Massage Therapy Applications
Massage is beneficial for people of all ages
Through the Life Span
The Touch Research Institute, University of Miami, has completed many research studies on massage therapy. These researchers have found evidence that massage has significant benefit for babies, children, adults, and elderly persons. Massage therapy has been shown to enhance growth in premature babies in the hospital, calm aggressive adolescents and help kids with Attention Deficit Disorder. Elderly persons in nursing homes have responded to massage with decreased agitated behaviour.
On the Job
Corporations and other institutions are discovering that massage therapy programs for employees pay off. Job stress has been identified as a serious health care issue that relates to decreased productivity, decreased job satisfaction, increased work related injury, errors and absenteeism.
Stress, Depression, and Immunity
Massage therapy studies have shown positive results in boosting the body's own natural cellular immune response, decreasing pain by increasing the body's levels of endorphins and reducing the blood levels of cortisol which is a hormone related to stress and high blood pressure. These beneficial results are proving helpful for people with critical illnesses like cancer and HIV infection and for those who suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia.
Athletes, coaches, and professional trainers use massage. Massage therapy is used at sporting events to help athletes' performance and to help prevent injury. Massage may improve muscle recovery and decrease muscle soreness after exertion. Athletes also benefit from the therapy's positive effects on heart rate and blood pressure, and the general relaxation response that reduces anxiety and improves mood.1
Pregnancy and Childbirth
Receiving Massage therapy can be safe and beneficial during pregnancy. Many women enjoy the skilled care of a massage therapist to help alleviate back, neck, and shoulder pain associated with changes in the body during pregnancy. The general benefits of increased circulation and enhanced well-being are valuable therapeutic effects. Specially trained massage therapists can even participate during childbirth to help decrease pain and anxiety.
1 - Sports Medicine, (2005);35(3):235-56