Massage therapy has been used as part of healing regimens all over the world for centuries. Popularity diminished for a time in America, as with all forms of holistic treatments, with the advancement of Western Medicine and it’s promotion of pharmaceutical drugs and surgeries.
Revival of massage therapy started in the mid-70’s mostly among athletes. As it proved to be therapeutic and speed recovery for athletes, the general public took notice. Now it is being researched more and more as the extensive benefits are recognized.
One of the most prominent benefits of massage is the effect it has on stress and the mind. Research has proven that clients feel better and more relaxed after a session. The results are deeper and longer lasting when a series of sessions is used.
A series may also benefit your body's natural cleansing abilities by helping you cope with the stress of altering your diet and the ill feeling that is sometimes a side effect as toxins leave the body. In addition, lymphatic drainage may take place as a result of manipulation of the muscle tissues and the lymph fluid around them. If you are doing a body cleanse for weight loss, massage therapy may help by manually removing fluid and toxins that are trapped in and around fat cells.
Regular sessions are proving to be more helpful for long term results. This may be due to muscle memory, in other words, the muscles learn to relax. It may also be due to the consistency of aiding your body's cleansing processes.
According to the National Institutes for Health, research shows that massage helps reduce blood pressure, increases circulation and respiratory rates (deepens breathing) and shows an increase in white blood cell activity, suggesting a benefit to the immune system.
The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (part of the National Institutes of Health) tells us that the effects of regular massage are documented for numerous condition from pain to improving weight gain in infants. (1)
If you cannot afford to use a spa for massage therapy services, you do have other options; ask your doctor for a prescription, go to your local chiropractor that may charge less, check out your local massage school for interns or take classes with a friend or spouse and work on each other.
Adding massage therapy to your total body cleansing program will multiply your efforts while making your cleanse enjoyable. So indulge!
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(1) Field PhD, Tiffany, Andrea Furlan MD, Karen Sherman PhD, and Partap Khalsa DC. "Massage Therapy for Health Purposes: What You Need To Know." NCCIH. NIH, 1 Sept. 2006. Web. 08 Sept. 2015.