Ease Back Pain: More than 100 million Americans suffer from lower-back pain, and nearly $25 billion a year is spent in search of relief. A 2003 study showed that massage therapy produced better results and reduced the need for painkillers by 36 percent when compared to other therapies, including acupuncture and spinal modification. Today, massage therapy is one of the most common ways people ease back pain. Source: Annals of Internal Medicine, June 3, 2003
Ease Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel: Carpal tunnel syndrome is a progressively painful condition that causes numbness and tingling in the thumb and middle fingers. Traditional treatments for carpal tunnel range from a wrist brace to surgery. However, a 2004 study found that carpal tunnel patients receiving massage reported significantly less pain, reduced symptoms and improved grip strength than those patients who did not receive massage. Source: Touch Research Institute, University of Miami School of Medicine, and Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies, 8, 9-14.
Reduce Anxiety: An estimated 20 million Americans suffer from depression. A review of more than a dozen massage studies concluded that massage therapy helps relieve depression and anxiety by affecting the body’s biochemistry. In the studies reviewed, researchers measured the stress hormone cortisol in participants before and immediately after massage and found that the therapy lowered levels by up to 53 percent. Massage also increased serotonin and dopamine, and neurotransmitters that help reduce depression. Source: Touch Research Institute, University of Miami School of Medicine.
Lower Blood Pressure: Hypertension, if left unchecked, can lead to organ damage. Preliminary research shows that hypertensive patients who received three 10-minute back massages a week had a reduction in blood pressure, compared to patients who simply relaxed without a massage. Source: Biological Research for Nursing, Vol. 7, No. 2, 98-105 (2005).
Massage the Neck to Rub out Coronaries:
A REGULAR neck massage could help to prevent heart attacks research has shown. A study found that it could lower abnormally high blood pressure, without using drugs. At any one time, one-in-10 people in the UK suffer neck pain. The problem is growing because changing lifestyles mean people spending more time sitting down. Now scientists have found that treating a stiff neck can help reduce blood pressure, which is a major cause of heart attacks and stroke. Researchers at Leeds University say links between neck muscles and the brain play a crucial role in controlling blood pressure, heart rate and breathing. The study identified cells in the neck that are connected to an area of the brain that controls unconscious body functions. Traditionally, the causes of blood pressure have been linked to excess weight, alcohol consumption and lack of exercise. The researchers say nervous signals from the neck may play a key role in ensuring that adequate blood supply is maintained to the brain as we change posture, such as from lying down to standing up. Where such signalling fails, we can suffer problems with balance and blood pressure. Source: Daily Record 2nd August 2007