Beyond Relaxation: Three Benefits of Massage

Massage franchises have become very popular over the last 10 years or so. In our busy world, day spas have become a much needed respite from our packed schedules. It is nice to get away if only for an hour. “Relaxation” is usually what comes to mind when we think about getting a massage at one of these places. The difference between a day spa and what I provide to our clients at Progressive Rehabilitation is that through regular visits, I can provide massage that goes beyond far relaxation into long lasting pain relief. Therapeutic massage can reduce chronic muscular pain, reduce stress, reduce headaches and improve sleep.

According to the CDC, 50 million Americans suffer from chronic pain, and it affects more people than diabetes, heart disease, and cancer combined. Chronic pain contributes to an estimated $560 billion each year in medical costs, lost productivity, and disability programs. Being in pain is bad enough. But it can also affect your work productivity, relationships and for sure your pocket book. Massage therapy is a safe option that has been shown to be effective for reducing chronic pain. Come in and try an hour session to see how therapeutic massage can help you manage your pain.

Stress is a terrible feeling. Shallow breathing, clinched jaw, and tight shoulders are tell tale signs of someone that is stressed out. We all go through stressful times in our lives and for the most part we all come through the other side stronger. However, sometimes stressful events can take time to work through, so it is important to learn how to turn the volume down on stress. Both anecdotal evidence and open trials report that regular massage therapy can greatly reduce the severity of chronic moderate anxiety related to work or school environments (or more recently, the sheer unpredictability that life sometimes hands us!)

It is estimated that 50 to 70 million Americans experience sleep issues that affect their health. Sleepiness causes accidents on the job as well as on the road. Sleep deprivation can also lead to serious health problems like heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke and diabetes. The consequences of not getting good sleep can be severe.  If you are not sleeping well, it is important to figure out why. A study published in the International Journal of Neuroscience concluded that “massage therapy is effective in reducing pain, stress hormones and symptoms associated with chronic low back pain.” Chronic pain and stress can affect the quality and quantity of your sleep, so it follows that a reduction of muscular pain and stress would improve sleep.

In conclusion, it can be hard to slow down in these fast times where our work and even our at home schedules can be full to the brim! It’s not surprising we find ourselves looking for the quickest fix. We owe ourselves more than this. Self-care of this kind will certainly trickle down to those we love and serve. Often we do not take time to deal with issues like chronic pain, stress and poor sleep. All massages have the capacity to be relaxing, but I would encourage you to move beyond the idea that massage is only relaxing. To achieve health and wellbeing first, we need to overcome physical pain, decrease stress and get restful and rejuvenating sleep. Massage can help!

Call to schedule a massage with Scott Hoffman LMT Monday-Friday in Coralville (319-545-4121), Mercy Plaza Iowa City (319-339-3611), and Tipton (563-886-3421).

References

  1. Dahlhamer, J; Lucas, J; Zelaya, C, et al. Prevalence of Chronic Pain and High-Impact Chronic Pain Among Adults — United States, 2016. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2018;67:1001–1006.
  2. Hernandez-Reif, M., Field, T., Krasnegor, J., Theakston, H. (2001).  Lower back pain is reduced and range of motion increased after massage therapy.  International Journal of Neuroscience, 106(3-4):131-45.
  3. Institute of Medicine. (2006). Sleep Disorders and Sleep Deprivation: An Unmet Public Health Problem. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.