Total Body Care: Massage Benefits

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Our bodies work hard for us every day. We may not always realize it, but the fact of the matter is that hard work, day in and day out, can take its toll. It's our responsibility to pause, check in and tune up. That momentary break of the daily grind is essential for practicing total body care, health and wellness.

Why Massage?  Because it's my belief that our body doesn't have to hurt everyday. Regular massages take care of our bodies in more ways than we realize, with proven, lasting effects.

Here are six healthy reasons to book a massage appointment:

●Headache Relief: Next time a headache hits, try booking a last-minute massage. Massage decreases frequency and severity of tension headaches. Research has found that a single session of massage therapy has an immediate effect on perceived pain in patients with chronic tension headaches.

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● Improves Sleep: Not only can massage encourage a restful sleep—it also helps those who can’t otherwise comfortably rest. It has been highly recommended for patients undergoing chemo or radiation as a more natural remedy to assist with sleeping. Also, if you’re a new parent, you’ll be happy to know it can help infants sleep more, cry less and be less stressed.

● Eases Muscle Pain: Got sore muscles? Massage therapy can help. Massage increases and improves circulation, in much the same way rubbing your elbow when you knock it on a table helps to relieve the pain. Research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, found that massage therapy is as effective as other methods of treatment for chronic back pain. 

● Counteracts Sitting: Most individuals are dealing with some kind of postural stress that tends to manifest in the shoulders and neck of most desk workers. More advanced forms of postural stress show up as pain or weakness in the low back and gluteals caused by prolonged periods of sitting. Luckily, massage can counteract the imbalance caused from sitting, which means you can keep your desk job—as long as you schedule a regular massage. 

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● Soothes Anxiety and Depression: Human touch, in a context that is safe, friendly and professional, can be incredibly therapeutic and relaxing. Women diagnosed with breast cancer who received massage therapy three times a week reported being less depressed and less angry, according to a study published in the International Journal of Neuroscience. Another study found that patients who were depressed and anxious were much more relaxed and happy, and had reduced stress levels after massage. 

● Boosts Immunity: The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that massage boosts patients' white blood cell count (which plays a large role in defending the body from disease). It also improves immune function. 

Massages should be one of the luxuries and benefits of treating your body well. I encourage you to schedule a massage today. Adding massage as a regular part of your wellness program is great for managing the side effects of this wonderful thing we call life. 

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