workers massaged regularly were more alert, performed better and were less stressed than those who weren't massaged.
  • Massage therapy decreased the effects of anxiety, tension, depression, pain, and itching in burn patients.
  • Abdominal surgery patients recovered more quickly after massage.
  • Premature infants who were massaged gained more weight and fared better than those who weren't.
  • Autistic children showed less erratic behavior after massage therapy.

Here are some other reported benefits of massage:

  • Medical school students at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-New Jersey Medical School who were massaged before an exam showed a significant decrease in anxiety and respiratory rates, as well as a significant increase in white blood cells and natural killer cell activity, suggesting a benefit to the immune system.
  • Preliminary results suggested cancer patients had less pain and anxiety after receiving therapeutic massage at the James Cancer Hospital and Research Institute in Columbus, Ohio.
  • Women who had experienced the recent death of a child were less depressed after receiving therapeutic massage, according to preliminary results of a study at the University of South Carolina.

Benefits of Sauna:

Dry saunas induce profuse sweating, which helps the body rid itself of toxins. Toxins like nicotine and alcohol can be removed by profuse sweating.
 
Heavy metals like lead, nickel and cadmium are cancer-causing agents. Dry sauna-induced sweat helps remove heavy metals from the body.
Sweating increases heart rate. The increased heart rate, combined with the increased body temperature, helps increase metabolism and in turn also increases calories burned by the body.
 
The increased heart rate that results from using a dry sauna also helps create cardiovascular health. Using dry saunas increases heart rate and helps drop diastolic blood pressure, making for a healthier heart.
 
According to French virologist Dr. Andre Lwoff, high body temperatures help the body fight off viruses and disease. Dry saunas help raise body temperature to create an environment that destroys bacteria while increasing leukocyte levels and boosting the immune system.
 
The high heat of a dry sauna sends the heart rate higher when you enter the room. This speeds the blood’s circulation through the body. This can help those with poorer circulation by getting the blood out to their arms, hands, legs and feet. According to Harvard Medical School, the pulse rate can increase by 30 percent when you enter a sauna. This means blood flow almost doubles.
 
Stiffness may leave some of the joints through use of a dry sauna. Because the body’s flexibility increases in a sauna, as do blood vessels, dry sauna users may feel invigorated. This also means it can relieve sore muscles.
Because circulation is increased when a person is in a sauna, this can help to improve the complexion, according to GoAskAlice.columbia.edu. Blood flow to the skin helps to bring minerals and nutrients to the skin, which helps to grow new skin cells and encourages collagen and elastin production. The body also is able to release toxins and sodium via the sweat produced while in a sauna, according to Weil.
 

Benefits of a Hot Tub:

According to The Arthritis Foundation, “Regular sessions in your hot tub help keep joints moving. It restores and preserves strength and flexibility, and also protects your joints from further damage. A hot tub fulfills the need perfectly . . . providing the warmth, massage, and buoyancy that is so necessary to the well-being of arthritis sufferers. The buoyancy of the water supports and lessens stress on the joints and encourages freer movement.”
Both professional and “weekend” athletes can use their hot tubs to aid in repairing sore muscles and injuries. Neck and back pain, sports injuries, muscle pulls, spasms and soreness are often eased simply by a quick dip in your hot tub.

Heat dilates blood vessels to increase blood flow to sore or damaged tissue.
Buoyancy reduces body weight by 90%, relieving pressure on joints and muscles.
Massage works to relax muscles and relieve pressure on nerves.
Sitting in a relaxing hot tub eases stress related to migraine headaches.
Relaxing in a hot tub at night can help individuals sleep better. The National Sleep Foundation states that soaking in a hot tub can help the body transition and get ready for deep sleep.
Hot tubs have a relaxing effect on tight joints and muscles after a strenuous workout; they help with blood circulation.
Mitigate the symptoms of muscle strains, sprains, and other injuries.
Increase blood flow and circulation.
Alleviate back pain.
Ease the symptoms of arthritis.
Help restore range of motion.
Bring the body into a more calm state.
 
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