Stress is the toxin of our society from which none of us are immune, and it is responsible for 80%-90% of all diseases. Even those illnesses that are not attributed to stress are exacerbated because of undue pressure. In such a stress-ridden society, many are discovering the benefits of massage, which is an undeniably effective stress reducer.
A study was done involving medical students who were massaged. Thanks to the benefits of massage, they reported less anxiety, and many scored higher than on previous exams. Employers are discovering the benefits of massage and some even offer discounts on massage therapy as a “perk” that will make their work force more alert and less tense.
The quality of life of adults and children with special needs can be greatly improved through the benefits of massage. It was found that infants born with HIV or fetal alcohol syndrome gained weight dramatically after a regular massage. One of the benefits of massage is that it stimulate white blood cells and strengthens the immune system. Cancer patients who were massaged reported less pain and anxiety after their treatments. At the University of South Carolina, bereaved mothers who had recently lost their children experienced less depression through the benefits of massage than bereaved mothers who were not massaged. Autistic children experienced the benefits of massage, and their behavior was reported as being less erratic and more calm after massage therapy. Athletes who are massaged recover much quicker than athletes who are not massaged, particularly if massage is coupled with hot packs or hot oil.
What accounts for the many benefits of massage? Massage is an instant relaxer, instantly lowering the heart rate and encouraging deeper breaths. Through rubbing and kneading motions, muscles are stimulated to create a “warm” sensation. Muscles become more flexible and supple and the greatest benefit of massage is the total relaxation it produces.