Over the years massage has gained considerable credibility, not to mention ‘popularity’ for the supposed health benefits it can provide.
In fact, for a growing number of people (young and old) regular massage therapy has become an essential part of a balanced, healthy lifestyle, as opposed to just a luxury that is enjoyed occasionally, perhaps while on holiday.
There are many claims made in regards to the health benefits of massage, such as:
- improved blood circulation
- increased endorphins
- reduced cortisol levels (stress hormone)
- removal of toxins
- and boosted immunity.
Surprisingly, despite these popular and widespread claims (even from reputable sources) there is little scientific evidence (obtained from ‘quality’ clinical studies) to conclusively prove any of these to be true.
What we do understand is that the current research into the effects of massage therapy on pain, anxiety and depression is very promising and encouraging. With around 20 years experience working with thousands clients as a professional massage therapist, I can certainly confirm that many clients suffering from pain, anxiety and depression have reported feeling significant improvement from receiving regular massage and bodywork sessions.
In addition to experiencing relief from these commonly reported conditions, almost 100% of my clients report feeling deeply relaxed after their massage treatments, with many clients reporting feeling a lot ‘less stressed’ overall in their everyday life, and many clients claiming to experience increased feelings of wellbeing, and elevated mood when they receive therapeutic massage on a regular basis. I’ve even had clients tell me how they are sleeping much better and have noticed a significant increase in their energy levels.
While we are far from scientifically understanding the underlying mechanisms of how massage effects the body, I truly believe after nearly two decades as a health care professional that caring and sensitive touch can have profound healing effects on the body, mind and emotional state.
Scientific studies aside, one point that I think we can all agree on is that it massage can be positively enjoyable. And, as long as it continues to bring people feelings of pleasure it’s popularity will continue to grow. After all, as human beings we are by nature pleasure-seeking creatures.