Therapeutic massage is a systematic and scientific approach to the manipulation of the soft tissues of the body, essential for benefiting the total person. Many benefits of massage therapy derive from its combined practice of Eastern (acupressure-shiatsu-reflexology) and Western (Swedish) philosophies.
Therapeutic massage helps to bring about a balance in the metabolism of the soft tissues. Psychologically, physiologically, and spiritually, the benefits of massage can be profound if given the opportunity. Therapeutic massage can benefit the total person by way of:
- Relief from stress, tension, pain, discomfort
- On the skin, correct contact with nerve endings can produce a sedative or stimulative effect
- Relief from certain types of edema, subcutaneous scar tissue
- Assisting in venous (vein) blood flow
- Encouraging lymphatic flow
- Helping with exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide
- Providing a gentle stretching to skin and soft tissues
- Providing nutrition to the skin by applications of mediums used (in situations of casts and dry skin, helps keep pores open by removal, by friction, of dry dead skin, creating heat and encouraging perspiration)
- Promoting increased range of motion
- Promoting vital reflexive processes (when massaged, the hands stimulate sensory receptors of the skin and subcutaneous tissue, causing the stimuli to pass along the afferent (going into the body) fibers of the peripheral nervous system, to the spinal cord, resulting in reflexive effects)
- Promotes a feeling of well-being
- Increasing vitality and stamina in the body
- Strengthening organs, helping to make them more resistant to disease
- Helping keep energy channels open and vitally flowing
Massage does not reduce weight, increase muscle mass, or improve the microscopic structure of the tissues.
Therapeutic massage is not used to cure, but it as a preventative measure and to maintain health. Prevention (illness or injury) is, in fact, one of the major benefits of massage. Triumphing sickness is a wonderful thing, but it’s far better never to get sick at all. Therapeutic massage is part of the science of prevention, which draws on breakthroughs in our understanding of how the body works at all levels, and how the body’s systems – immune, nervous, endocrine – affect one another.
Learn more about healing massage therapy offered at In Balance. The therapeutic benefits of massage are meant to be available to all, from infants and pregnant moms to the time-stressed individuals who need a quick pick-me-up.
Please share your own thoughts below in the comments section. If you have any benefits of massage to add to this list, don’t be shy. We’d love to hear about your experiences!