North London Acupuncture

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Benefits of massage

I routinely ask my patients as to why they need a massage and reason they come for repeats. Below is a list of the most common reasons, along with some research which I have found to back these up.

1. We are not really designed for sitting

Massage counteracts all that sitting we do. The majority of people who come for regular massage are in desk bound massage. It helps counteract the imbalance caused from sitting all day.

Most individuals are dealing with some kind of postural stress. More often than not it tends to manifest in the shoulders and neck. Desk workers, with more advanced forms of postural stress “show up as pain or weakness in the low back and gluteals caused by prolonged periods of sitting.

2. It eases muscle pain

A 2011 study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, found that massage therapy is as effective as other methods of treatment for chronic back pain.

3. It relieves headaches

Next time a headache hits, try booking a last-minute massage. “Massage decreases frequency and severity of tension headaches according to research from Granada University in Spain which also found that a single session of massage therapy has an immediate effect on perceived pain in patients with chronic tension headaches.

4. It soothes anxiety and depression

Human touch, in a context that is safe, friendly and professional, can be incredibly therapeutic and relaxing.

Women diagnosed with breast cancer who received massage therapy three times a week reported being less depressed and less angry, according to a 2005 study published in the International Journal of Neuroscience.

And, a study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, found that patients who were depressed and anxious were much more relaxed and happy, and had reduced stress levels after massage.

5. It improves sleep

Not only can massage encourage a restful sleep—it also helps those who can’t otherwise comfortably rest.

“Massage promotes relaxation and sleep in those undergoing chemo or radiation therapy,” says Lisa Marie de Miranda, registered massage therapist and kinesiologist at Paleolife Massage Therapy.

Also, if you’re a new parent, you’ll be happy to know it can help infants sleep more, cry less and be less stressed, according to research from the University of Warwick.

6. It boosts immunity

A 2010 study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that massage boosts patients’ white blood cell count, which plays a large role in defending the body from disease. It can also improves immune function for individuals with HIV.

The list goes on and on. More to follow!

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