The Scientifically Proven Health Benefits of Massage Therapy
Massage therapy is an ancient type of medicine that has been used to treat musculoskeletal problems and as a way to relax the body. Currently, massage therapy is used as a healing technique. This is because the human body is presumed to be a self-regulating body that can heal itself and shield itself from diseases as long as it is in a normal structural relationship. The thesis of this paper is that massage therapy has proven that it rids the body of physical discomforts and also improves a person’s mental capacity without the use of prescription drugs.
Massage therapy is an ancient form of treatment that dates way back early days of civilization. Ancient Indian, Chinese, Japanese, and Roman writings give credence to massage therapy as an old practice. For instance, Hippocrates in Greece referred to medicine as the art of rubbing (Garofano 57). During the Renaissance period, massage therapy became common in Europe. The advancement of massage therapy to the United States was done by two American physicians that were studying in Sweden. In the United States, massage therapy became common and was used for various health purposes. In the 1930s, massage therapy lost esteem in America due to technological advancements in the health sector but later regained its popularity in the 1970s. Presently, massage therapy has become very popular in the United States. A survey shows that there are over 125,000 massage therapists in the United States and that they are still rapidly growing (Kuhlthau et al, 23). The reason behind this is that a larger number of people in the United States are looking for substitute medicinal cures (Shelly 45).
There are different types of massage therapy that serve different purposes. There are about 100 types of massage therapy; each type aims at achieving a particular health goal. The most common massage therapy types are: aromatherapy, craniofacial, lymphatic, reflexology, and compassionate touch, among other forms of therapy. Aromatherapy involves the use of essential oils being massaged into the skin. This increases the healing and relaxing effects on one’s body. The craniosacral therapy involves exertion of mild pressure on certain points of the head and spine to improve the flow of cerebrospinal fluid. On the other hand, reflexology massage therapy is a thumb and finger massage therapy applied on the hands and feet. This is therapy that is done to relax various parts of the body that are connected to the hands and feet.
For many centuries, the human touch has proved to be healing in both physical and emotional ways as massage therapy affects both the physical and emotional elements of the human body. There are certain types of massages and massage techniques that stimulate a certain desired effects on the body. This is done through the stimulation of body muscles and tissues. If a massage therapist massages a soft tissue, an electrical effect is transmitted throughout the body. The combination of the electrical signals and that of touch enhance the healing of injured tissues. Massage therapy also helps pain relief with massage stimulates the release of endorphins that aid in pain relief and act as a stress reliever.
In the first session of massage therapy, the therapist should enquire of the patient’s medical history and the kind of the pains they are experiencing. It is important for the therapist to have in mind what the patient expects at the end of the therapy session. With this knowledge, the therapist should be able to know what techniques of massage therapy to use in order to achieve the patient’s desired goal. A massage session ranges from 15 to 90 minutes (Garofano 88).
There are a number of benefits that one can get from massage therapy. To get the desired benefits of massage therapy, one needs a qualified massage therapist who knows and understands their work. Massage therapy benefits everyone both young and old. Massage therapy can be used in the treatment of acute and chronic stages of some conditions.
Stress relief is one of the core benefits that accrues from massage therapy. Stress relief is a major factor that one has to consider when trying to achieve a healthy lifestyle. Through massage therapy, the heart rate and cortisols level are reduced and in turn, help in minimizing stress levels. Stress relief alone is known to improve state of mind and increase a patient’s energy levels. Massage therapy can be helpful in the post rehabilitation recovery process. During this time, a patient tends to relearn natural movements that they had lost and at the same time, tries to regain the freedom of movement (Sandy 159). Massage therapy helps in this healing process. For example through massaging, damaged tissues get repaired faster as it helps in the circulation of blood and nutrients to the affected area (Wentworth et al, 160). Massage therapy improves the circulation process of blood, oxygen, and nutrients in the body…