Consumers may be tempted to trim their wellness budgets when economic times are tough. Yet a recent national consumer survey showed most massage-minded Americans are committed to maintaining the health benefits they experience with massage. It only makes sense. The better you feel, the better job you can do of caring for yourself and your loved ones.
Now, more than ever, massage should play a role in reducing stress and strengthening the health of Americans. When people feel their best, they are more likely to be able to face the challenges difficult times present. With greater health and peace of mind, consumers can face difficulties with poise, clarity of purpose, and strengthened emotional reserves.
Truly, massage is more than a luxury--it's a vital part of self-care that has a positive ripple effect on us as we work, play, and care for others.
Invest In Yourself and Those You Love
If you think about it, massage is an excellent value. The price of massage has remained stable in recent years, as the cost of movies, meals out, and sports events has risen. Which of these has the power to improve your health and your outlook on life?
Following are health reasons all American adults should be including massage in their family budgets and schedules. Massage:
* Reduces anxiety
* Reduces the flow of stress hormones
* Improves sleep
* Boosts the immune system
* Improves energy levels and reduces fatigue
* Improves concentration
* Increases circulation
* Improves self-esteem
* Reduces frequency of headaches
* Releases endorphins
The positive effects of regular massage can have benefits in many areas of your life.
Home. Massage therapy will also help families under stress create healthier households with clear-thinking and more relaxed moms and dads. Children are very sensitive and often pick up on tension in a household; parents who are taking care of themselves are more likely to be better caregivers and provide a sense of security to their kids. This goes for caregivers of aging parents and other family members.
Work. The health benefits of massage can help forestall illnesses and lost work time, especially when you may be asked to produce more with fewer resources. Decision-making skills will be better and your performance is likely to be improved with a clear focus and more energy. A hint for the boss: Research shows employees exhibit less stress and improved performance when given twice-weekly, 15-minute massages in the office!
Health Conditions. Those with already existing health conditions can continue to reap benefits in the following ways. And proactively caring for health through massage may help reduce costly doctor visits and use of prescription and over-the-counter medications.
* Massage can reduce sports-related soreness and improve circulation--good to know when you may be exercising more to reduce stress.
* Deep-tissue massage is effective in treating back pain, arthritis, osteoarthritis, and fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia patients receiving massage also have less pain, depression, anxiety, stiffness, fatigue, and sleep problems.
*Massage reduces symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.
* Oncology patients show less pain, fatigue, nausea, anxiety, and depression following massage therapy.
* Stroke patients show less anxiety and lower blood pressure with massage therapy.
* Massage therapy is effective in reducing postsurgical pain.
* Alzheimer's patients exhibit reduced pacing, irritability, and restlessness after neck and shoulder massage.
* Labor pain. Massage during labor appears to reduce stress and anxiety, relax muscles, and help block pain. Some medical professionals believe massage also reduces tearing, shortens labor, reduces the need for medication, and shortens hospital stays.
* Preterm babies receiving massage therapy gain more weight and have shorter hospital stays than infants not receiving massage.
* Massage is beneficial in reducing symptoms associated with arthritis, asthma burns, high blood pressure, and premenstrual syndrome.