Throughout human history, massage was used for everything from stiff, painful muscles to chronic disease. In China, medical texts refer to it as early as 3000 B.C. Today massage therapy is being used by a wide range of people as a pain reliever, antidote to stress, and enhancer of athletic performance.
Doctors are referring patients for massage as well. Andrew Weil, MD and author of Spontaneous Healing said, “[Massage] works on the premise … that the body can heal itself if given a chance. Massage nurtures the body’s talent for healing by triggering and supporting the body’s own healing response.” Recent research has shown that massage lowers blood pressure, increases circulation, relaxes muscles and improves range of motion. What’s more, it reduces the effects of stress and can ease the impulse to tighten in response to pain. Because of these results, many people are finding that massage helps them heal faster from injuries and disease. Studies also demonstrate that the benefits of regular massage tend to accumulate, easing long-term tension, conditioning tissues to help prevent injury, and enhancing your ability to breathe more deeply and relax more fully.