Massage is in the news again – an informative three page article appeared in the July/August issue of the AARP and another nice article in the August 25th issue of The Peoria Journal Star. For those of us, including myself (once) so steeped in traditional medicine it’s hard to believe that something so simple could benefit so many, possibly even heal.

I am actually a very typical case study. I first started using massage therapy regularly over ten years ago after a severe bout of Lyme disease. The antibiotic therapy had helped me dramatically, but I was left with a body that was somewhat wobbly and unbalanced, stooped and fatigued. Certainly not a body that would carry me through long hours of nursing daily.

I was working with my diet, I’d done chiropractic and other complimentary therapies that were proving to be helpful but I still had a long way to go. After my first massage I was very sore, but my body felt more energized and I felt a better sense of balance internally and externally. I slept better; in fact everything seemed a little better. From that time on for the next year I looked forward to my weekly rub, after which time I was able to lengthen the time between sessions and continue to make progress.

Of course mine is just one of many stories from the very young to the elderly, sick in body, heart or soul that have used massage as a tool for healing. When the illness is chronic, massage is a must for healing.

Massage has been studied and used for over three centuries. All cultures and all the great early physicians including Galaen and Hippocrates used massage for healing. Massage fell from favor in this country following all the technological advances of modern medicine in the twentieth century but remained popular in Asia, India and Europe.

Modern studies of massage prove scientifically that massage increases circulation and oxygenation of the tissues, stimulates digestion, increases T cell count, increases red blood cell count, lowers blood pressure and stimulates endorphin production giving us that sense of well being. Lack of touch has been shown to suppress immunity, stunt development in children, leads to addictive behaviors and causes feelings of poor self image and body image.

As the AARP article mentioned "What this means to you and me is that massage now has some currency in the stuffy world of medicine," so don’t be surprised if your physician recommends you get a good massage. The most common ailments our clients bring to us and find relief are back and neck pain of all kinds, various injuries, migraine headache, TMJ, complaints of arthritis, fibromyalgia, autoimmune disorders and depression.

Therapeutic massage is now accepted as the single most valuable alternative therapy as reported by The Office for Alternative Medicine in Washington DC. As the trend towards more self care, higher insurance premiums and longer life increases the need for more alternative therapies including massage will increase as well.

So, whether you are looking to just relax or are working to beat a chronic ailment try getting a massage. It may be just what you’ve been needing.

Till next time, Rebecca