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How Can Massage Heal Body and Mind?

Approximately 70% of American adults utilize massage therapy for health purposes, with two of the most popular reasons for this phenomenon being pain relief and relaxation. Currently, massage is used as a complementary therapy for many diseases and conditions ranging from cancer to anxiety. Its effects are both physical and mental, since it enhances circulation, relieves tension, promotes healing, and induces the instant release of endorphins. The following studies indicate that massage can be a powerful therapeutic tool.

Massage Boosts Muscle Recovery

Scientists at McMaster University (Crane, 2021) showed that even a brief massage session can have important therapeutic effects — in this case, the reduction of muscular inflammation. Their research showed that massage triggers biochemical sensors that ‘instruct’ muscle cells to reduce inflammation. During a massage, muscles can ‘sense’ that they are being stretched and they respond positively. Massage also has the potential to quell chronic inflammatory conditions such as muscular dystrophy or arthritis. 

Massage an Ideal Therapy for Stressed Couples

Research presented at the British Psychological Society’s annual conference in Brighton (Naruse, 2017) found that giving one’s partner a massage reduces stress both for the massager and the recipient of this soothing therapy. Massage was also a great way for couples to get close and strengthen their bond. Couples massage doesn’t have to be undertaken by partners or spouses, of course. Couple massage treatments have become popular in top spas in big cities like Los Angeles and New York but even smaller states are honing their skills in this ancient therapy. For couples massage Austin has a seasoned reputation for treatments like Swedish, deep tissue, and sports massages, each of which are aimed at specific needs.

Massage Busts Lower Back Pain

Nearly 65 million Americans report having had a recent episode of back pain — a problem that can limit their activities significantly. Those with chronic back pain often seek natural, effective ways to soothe their condition and massage is one of a handful of successful therapies for this purpose. An Indiana University study (Ekderm 2017), for instance, showed that 50% of people who had low back pain with disability experienced meaningful improvements after massage. The researchers stressed that chronic lower back pain requires “a maintenance-type approach” that requires continual care and treatment.

Swedish Massage and Osteoarthritis

If you love the soothing feel of a Swedish massage and you have osteoarthritis, know that this therapy can reduce your pain and improve function — as found in a Yale University study (2006). In the study, patients who had received a standard one-hour Swedish massage had less pain, greater flexibility, and improved range of motion. Massage is particularly useful for those who cannot take conventional treatments like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. The latter are often poorly tolerated by older adults with osteoarthritis.
Massage is a popular therapy known to soothe pain and muscle tightness. Studies have shown, however, that it has more than feel-good effects. To be precise, it can help battle inflammation and improve functionality for people with osteoarthritis. It can also form part of a treatment plan for chronic back pain — a condition that affects tens of millions of Americans every year.

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