Everyone benefits from nurturing therapeutic touch!
If you are a healthy individual, massage therapy increases muscle flexibility & relaxation and decreases stress levels. Regular massage therapy helps keep you balanced and better in tune with your body and mind.
Massage therapy is particularly useful and beneficial for people with specific conditions. Tiffany Field, PhD and founder of the Touch Research Institute of the University of Miami stated,
“The most profound changes from massage seem to occur in the body in areas that were experiencing pathology or trauma, such as tissue that was edematous, fibrosed, ischemic, or painful. Psychological benefits are also most evident in those experiencing stress and depression.”
Massage therapy can have the greatest effect on the areas of the body and mind in greatest need.
Many people who are experiencing the following have found massage therapy to be particularly helpful:
- People experiencing emotional or physical stress find relaxation, calmness of mind, relief from their stress with massage therapy.
- People experiencing myofascial (muscle) pain have experienced massage to be useful in alleviating or reducing their pain.
- People who are recovering from injuries. During the acute stage of inflammation after an injury, it is best to RICE (rest, ice, compress, elevate) the injury, and seek medical attention if necessary. After you are out of the acute inflammation stage (red tissue that is hot to the touch) until you are fully healed, well intentioned massage is supportive of your body’s healing process by stimulating location circulation to the affected area, helping to align scar tissue, calming to the nervous system, and increasing joint range of motion when your body is ready for it.
- People following an athletic training program, or who are experiencing stiffness or limited joint range of motion love the benefits of tissue-flushing and trigger point relieving massage techniques, as well as the stretching and mobilization of Thai Yoga Massage.
- Pregnant women
- People coping with a chronic disease (eg. multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, arthritis, cancer, parkinsons, etc.)
Research done on the effects of massage therapy shows that:
- Massage reduces and manages pain that arises from a variety of sources, such as trauma, post-surgery, headache, fibromyalgia, arthritis, and illness.
- Massage has a positive effect on circulation, improves tissue health when dystrophy is apparent, and appropriate techniques lower blood pressure and heart rate.
- Massage improves lymphatic flow, reduces edema, lowers chance of scar tissue formation, and lowers pain and removes metabolic wastes secondary to edema and inflammation.
- Massage can relax muscles, decrease spasms, improve resting length of muscles and reduce trigger points, fibrosis, and adhesions (commonly referred to as “knots”).
- Massage can improve respiratory function by loosening mucus and improving clearance of sputum, increasing chest expansion & vital capacity, and decreasing stress levels.
- Massage can increase the activity of the immune system.
- Massage reduces emotional stress levels, giving people a sense of well-being and relaxation, and can boost energy and alertness.
This research is cited and described in Clinical Massage Therapy by Rattray and Ludwig on pages 7-16.