Why You Should Make Massage Therapy a Regular Part of Your Lifestyle?

therapist massaging a woman

Regular massage is as important a part of a pro-active plan of preventative medicine as exercise and healthy eating is. It’s estimated that more than 51 million Americans discussed massage therapy with their doctors or health care practitioners in 2018.

 

This rise in interest in massage therapy as a an essential part of a healthy lifestyle is due to increasing evidence that is can be used to treat a wide range of conditions.

Stress Reduction

Every year, more than 74 million American adults spend hundreds of thousands of dollars and significant amounts of time seeking relief from stress-based illnesses. Chronic stress is related to illnesses such as depression, heart disease, diabetes, fibromyalgia, and cancer. Adding regular massage to your current health-care routine has been proven to reduce stress, which, in turn, reduces illness.

 

Many medical professionals now recognize the benefits of massage therapy and often recommend regular massage to their patients for reducing stress.

 

Several large-scale studies have measured the stress hormone known as Cortisol and found massage dramatically decreases Cortisol levels. Cortisol is produced by your fight or flight reflex when you are stressed and is responsible for a range of negative effects from depression to a lowered immune system. Massage therapy’s ability to reduce your stress levels, an, therefore, the Cortisol levels in your body, may help you avoid becoming ill in the long term.

Relief for Chronic Illness

Massage is often a key part of relieving symptoms of chronic disease or illness such as fibromyalgia, arthritis, and cancer.

 

The most common form of arthritis, osteoarthritis (OA) is a chronic disease that affects the joints of more than 30 million Americans. Most Americans over age 60 have OA to some level or another.

 

OA most often occurs as the protective cartilage on the ends of your bones wears down. The areas that are most often affected are the hands, spine, knee and hip joints. Symptoms of OA  include pain, stiffness, swelling and a decreased range of motion.

 

A research study of 125 participants suffering from OA in the knee joint, and funded by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, found that a 60-minute dose of Swedish massage therapy, performed once a week, was able to show a significant reduction in chronic pain associated with OA.

Massage Helps Relieve Depression and Other Mood Disorders

A meta-analysis of 17 controlled and published studies—all investigating the effects of massage therapy in depressed people—concludes, “Massage therapy is significantly associated with alleviated depressive symptoms.” However, the analysis suggests a need for standardized protocols of massage therapy, various depression rating scales and target populations in further studies.

 

A study conducted at the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles indicates that massage therapy reduces symptoms of depression for individuals with HIV.

 

Research published in Applied Nursing Research presents data showing that when a back massage is given to cancer patients during chemotherapy, the patients report a significant reduction in acute fatigue and anxiety, both during the massage and after chemotherapy.

 

The Scripps and Samueli Institute administered healing touch therapy to veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) for eight weeks. After the study concluded, subjects reported decreased pain and physical tension; reduced overall anxiety, stress, worry and irritability; and “significant improvements” from depression and PTSD. In addition, veterans with partners who participated in the study also reported improvements in self-compassion, depression, and worry.

Massage Strengthens Your Immune System

Massage therapy has been shown to boost the patient’s immune systems by stimulating the production of so-called “natural killer cells”. Massage also decreases Cortisol levels in the bloodstream that are responsible for destroying natural killer cells, giving your immune system a boost.

 

An increase in white blood cells and natural killer-cells allows the body to be better prepared to fight off possible infection or viral infestation. Massage has even been shown to boost immunity in those people with severely compromised immune systems, such as cancer patients.

Recovery from Injury

Regular massage has been repeatedly linked to a faster recovery from injusty. Massage improves blood circulation, allowing oxygen and other vital nutrients to be distributed throughout the body more efficentyly. This helps the body to repair tissue and speeds the recovery process.

Massage Lowers Blood Pressure

About 75 million American adults (29%) have high blood pressure—that’s 1 in every 3 American adults. Anyone, including children, can develop high blood pressure and it greatly increases the risk for heart disease and stroke, the first and third leading causes of death in the United States.

 

Massage therapy stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, assisting in regulating your heart rate and lowering your blood pressure.

Join One Of The Best Massage Therapy Schools In Las Vegas Today!

 

At Northwest Career College, we operate one of the best Massage Therapy Schools in Las Vegas and our Massage Therapy Course will teach you the skills you’ll need to apply the benefits of sports massage. The benefits of massage therapy are widely recognized with employment for massage therapists expected to increase by 22% between 2014-2024, with an average massage therapist earning $39,360 a year. Additionally, many massage therapists maintain active, private practices, increasing both their flexibility and earnings.

 

Our massage student clinic is open seven days a week, for both your and your clients’ convenience, and we offer day and night classes to accommodate your work and family schedules. Our instructors are experienced professionals who will prepare you to sit for either the NCBTMB (National Certification Board of Therapeutic Massage) or the MBLEX (Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards) exams and we are proud of our 100% board pass rate. Call us at (702) 403-1592 to speak to one of our enrollment specialists today!

 

Written by:
Barbara Alcaraz, M.A., B.A., L.M.T.
Massage Therapy Program Chair
M. A. Organizational Management, University of Phoenix
B.A. University of Minnesota, American Studies
L.M.T. Northwest Health Careers