Posted on: 19.01.2023 Posted by: Drlark Comments: 0

February 25, 2004


Give the Gift of Massage

The power of touch is extraordinary to behold. Whether we offer

a supportive shoulder to cry on, rock a baby or small child to sleep,

or pat the hand of a friend struggling through a difficult time,

women seem to be blessed with an instinctive understanding that

touch can heal.

Through the years, I have witnessed its healing

power in my personal as well as my professional life. Every time

my husband gives me a tender hug, I am amazed by the way the tensions

of the day seem to float away. Similarly, my patients often report

significant health benefits from a variety of touch therapies such

as massage.

The art and science of massage have solid, ancient

roots, starting with Hippocrates, the father of Western medicine,

who noted 400 years before the birth of Christ that a physician

had to be experienced in the art of “friction.” It was

also highly regarded by the ancient Chinese, Hindus, Persians, and

Egyptians, and has been practiced by healers and athletes for centuries.

Massage temporarily fell out of favor, in part

because of its mistaken association with carnal pleasure. However,

a renaissance in the early 1800s—sparked by the Swedish Massage

technique—brought massage back into common healing practice.

And today, massage is alive and thriving. An increasing number of

health care facilities, including nursing homes and hospitals, have

massage therapists on staff. And a growing number of insurance companies

cover the expense of this time-tested therapy, which benefits the

mind and spirit, as well as the body.

Physiological Benefits

Massage works on a variety of levels throughout

the body. In the circulatory system, it promotes better circulation

to the skin and superficial tissues, helps increase the number of

red blood cells, increases return of blood to the heart thereby

easing the strain on the heart, increases tissue metabolism and

cell nutrition, and stimulates lymph circulation and elimination

of toxic wastes.

Massage aids the musculoskeletal system by increasing

blood flow to the skeletal muscles, relaxing muscle tension caused

by stress, and improving muscle tone. Additionally, massage promotes

intestinal relaxation and better elimination through the bowel.

It also helps to drain mucus from the lungs and sinuses and can

be a wonderful sleep aid.

Emotional Benefits

Massage is steeped in emotional benefits. The most

obvious is its reduction of tension and stress. A brief massage

can bring about a deep sense of peace and relaxation. In fact, some

studies have found that massage can stimulate the production of

chemicals such as serotonin, which are related to the body’s innate

relaxation response. In a word, massage makes you feel good.

Receiving a gentle massage often gives you a feeling

of unity with all of nature. Many people experience a profound sense

of love for their friends and families, and even gain a sense of

oneness with the people that they work with or encounter on a daily

basis after a massage session.

Energetic Benefits

I am a strong believer in the energy model of health

and well-being, and believe that such important processes such as

our immune function, reproductive and cardiovascular health, our

energy, and even our moods are affected by fluctuations in our life

energy. I feel strongly that touch lovingly given from one person

to another, such as occurs with marriage, actually transmits life

energy and has powerful therapeutic benefits for the recipient as

well as the provider.

Give the Gift of Touch

There’s no time like the present to share the healing

power of touch and give the gift of massage to someone you love.

A gift certificate to a massage therapist or day spa is a present

with long-lasting benefits. If you prefer the personal touch, give

them a massage yourself. Even a few minutes spent massaging the

back, shoulders, or hands of someone you love can be profoundly

relaxing. Finally, remember that a smile or simple pat on the back,

when lovingly done, can be very healing in its own right.

To find a massage therapist or bodywork spa in

your area, check your local yellow pages, or contact the Associated

Bodywork and Massage Professionals online at

or by phone at 1-800-458-2267.



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