Over the years massage has been viewed mainly as a luxury available specifically to the higher classes, with no purpose other than relaxation. However, evidence points to the contrary. In recent years a multitude of studies have been conducted to determine the physical effects of massage on health. The American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) has even stated that “massage therapy can improve health and wellness through its effects on the physical, mental and social well-being of an individual.” And that’s not all.
As we already know, by bringing the body back to a relaxed state physically and emotionally, it will lower blood pressure and heart rate, as well as improved sleeping patterns. Just these factors alone will begin to bring the body back to its proper homeostatic state. However, this is only the tip of the iceberg as far as massage assisting the body in healing itself. From the late 1990’s to the present day, scientific papers have been written and published all over the world expressing the targeted benefits of multiple massage modalities, ranging from the effects of bodywork on anxiety and aggression in psychiatric patients (published in 2008), to the effects of massage on metastatic bone pain (also in 2008), all the way to reinforcing first-line defense in cancer patients (published in 2010).
The results of these studies were all the same; massage has been proven to not only reduce anxiety and stress, but it is also an effective pain reliever and helps to stimulate the immune system when performed at regular intervals on the patients volunteering. From sleep disturbances, to chronic pain, all the way to chronic illness and post-operative patients, massage was a positive and effective additional treatment for a multitude of symptoms across the board.
But what about the cost factor? As it was stated previously, massage is widely viewed as a luxury, and for many people already under financial stress due to the cost of treatment for themselves or their families, getting a massage can appear very trivial in comparison when the payments start rolling in. Fortunately, there are options.
Many people have been successful in getting insurance coverage for certain types of massage treatment, ie. Therapeutic Bodywork, Rolfing, and many similar modalities that address the application of massage on a more clinical level. Many people have received coverage for bodywork for issues as straightforward as pain management after a car accident. As this search for a more holistic resolution to managing pain and grief becomes commonplace, many massage businesses are adapting as well, creating discount programs for regular clients who are seeking treatment for themselves and their loved ones in an effort to avoid going under the knife or being prescribed medications that may only mask the problem.
So, what does this mean for you?
Simply put, you have options. There are still more studies being done to reveal in greater detail how massage can benefit peoples’ lives, and in what ways it affects us. If used as preventative maintenance, massage has been shown to improve health, quality of life, and our mental faculties in such a way that we spend much less time in hospital gowns and more time moving and growing and experiencing life in a relaxed, comfortable state. In the long run, regular massage treatments cost significantly less than surgeries and medications that may have a tendency to not fully resolve the issue they are targeting, and the effects of massage are immediate, lasting and satisfying for you as the client.
The world of medicine is ever growing and changing, and as massage continues to grow in this field and move away from the previous mentality of upper-class luxury, we as therapists will continue to expand our knowledge and expertise for the benefit of you.
To gain a further understanding of how massage can benefit your health, call today to schedule your free consultation with one of the therapists at Keystone Body Therapies at 480-686-8647, or book online at www.keystonebodytherapies.com.