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All About Massage

Who Can Benefit From Clinical Massage Therapy?

Key Effects of Massage

Summary of Massage Benefits

Definition of Massage and Place in History of Massage Therapy


Who Can Benefit From Clinical Massage Therapy?

If you suffer from any of the following disorders, you may benefit by clinical massage:

There are a wide range of medical conditions that people find therapeutic massage can help.  These conditions include:

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Key Effects of Massage

The following are the key effects of massage:

Massage Reduces Muscle Tension.  

Massage affects the muscles throughout the body. Massage affects the muscles and other soft tissues throughout the body. It loosens contracted, shortened, hardened muscles. Massage can stimulate weak, flaccid muscles. Chronic muscle tension reduces the circulation of the blood and movement of lymph in an area.

Massage Improves Blood Circulation.  

The oxygen capacity of the blood can increase 10-15% after massage. By indirectly or directly stimulating nerves that supply internal organs, blood vessels of these organs dilate and allow greater blood supply to them.

Massage Induces Better Lymph Movement.  

Lymph is a milky white fluid that drains impurities and waste away from the tissue cells. A component of these wastes is toxins which are the by-products of metabolism. So, it is a vital to our health. Muscular contraction has a pumping effect that moves lymph. Massage and exercise help to move lymph. 

Massage Results In Increased Mobility and Range of Motion of Joints.

Massage provides a gentle stretching action to both the muscles and connective tissues that surround and support the muscles and many other parts of the body, which helps keep these tissues elastic.

Massage Stimulates or Soothes Nervous System.  

Massage balances the nervous system by soothing or stimulating it, depending on which effect is needed by the individual at the time of the massage.

Massage Enhances Skin Condition.  

Massage enhances the skin condition by improving the function of the sebaceous and sweat glands, which keep the skin lubricated, clean, and cool.

Massage Results in Better Digestion and Intestinal Function.  

Massage increases the body's secretions and excretions. It increases the production of gastric juices, saliva, and urine. There is also an increased excretion of nitrogen, inorganic phosphorus, and salt. As a result, the metabolic rate increases.

Massage Relieves of Acute and Chronic pain.  

Massage can promote recovery from the fatigue and from minor aches and pains. 

(Source: Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine, Jennifer Jacobs, MD, MPH, Consultant Editor)

According AMTA, massage helps both physically and mentally.

"Often times people are stressed in our culture. Stress-related disorders make up between 80-and-90 percent of the ailments that bring people to family-practice physicians. What they require is someone to listen, someone to touch them, someone to care. That does not exist in modern medicine. One of the complaints heard frequently is that physicians don't touch their patients any more. Touch just isn't there. Years ago massage was a big part of nursing. There was so much care, so much touch, so much goodness conveyed through massage. Now nurses for the most part are as busy as physicians. They're writing charts, dealing with insurance notes, they're doing procedures and often there is no room for massage any more.
I believe massage therapy is absolutely key in the healing process not only in the hospital environment but because it relieves stress, it is obviously foundational in the healing process any time and anywhere."

Joan Borysenko - Massage Journal Interview, Fall 1999


There is ongoing research on the benefits of massage.  Some research has verified that:

 (Source: AMTA)

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Summary of Massage Benefits

Summery of Physical Benefits of Massage:

 Summery of Mental/Emotional Benefits of Massage:

 Summery of Emotional Benefits of Massage:

 (Source: AMTA)

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Definition of Massage and Place in History of Massage Therapy

Therapeutic massage involves the manipulation of the soft tissue structures of the body to prevent and alleviate pain, discomfort, muscle spasm, and stress; and, to encourage health and wellness. 

Massage therapy improves functioning of the circulatory, lymphatic, muscular, skeletal, and nervous systems and may improve the rate at which the body recovers from injury and illness.  Massage involves holding, causing movement of soft tissue, and/or applying pressure to the body.

Massage may be the oldest and simplest form of medical care. Many cultures have a history of using massage in their health practice.  For-example, Egyptian tomb paintings show people being massaged. In Eastern cultures, massage has been practiced continually since ancient times. It was one of the principal methods of relieving pain for Greek and Roman physicians. Ayurveda, the traditional Indian system of medicine, places great emphasis on the therapeutic benefits of massage with aromatic oils and spices. It is practiced very widely in India.

Swedish massage, the method most familiar to Westerners, was developed in the 19th century by a Swedish doctor, poet, and educator named Per Henrik Ling. His system was based on a study of gymnastics and physiology, and on techniques borrowed from China, Egypt, Greece, and Rome. Physiotherapy, originally based on Ling's methods, was established with the foundation in 1894 of the Society of Trained Masseurs.

Massage lost some of its value and prestige with the unfavorable image created by "massage parlors." This image is fading as awareness of the therapeutic value of massage grows.

Massage is now used in intensive care units, for children, elderly people, babies in incubators, and patients with cancer, AIDS, heart attacks, or strokes. Most American hospices have some kind of bodywork therapy available, and it is frequently offered in health centers, drug treatment clinics, and pain clinics.

A variety of massage techniques have also been incorporated into several other complementary therapies, such as aromatherapy, reflexology, Rolfing, Hellerwork, and osteopathy.

Massage is a holistic therapy. It has effect on both body and mind.******

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