Massage Therapy

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Massage therapy is often regarded as an extravagance, a luxury, or an expense awaiting justification. Few actually regard a massage as a viable form of medical treatment. But it is. Massage therapy is actually the simplest and oldest form of medicine. There are references to massage in Chinese medical literature dating back to 2,700 B.C. Think for one moment, your very first reaction when you stub your toe, hit your funny bone, or bump your head. Instinctively, you place your hand over the injured area. Likewise, what is your first reaction when a cramp in your calf muscle jolts you out of an otherwise sound sleep in the dead of night? Immediately, you get your hands on the muscle and feverishly rub! These very natural, genetically programmed reactions comprise the very core of massage therapy itself. An appreciation for the simple notion that human touch promotes healing. So, what can regular massage therapy do for us? Massage therapy is much more than a mere luxury. It should be regarded as part and parcel of your dedication to living a healthy life. Research establishes that regular massage therapy improves range of motion, reduces recovery time, increases muscle tone, and increases flexibility. Since massage acts as an "auxiliary heart" by increasing circulation, it thus facilitates the elimination of toxins and other metabolic wastes; additionally massage therapy reduces the time that it takes the body to heal an injury. The major benefit of massages is the release of "feel-good" hormones in the brain called endorphins. These mood-enhancing hormones bind to your brain’s natural receptors and are responsible for the so-called runner’s high, which is described as a feeling of euphoria after you have been exercising for a while. (Ref.: "The Benefits of Endorphins, Relaxation, and Good" by Sheri Colberg, Ph.D., FACSM- Issue 385) Endorphins prevent nerve cells from releasing more pain signals and also stimulate immune system cells, which also helps target...
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