Massage: Is Your Health Missing Out?

There’s a reason the massage industry is always booming…they’re effective! Not only do they feel fantastic physically, but a good massage is tremendously calming to the nervous system. Massage is not a new concept; its written history traces back thousands of years to Greece and India. Yoga Science-Ayurveda- or life science, has been using massage as a healing procedure dating back to 1800 B.C.E.

According to the Foundation for Peripheral Neuropathy, massage is used for many neurological disorders and diseases; which will be touched on later. The kneading, compression, and stretching motion of massage is beneficial to the muscular system of the body as well as fascial tissue which can both become tight and uncomfortable, as many know from experience. Interestingly, the efficacy of massage therapy has been so well documented, that it is commonly used as a supplemental therapy for the treatment of major diseases and illnesses.

Right now in the US, more than ever there are autoimmune diseases and health maladies that could benefit from homeopathic, natural healing modalities such as massage. Not only to help manage a disease or illness but also for prevention. No matter what physical, mental, or neurological struggles you are having, they all impact the musculoskeletal system and vice versa; there’s a good chance that you could be missing out on improved health by avoiding massage therapy.

Maladies that Benefit from Massage

There’s a common misconception that massage is only for pampering, however, as mentioned above, massage can help with several health afflictions. This comes as a surprise to many; massage could be supplementing your wellness journey in unexpected ways. Below is a list of health concerns that could benefit from massage:

  • Arthritis
  • Chronic Pain
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Musculoskeletal Conditions
  • Pre, labor, and Postnatal patients
  • To aid in the recovery of muscles with Disuse Atrophy
  • Patients in Palliative Care

Talk with your doctor or specialist about writing a prescription for massage, which can benefit you financially via insurance coverage.

Massage for Stress Reduction

There aren’t many people in this day in age who aren’t affected by stress. Chronic stress can wreak havoc on all the body’s systems, especially neurologically, therefore affecting the mind (the brain in action), which impacts mental health. As mentioned above, there is a neuro-muscular connection. The central and peripheral nervous systems affect both voluntary and involuntary muscle movement. The muscles also send messages to the brain via the spinal cord. The connection between body systems, organs, and mind is fascinating, and much could be written on this alone. Because of this physiological and psychological connection, there is no doubt that massaging the body’s largest organ (the skin), muscles, and fascia is going to benefit the mind.

Massage is proven to lower cortisol, the hormone that is released during stressful situations. Unfortunately, many people in a chronic stressful state are continuously releasing cortisol even without a threat being present; too much of this hormone has several negative effects on the body and brain (especially the immune system). In addition, massage boosts serotonin, the body’s happiness hormone. This is the hormone that is lacking in those diagnosed with depression. Physical touch in and of itself is known to release serotonin (like a hug). Stored trauma was written about in our blog last month; bodywork such as massage is known to aid in moving trauma (which imprints itself in muscle and tissue), through and out of the body (Reiki is an example of this).

Although stress is an inevitable part of life, it’s how one cope with stress that either magnifies or subsides chronic symptoms and illness. Turning to a natural healing modality versus, say, alcohol, sugar, or workaholism is going to add up in a positive way if practiced consistently.

Types of Massage

Just like yoga, there is a surprising variety of massage methods. The most commonly known is the Swedish massage. The menu is vast, so we suggest trying different modalities to see what benefits you the most. Here is a selection you can find around Dayton, Ohio:

  • Swedish Massage +
  • Deep Tissue +
  • Craniosacral
  • Reflexology
  • Myofascial
  • Cupping
  • Lymphatic
  • Gua Sha
  • Hot Stone Massage +
  • Pre, Labor, and Postnatal +
  • Sports Massage (typically done by a Physical Therapist)
  • Shiatsu
  • Massage for Palliative Care
    + = offered at Ignite Yoga

All the above modalities have specific ways they improve many layers of your being. Some offerings have more benefits for specific ailments than others. In addition, there are some varieties those with certain conditions should avoid; for instance, those with heart conditions or who are prone to blood clots should not receive a lymphatic drainage massage, and so on. Always speak with your doctor or specialist before you get a message of any kind. They may be able to recommend the most ideal massage remedy to fit your specific needs.

The massages that are offered here at Ignite Yoga are provided by well-trained therapists who have been vetted carefully to provide the highest level of care we strive to uphold as a wellness studio. Always keep in mind that massage therapists are not doctors, however, they are a valuable supplement to medical care on so many levels.

At Ignite, we strive to promote healing and wellness on the levels of mind, body, and spirit. We are intentional in serving our community a milieu that encourages and promotes a high quality of life. If we cannot offer it, there’s a good chance we can point you in the direction of someone in the Dayton, Ohio area who can. No matter how good or bad you feel, there’s a solid chance that reaching out to a friend, care provider, or wellness community will give you a mood-boost and recommend care and support that has worked for them. We hope you consider massage as a new (or continued) way to improve or sustain health on all levels; we wish you health, happiness, and peace.

Miami School of Medicine, Rheumatology International, Journal of Clinical Rheumatology, Journal of Physiotherapy, Pre- and Perinatal Massage Therapy, National Library of Medicine, Science Direct

About the Author

Anna Furderer

Anna Furderer

Anna is a 500-Hour Yoga and Meditation teacher, specializing in integrating yoga philosophy with addiction recovery and mental health. In 2017 she got her 200-hour yoga teaching certification primarily focusing on Power Yoga. Within a short amount of time, Anna’s deep connection to philosophy led her to a 300-hour yoga certification with special focus on yoga philosophy and trauma-informed yoga. Anna is a licensed CDCA in the state of Ohio and is currently a student at the University of Cincinnati, studying Substance Abuse Counseling. She plans to go on to receive her master's in Clinical Psychology so she can treat multi-cultural women with Co-Occurring Disorders. Anna is a wife to Brian, and a mother to her two sons, Owen and Eli. The four of them are mountain-lovers and adventure out west as often as possible

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