Massage may have a reputation as a luxury for people who love pampering, but nothing could be further from the truth. Repeated studies show that a regular massage regimen has an assortment of tangible health benefits.
And, unlike a couple of years back, you don’t have to visit a masseuse to have your body rubbed and kneaded. If you have a massage chair, you can reap all the benefits in the comfort of your home.
What Exactly Do You Stand to Gain?
Several studies over the last decade have found that massage therapy works to boost the immune system in women with breast cancer. It also improves symptoms of asthma in children and increases grip strength in people with carpal tunnel syndrome. Plus, massaging patients can play a crucial role in helping them gain weight.
Does Massage Have True Biological Effects?
Studies show that your muscles rebound better if you get a massage after exercising to exhaustion. However, the benefits go beyond the relaxation and physical wellness. The American Pain Society and the American College of Physicians now recommend massage as an option for reducing the intensity of back pain.
Besides, recent research is starting to reveal how the body reacts after a massage. Even though there have been explanations about how massage works (such as boosting circulation and releasing toxins), nothing much has been done to substantiate these theories.
Now, one study, for instance, says that a 45-minute to one hour massage can reduce the level of cortisol in the body. It also lowers cytokine proteins associated with allergic reactions and inflammation. It can be helpful in boosting white cells ability to fight infection as well.
Scientific Interest in Massage
The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, which works hand in hand with the National Institutes of Health, is allocating more than $2 million to find more about the health benefits of massage. Other quarters interested in the same research include the Massage Therapy Foundation.
As heath benefits of massage become apparent, more Americans are now embracing the practice. The advent of massage chairs makes it possible to get a full body massage without having to spend lots of money. The relatively expensive cost at a chiropractor or physical therapist is the primary factor for many individuals opting for these chairs.
Note – it will cost you about $60 per hour at a therapist’s studio according to the Message Therapy Association. You will fork out even more (sometimes even three times that amount) if you visit high-class spas in urban areas.
With all the increased interest in massage, it is evident that it is not a reserve of those who love pampering. The benefits far outstrip the costs. In such a fast-paced world, you will certainly welcome anything that promises to improve your overall well-being. That said if you’re still wondering if it’s a good idea to get a massage, go for one when you get the time. Better yet, buy a massage chair and “pamper” your body whenever you want at home.