Monday, November 12, 2007

MASSAGE - a wonderfully, delightful word!

I have found the world of massage therapy. Now, I am not "rolling-in-dough", but I have found that our local Community College offers one-hour massages by the students in training for only $25! I have had very positive experiences there - I even took my daughter who was about 5 months pregnant at the time for her first massage there and she is now hooked. I found the following information about Massages from the Mayo Clinic Please visit their site for more information, including risks and what to expect.

"Massage: A relaxing method to relieve stress and pain
A soothing massage can help you unwind, but that's not all. Explore the health benefits and risks, then find out what to expect.
You might think of a massage as a luxury found in exotic spas and upscale health clubs. But did you know that massage, when combined with traditional medical treatments, can reduce stress and promote healing in people with certain health conditions?
During a massage, a therapist manipulates your body's soft tissues — your muscles, skin and tendons — using his or her fingertips, hands and fists. Several versions of massage exist, and they're performed in a variety of settings.
A massage may make you feel relaxed, but it isn't likely to cure everything that ails you. Learning about massage before you try one can help ensure that the experience is safe and enjoyable.
** Health benefits of massage
Massage can relieve tension in your muscles, and most people use it for relaxation, relief of stress and anxiety, or to reduce muscle soreness. Massage can also cause your body to release natural painkillers, and it boosts your immune system.
While more research is needed to confirm the benefits of massage, some studies have found it helpful for:
Anxiety: Massage reduced anxiety in depressed children and anorexic women. It also reduced anxiety and withdrawal symptoms in adults trying to quit smoking.
Pain: Pain was decreased in studies of people with fibromyalgia, migraines and recent surgeries. Back pain also might be relieved by massage.
Labor pain: Massage during labor appears to reduce stress and anxiety, relax muscles and help block pain.
Immune system: People with HIV who participated in massage studies showed an increased number of natural killer cells, which are thought to defend the body from viral and cancer cells.
Cancer treatment: People with cancer who received regularly-scheduled massage therapy during treatment reported less anxiety, pain and fatigue.
Self-esteem: Because massage involves direct contact with another person through touch, it can make you feel cared for. That special attention can improve self-image in people with physical disabilities and terminal illnesses. And using touch to convey caring can help children with severe physical disabilities

So, think about treating yourself or a loved one with a massage during the next two months as America goes holiday hustle and bustle crazy! I certainly plan on doing so!

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