What does massage mean to you? A relaxing way to spend an hour? A vital part of your pain management strategy? Something indulgent? Something painful in its own right? A perpetual item on the bottom of your to-do list that never quite makes it to the top and gets checked off? One aspect of your overall health and wellness?
There are so many reasons to add massage to your life on a regular basis. According to the National Institutes of Health, an estimated 18 million adults in the US receive massage therapy each year. More research is done all the time on effects of massage on the human body. Studies have shown that massage therapy can increase the body’s output of endorphins and serotonin (chemicals that act as natural painkillers and mood regulators). Massage has also been shown to reduce levels of cortisol, a stress hormone. A study published in the journal Science Translational Medicine showed that massage turns off genes associated with inflammation and the pain that results from it. Therefore the muscle soreness that follows physical activity or injury is reduced. The Mayo Clinic (hardly a fly-by-night operation) has begun to incorporate massage therapy into their post-surgical treatment, and a 2011 survey by Health Forum and Samueli Institute says that more than 42% of responding hospitals offer one or more complimentary and alternative therapies, up from 37% in 2007 – massage therapy being one of the top two services provided.
(the above paragraph was a summary of massage related statistics as published in a 2012 Time magazine special publication entitled Alternative Medicine – Your Guide to Stress Relief, Healing, Nutrition and More )
The key here is massage on a regular basis. If you look on massage as a quick fix, you are likely to be disappointed – the effects are cumulative over time and a single session, especially if injuries are present and extensive, is unlikely to “fix it”. But taken as a whole and as a measure that is preventative, massage helps to keep your muscles and soft tissues in tip top shape for your year.
Keep that in mind as you embark on your extensive wellness resolutions this January. Massage supports your goals, and is a reward in its own right. You can call 813-735-2476 to schedule with me, and be sure to rebook your next appointment before you leave the office. It’s not a Quality Life without Massage, right?