Massage as Preventitive Care?

Every now and then, I surf the net for cool quotes.  I really love positive and motivational quotes because, well quite frankly, they help to feed my soul and make me feel good.

Who doesn’t want to feel good in a day?

ben-franklinWhile I was surfing the net (looking for research material for this and other articles I’m planning) I came across one from Ben Franklin that I’m sure I had heard several times previously, but it resonated this time:  “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

I started thinking again about the benefits that I’ve spelled out already in the few posts that I’ve already written.  I could re-hash them again, but there really is no need for redundancy, so you are spared (this time ).  I sat back and thought about my trade as a form of preventative medicine.  “What!?” some of you may say.  Others will think “Testify, sister”, while others will think of scenes from movies where the heretic is hanged or set aflame… that may be a bit melodramatic, but I’m sure there are a lot of people who don’t think of massage as a form of prevention for other medical issues.

I’m going to do it:  here are some of the bullet points again on the benefits of massage… and once again, it’s just a scratch to the surface:    MASSAGE31

  • Helps lower blood pressure
  • Helps reduce and / or eliminate anxiety
  • Releases strained muscles
  • Aids in sleep
  • Releases toxins
  • Helpful in aiding digestive disorders
  • Helps ease or eliminate headaches
  • Relieves pain

I think one of the benefits of massage that is overlooked is quite simply, when getting a massage; you are the sole focus of your therapist for your allotted amount of time.  You are being nurtured.  You are being cared for… I guess that is another article to be written later, though.

The definition of preventative medicine is pretty broad.  It includes blood tests, well-baby care, physicals, mammograms, cancer screenings, and early detection screenings for heart disease and diabetes.  Preventative care is specifically programs or services that will help detect a disease or potential disease, or assist in preventing injuries and / or diseases.  Preventative medicine is becoming more and more important because:

  1.  Health costs are continuing to climb.
  2. The population is aging – we’re living longer and want to LIVE not simply exist.
  3. We are learning that through early detection and treatment, many ailments or diseases can be managed far easier and at a far lesser cost as opposed to waiting until the situation is critical.

To make my point, I’d like to touch on a couple of the benefits.  I won’t go into anxiety or stress because I already covered that not long ago, but let’s look at a few of the benefits and what massage may help you or a loved one overcome or prevent.

Aids in sleep:  sleep deprivation plagues us in the US.  We work a lot of hours and don’t get nearly enough play time.  We worry a lot, and don’t take a lot of time to relax our minds and bodies.  The end result is sleep deprivation for a great many of us. ImageA CNN article stated that 1 on 3 adults in the US get less than 7 hours of sleep per night.  Big deal, you might think.  You may fit comfortably into the category of fewer than 7 hours of sleep per night.  If you are one of those folks, you may notice the following:

  • Trouble focusing
  • Moodiness
  • Increased doses of coffee or other caffeine infused drinks
  • Increased clumsiness

None of these really seem to be overly alarming until you look at other, more serious effects of lack of sleep:  increased obesity, heart problems or depression.

Helps lower blood pressure:  this doesn’t need a great deal of attention because we are told over and over again that high blood pressure leads to stroke and heart attacks.

Relieves pain:  I found an article at http://healthland.time.com that stated the following directly:  “Researchers at McMaster University in Canada found that massage affects the activity of certain genes, directly reducing inflammation in muscles — the same result you’d get by taking aspirin or ibuprofen — and boosting their ability to recover from exercise.”

Helpful in aiding with digestive disorders:  It’s not uncommon for mothers to rub a baby’s tummy when the baby is constipated.  It’s not uncommon for patients taking pain relievers such as Vicoden to suffer with constipation.  It’s not uncommon for patients undergoing chemo therapy to treat cancer to experience painful constipation. Massage increases the involuntary contractions to the muscles that move food along our intestines.  Massage can also increase colon activity.

It wouldn’t be difficult to go through the list from the beginning of the article and add a great deal more detail to what has been provided here.  There are so many medical benefits to massage.  There is no doubt in my mind that regular massage is a form of preventative medicine.

I am NOT a medical doctor.  I don’t pretend to be one.  I admire medical doctors and the discipline that they have exercised to obtain their title, but I do know what my skill-set provides, and I am incredibly proud to be a part of a community that provides so many benefits to so many people, and I’m eager to share with others what getting a massage can do.

If you’d like to know more about what I do, or what massage can do for you, I invite you to drop me a line or an email.  I can be called at (317) 623-8868 or feel free to reach me on my website (www.stressknotskneaded.com/contact-me.html).

Return to www.stressknotskneaded.com

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