The Health Benefits of Massage

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Ahhhhh a massage!  If you have never had one, run don’t walk to your local spa or massage therapist.  They are so wonderful and relaxing but also very beneficial to your health.  I love them so much that my husband would get me a massage gift certificate for every major (and sometimes minor) holiday.  He knew what would make me happy.

This past couple of years has been especially stressful with all of my cancer treatments and surgeries.  Due to drains and other circumstances I have not been able to get massages like I would have liked.  I tend to be an easily stressed individual and carry all my stress in my back and shoulders with little release and relief.  Massage has really been beneficial to my peace of mind and recovery.

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Let me help you see all the benefits of massage and the effects it can have on your health.  Research has shown that massage decreases stress (we all knew that), but also improves your balance, your cardiovascular health, your immune function, and can help with neurological issues (ahhh the old chemo brain).  In preterm infants it helps with weight gain and in cancer patients can help decrease anxiety (lots of that when you have cancer), fatigue, and pain.

Massage can also help relax and soothe sore and achy muscles.  Exercising and working out can be beneficial but it can also put stress on your body.  If you engage in a high intensity activity it can cause inflammation in your body.  Just 10 minutes of massage can help your body heal and recover.  Massage can also help you sleep better, and who doesn’t love a good nights sleep.

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Massage can help alleviate headaches and make you more mentally alert.  It also helps with lymphatic drainage (another big one for those who have had breast surgery for cancer), helps with PMS symptoms, and adds vitality to your skin and hair.

It all sounds pretty good doesn’t it?  And there are many ways to get the benefits of massage without the hefty price tag associated with visiting a fancy spa.  Although it should be on everyone’s bucket list to splurge once on a great spa massage treatment, most of us can’t afford this luxury on a regular basis.  But you can get the benefits of massage by self massage on your own temples, head, hands, arms and legs.  You can ask, beg, or exchange massages with your spouse or significant other.  You can also shop around and you will find that there may be several places to get reasonably priced massages.  Locally where I live there are smaller massage centers without the bells and whistle that offer great massages for nearly half the price.

Also, you should look into massage/beauty schools.  These centers are fabulous as the students are very attentive and bring the latest and greatest techniques to you for what is beyond reasonable.  For example, where I live there is a spa about 1 mile from my house that charges $69 for your basic 1 hour massage.  A smaller lesser known center about 7 miles from my house charges $40 for the same 1 hour massage and the beauty school, only 3 miles away, charges $20.  Better yet, the students at the beauty school aren’t allowed to accept tips for their massage services.  So you can get 4 massages for the same price as 1 at the fancy spa.

Hot-Stone-Massage

Don’t feel guilty about pampering yourself with a massage once in a while.  After all, it’s for the sake of your health.

-Kristen
Choosing healthy living over dying 🙂

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