Massage plays an integral role in our overall health and well-being. This inexpensive and preventive measure will reap great benefits, both short and long-term. One of the biggest challenges individuals face on a daily basis is stress. The pace at which we move and the challenges we face each day (traffic, long working hours, sitting at a computer, standing for long periods, unnatural and repetitive movements) put stress on our bodies in ways they were not engineered to endure. Our bodies are wonderful because they compensate for all of these activities, but sometimes they need help.
Stress has been shown to be the leading cause of many health ailments and one of the best ways to manage stress is to integrate rest and relaxation activities in your life. During a therapeutic massage, stress hormones are dramatically reduced and white blood cells are increased, thus boosting the functions of the immune system. Massage introduces oxygen, nutrients and blood flow to areas in the body that have become restricted over time. This return of blood flow, oxygen and nutrients brings healing to the areas being worked. Research has shown individuals who receive regular massage possess higher levels of oxytocin, a hormone that promotes bonding and a general sense of security and well-being.
Feeling good in our bodies improves our outlook on life, makes us more productive at work as well as in our relationships and creative pursuits. Feeling balanced increases awareness of our direction in life and feeling relaxed gives us a new foundation from which to approach life. Make time in your life for massage. Your investment will return to you many times over.
Darcy Blaine, Reiki Master Teacher & Licensed Massage Therapist