Massage Therapy and Stress Relief
While the practice of therapeutic massage has been used for centuries in the east, it is a relatively recent phenomenon here in the west. While the wonders of modern medicine have left many awestruck, more and more people are looking towards complimentary therapies and non-invasive treatments for their ailments. Massage therapy has never been as popular as it is today in America.
A number of studies have shown that massage therapy is a highly effective stress reduction technique. An earlier study, conducted by the University of Miami Medical School and published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child Adolescent Psychiatry, suggested that children receiving 30 minutes of therapeutic massage daily were less depressed and anxious than they were at the time of their admittance.
This particular study also observed marked differences in the health and behavior of the children in the test group, over the children in the control group. The nurses taking part in the study also noted that the children were more cooperative, and were able to achieve a higher level of sleep quality. On the biological level, the children in the control group exhibited lower levels of cortisol (a stress hormone) in their saliva and in their urine. It quickly became evident to researchers that massage can play a significant role in stress reduction.
It is highly encouraging that both the medical establishment and the general public are starting to realize the impact that stress can have on an individual’s health and well being. Some physicians and researchers have suggested that stress is responsible for over 75% of all disease in the western world, including skin disorders, high blood pressure, headaches, digestive ailments, muscle pain, and depression. By employing the age-old techniques of massage therapy, there exists the distinct possibility of overcoming these terrible afflictions.
The eminent Victorian physician, Dr. Stretch Dowse, noted the following back in 1887: “The mind, which before massage is in a perturbed, restless, vacillating and, even despondent state, becomes after massage, calm, quiet, peaceful and subdued; in fact, the wearied and worried mind has been converted into a mind restful, placid, and refreshed.” While modern medicine is full of promise in certain areas, it is not wise to ignore the knowledge and insights of the past. Massage therapy has helped countless people cope with the stress of modern life. It could help you, too.