Benefits of Massage
The use of massage dates back as far as 3000 BC in China. The benefits of massage are numerous, including pain reduction, stress reduction, and improved control of hypertension. One surprising finding is that massage may help premature babies gain weight. Even self-massage is helpful. Massaging your arms and wrists after typing on a keyboard all day has proven to be beneficial. Whether your therapist is trained in Shiatsu or Swedish massage, the benefit is the same as long as there’s firm enough pressure to make a temporary indentation in the skin.
Massage is also thought to be helpful in cancer therapy, as it increases local blood flow.
In the past it was considered contraindicated for cancer patients due to a fear of spreading cancer cells by moving blood and lymph. Echter, a more clear understanding of human physiology today indicates that there is a minimal risk of spreading disease. The only exception being that massage is not recommended directly over a tumor or in the vicinity of skin lesions.
1) Ehrenfled, T. (2008). “Five Surprising Benefits of Massage.” Newsweek, Sept 4. 2) Labriola, D. (2000). Complementary Cancer Therapies. (2 212-213). California: Prima Health.