From an early age, we learn that the touch of a hand can ease pain.
When a toddler bangs his knee, he’ll instinctively rub the sore spot. Likewise, an office worker with stiff shoulders will probably try to knead out the tension and if an athlete can’t shake the troublesome pain in her calf, she just might schedule an appointment with a sports massage therapist.
The healing power of a well-placed hand is so apparent that just about every culture in history has used massage to relieve pain. Massage faded into the background with the arrival of modern medicine, but a growing number of people are turning (or returning) to hands-on therapies.
Massage seems to ease pain in several different ways.
For starters, it can increase blood flow to sore, stiff joints and muscles, which are warmed and relaxed by the extra circulation. The blood brings oxygen and nutrients to the muscles which helps feed and heal them.
Studies have also found that massage triggers the release of natural painkillers in the brain and speeds up the flow of oxytocin, a hormone that relaxes muscles and encourages feelings of calmness and contentment.
It also calms the nervous system and improves the feeling of well-being in the client.
There’s little doubt that a good rub-down can ease pain and tightness in stressed, overworked muscles and now there’s growing evidence that it can also help relieve chronic (long-lasting) pain caused by Osteoarthritis, Fibromyalgia and other conditions caused by our sedentary lifestyle.
The therapist and style of massage that you use will largely depend on personal choice. It’s the power of touch that’s all important.
If you want to discuss how I can help you, please feel free to contact me.