Skip to main content

The Benefits of Regular Massage Sessions

Once people discover the many joys and benefits of massage, a common question arises—“How often should I schedule my massage sessions?”

Of course, there is no set answer, but studies indicate that massage at regular intervals is most beneficial to your overall health.

In a Newsweek article entitled “The Magic of Touch,” the advantages of frequent massage are considered. The following excerpts help to answer the question, “How often?”

“A weekly massage may seem an indulgence, but new research suggests it can have major health benefits...

“Since instituting a program of massage, job-specific exercises and ergonomics in 1990, the Virginia-based company [Wampler Foods] has cut repetitive-stress injuries by 75 percent...

“From assembly lines to corporate headquarters, Americans are discovering the magic of massage. At Boeing and Reebok, headaches, back strain and fatigue have all fallen since the companies started bringing in massage therapists...

Doctors have started prescribing massage to help patients manage stress and pain. And a few HMOs have begun sharing in the cost. ‘Massage is medicine, not merely an indulgence,’ says Laura Favin of Not Just a Luxury Onsite Massage in New York.

“Scientists are now finding that massage can reduce blood pressure, boost the immune system, dampen harmful stress hormones and raise mood-elevating brain chemicals such as serotonin. And you can’t beat massage for relaxation. Babies fall asleep faster when massaged than when rocked—and they stay asleep, rather than waking the moment Mom tiptoes away. All these factors, says Tiffany Field, founder of the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami’s School of Medicine, ‘put massage in the same category with proper diet and exercise as something that helps maintain overall health.’ . . .

“The effects aren’t always so straightforward. Massage can also stimulate nerves that carry signals from the skin to the brain, triggering changes throughout the body..."

Field showed that massage (as opposed to light touch) stimulates the brain’s vagus nerve, causing the secretion of food-absorption hormones, including insulin. Nerve stimulation probably explains other benefits as well. . . . Dr. James Dillard of Columbia University [says], ‘Every nerve cell in the body has some connection to every other nerve cell.’ . . .

“Like exercise, massage does more for you if you engage in it regularly - even a monthly treatment can help maintain general health. ‘Touch is basic to survival,’ says Elliot Greene, past president of AMTA [American Massage Therapy Assn.]. That’s all the excuse anyone should need to indulge.”

Remember, your body strives to maintain optimum health by keeping all of its systems in balance. Along with proper nutrition, exercise and rest, massage relaxes tense muscles and stimulates the body’s communication lines to help it do its job—and to keep you feeling your best.

So, don't worry about "when" you should schedule your next massage. Instead, focus on making regular massage a priority in your schedule (every week, every month, every quarter? The temo is up to you). Consistency is your key for a healthier tomorrow!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Simple Steps to Spring Forward Toward Fitness

Daylight savings time is a sure reminder that spring is just around the corner and there WILL eventually be an end to the winter weather. And while much of the country still dealing with bitter cold, here in Houston, we’re definitely ready for the warmer days. In fact, this is the time of year when you’ll find many of us increasing our outdoor activities and all too often push ourselves a little too hard. Unfortunately, what can result is often a few days of painful recovery time.

So, I've got a short list of suggestions to consider as you pursue your favorite warm-weather pastimes this season:

First, increase your activity level gradually— Pay attention to your body’s signals so you can avoid serious injury and don’t have to pay the painful price of overindulgence. Start slowly and do a little more each day and you’ll be up to speed in no time.

Warm up— Plunging into activity before you get your body warmed and ready is inviting potential trouble. Avoid possible sprains, torn liga…

Not tonight… I've got a headache.

Headaches… the perfect way to ruin a romantic rendezvous. No? With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I thought I would talk about headaches and suggest ways to prevent this trouble maker from ruining not only your love life, but your daily life, too.

According to Web MD, 30 to 80% of the adult Americans suffer from occasional tension headaches. Some of these may have hereditary causes, while others can be caused by lifestyle or environment, such as poor posture, unhealthy eating habits, a high stress job, or a demanding home life. Any combination of stress-inducing factors could become the trigger, really.

That said, massage therapy may be your best secret weapon to keep headaches at bay. At the very least, massage therapy can help you deal with the pain while you determine the best approach to maneuvering through the mitigating factors that might be causing your headaches.

But don’t just take my word for it…

According to The American Journal of Manipulative Physiological and T…