Benefits of Massage
You know that post-massage feeling. Your mind is clear and your body is relaxed. An occasional massage leaves you feeling great, but regular massage can do so much more. The work your therapist does in each session builds on itself, helping your body maintain its relaxed state and your muscles to remain loose even during times of physical and mental stress.
- Sciatica Massage
- Arthritis: Management Through Massage
- Manages Pain of Chronic Conditions
The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in your body, and when you've experienced pain from your lower back down through your leg, you understand. Sciatica pain usually subsides on its own within two months, there may be ways to alleviate the pain sooner.
While it may seem like exercise will only make the problem worse, in fact the Mayo Clinic recommends low-impact exercise, like water aerobics or stationary bike riding, as a way of
releasing the endorphins which act as natural painkillers. Another way of releasing those endorphins is massage.
Massage can be highly effective in treating the pain of sciatica. WebMD describes a study of 400 people with low back pain who received either weekly massages, or permission to try whatever they liked. (Alternatives to massage therapy included medication, seeing a chiropractor, doctor or physical therapist, or taking no action at all.)
Ten weeks later, the massage recipients reported better functioning and less pain. In fact, more than a third of them said their pain was completely or nearly gone, while only 4% of those in the other group reported such improvement. Massage, concluded Dr. Daniel Cherkin of the Center for Health Studies in Seattle, "does help a significant chunk of people who have not benefited from other treatments."
ADVANTAGES OF MASSAGE
The professional therapy you'll receive at Massage Envy is customized to your particular situation, and any type of massage will help boost the "good" hormones in your body. Those include endorphins, dopamine and serotonin, all of which are known for calming nerves, promoting healing, providing natural pain management, and helping you feel better.
Arthritis: Management Through Massage
LIVING WITH ARTHRITIS
Arthritis is the leading cause of disability, reduced quality of life, and high health care costs in the U.S. Of the 46 million Americans who suffer from arthritis, nearly half say that arthritis limits their normal activities. The good news is that recent studies suggest that massage can help reduce pain and increase mobility in those who suffer from arthritis (Milivojevic,1). At Massage Envy, we offer a Massage Wellness Program to help cope with chronic arthritis pain.
MANAGING ARTHRITIS PAIN: A BRIEF HISTORY
More than 2,000 years ago, Greek physician Hippocrates wrote that doctors should be experienced in "Rubbing that can bind a joint that is loose and loosen a joint that is too hard." Today, massage is still a popular way to manage arthritis pain (Massage, 1). At Massage Envy, our professional massage therapists help improve joint movement, relax tense muscles, and stimulate the flow of blood and nutrients to the skin and underlying tissues. What's more, this relaxation helps break the cycle of pain and stress that often accompanies arthritis.
In 2006, researchers from Yale Prevention Research Center held a 16-week clinical trial involving 64 individuals with arthritis. This trial showed that massage therapy improved flexibility, lessened pain and improved range of motion in the participants. This is the first clinical trial of its kind in this country and it validates what many massage therapists have experienced anecdotally. Researcher Adam Perlman, MD says that, "Ultimately, massage may be shown to lessen a patient's reliance on medications and decrease health care costs. Our hope is to show that this treatment is not only safe and effective, but cost effective" (Milivojevic,1).
MASSAGE BRINGS RELIEF, RELAXATION, AND SLEEP
A study conducted by the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine showed that ongoing massage could lower anxiety, reduce pain, and improve grip strength for those with arthritis. Additionally, a common thread between arthritis sufferers is lack of deep sleep. Tiffany Field, PhD and director of the Touch Research Institute noted that, "When you are deprived of deep sleep, certain kinds of pain chemicals are released." With regular massage, our professional therapists can actually help you get more deep sleep. "It's this deep sleep that's truly important because that is where the restorative process is happening," says Field. This is doubly important, as not only can ongoing massage help you sleep better, but it can also decrease your pain during the day.
COMMUNICATION IS KEY
At Massage Envy, we understand that there are many forms of arthritis, it's a chronic condition, and there is no cure. Our professional massage therapists use several different message types, each of which is customized to help with your specific needs. Most importantly however, we practice constant communication before, during, and after each session. This ensures that our professional massage therapists properly understand your tolerance level and that you receive a message that is both relaxing and therapeutic every time. If you ever have questions or concerns with whether massage is right for you, please consult your doctor.
Manages Pain of Chronic Conditions
People with chronic pain often turn to massage therapy to help naturally improve their quality of life. Notes Tiffany Field, Ph.D., director of the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine in Miami, Florida:
“Most people go to massage therapists to reduce pain. There's a release of serotonin, which is the body's natural production of anti-pain chemicals. Additionally, an aggravating factor in pain syndromes can be a lack of deep, restorative sleep. Massage is very effective at increasing deep sleep. With more deep sleep, you have less pain.”
Fibromyalgia and arthritis are two chronic pain syndromes that can be positively impacted by massage therapy. In a study of massage therapy for knee osteoarthritis, a group receiving massage therapy for the pain showed significant improvement in pain, stiffness and physical function. They increased their range of motion and reduced the time it took them to walk 50 feet.
In another study, conducted by the Touch Research Institute and funded by Massage Envy, people with arthritis in their wrist and hand reported less pain and greater grip strength after massage therapy. They also had lower anxiety and depressed mood scores.
For people looking to naturally manage their chronic pain, massage therapy can improve quality of life by impacting mood as well as manage the pain and other benefits. When you live with chronic pain, having a toolbox of strategies you turn to for pain relief is important. Massage can be a powerful tool for relaxing both mind and body.
BENEFITS OF MANAGING CHRONIC PAIN
- Increases serotonin, which reduces pain naturally
- Naturally increases deep sleep
- Increases range of motion
- Lowers anxiety and improves mood