Massage therapy offers numerous health and therapeutic benefits that are proven to help conditions such as arthritis, migraines, back pain and even fibromyalgia.
Indeed, given today’s restless environment, more Americans are turning to therapeutic massage treatment for relaxation and tension relief from the daily stresses of their hectic lives, or simply for good health maintenance and a balanced lifestyle. Many people use massage as part of their wellness plan with much success.
In honor of National Massage Therapy Awareness Week (October 25-31, 2009) Massage Envy, the nation’s largest massage therapy provider is offering some eye-opening facts about this age-old wellness treatment.
Fun Facts about Massage Therapy:
1. Massage may be the oldest form of medical care – Egyptian tomb paintings show people being massaged.
2. As touch is the first sense to develop in humans and the last to fade, there are approximately 5 million touch receptors in our skin – 3,000 alone in a finger tip.
3. Almost one-fourth of adult Americans say they’ve used massage therapy at least one time for pain relief.
4. While the use of massage is growing, the reasons people are turning to massage therapy are also expanding. Of the people surveyed who had at least one massage in the last five years, 31 percent report they did so for health conditions such as pain management, injury rehabilitation, migraine control, or overall wellness.
5. Any kind of touch stimulates the release of endorphins, the body’s natural pain killers, can reduce heart rate and lower blood pressure – imagine how good you would feel after a one-hour massage.
6. 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 that suffer from arthritis.
7. Research indicates massage therapy can boost immunity and reduce hypertension.
8. Benefits of prenatal massage include increasing circulation, promoting relaxation, preparing the muscles for childbirth, and enhancing joint flexibility.
9. A recent study by the American Massage Therapy Association showed that in adults with migraine headaches massage therapy decreased the occurrence of headaches, sleep disturbances and distress symptoms. It also increased serotonin levels, believed to play an important role in the regulation of mood, sleep and appetite.
10. The number of hospitals offering massage therapy increased by 30 percent from 2004 to 2006. Sixty-seven percent of those hospitals with massage therapy programs offer massage to their staff for stress management.