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Can Massage Therapy Save You Money on Healthcare?

Jun 18, 2011

You might think of a massage as a luxury. But can massage therapy actually pay for itself by reducing your medical bills?

There’s growing evidence that massage is a beneficial complement to medical treatments for certain chronic health conditions. Significant research is ongoing in this area, notes the National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM). While experts emphasize that the medical benefits of massage need more study, some research has shown evidence that massage therapy is effective in treating chronic health conditions that lead to billions of dollars in healthcare costs a year in America.

Ranging from back pain, migraines and fibromyalgia to anxiety and depression, chronic health conditions are costing Americans dearly in out-of-pocket medical expenses to seek relief at doctor’s offices, pharmacies and operating rooms.  These are the types of conditions that massage can help with the most.

  • According to NCCAM, a 2008 review of 13 clinical trials found evidence that massage may help relieve chronic low-back pain.
  • The Mayo Clinic notes that some studies have found evidence that massage therapy is beneficial for anxiety and noted that ongoing sessions of massage therapy can reduce "trait anxiety" (general anxiety-proneness) — as well as improve symptoms of depression.
  • According to The Mayo Clinic, some research has shown that massage decreases chronic pain in people suffering with fibromyalgia or migraines.

Massage is even being used to help make cancer treatment less traumatic and debilitating. Massage therapy has been shown to bring a 50 percent improvement in symptoms including anxiety, pain and fatigue among patients being treated for cancer, according to the Integrative Medicine Service at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. And a study of more than 300 advanced-stage cancer patients in multiple hospice facilities found that massage may help relieve pain and boost mood for cancer patients.

Increase the benefits with regular massage treatments

Regular ongoing massage treatments can play a huge part in how healthy you’ll be and how youthful you’ll remain with each passing year, notes the Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals group. Getting a massage at consistent intervals is an investment in your health, and just because massage feels like pampering doesn’t make it any less therapeutic.

Think of massage appointments as one of your ongoing health and wellness habits that you do to prevent the costs, stress, pain, discomfort and upheaval associated with illness and disease.

More massage! Better health!

 

At Elements Therapeutic Massage, we’ll work with you and your practitioner to create a plan for regular, ongoing massage therapy sessions that can keep you healthy while working with your schedule and lifestyle, your health concerns and your priorities. Call or come in today and let’s talk about how you can get more massage and well-being in your life.


[Article 2]

Need to Detox? Massage Can Help

Not feeling your best and not sure why? Might be time to detox.

You don’t have to go on a detox diet or drink special smoothies to detox. Start with a massage to kick-start your body’s own natural cleansing processes, which can slow down for a variety of reasons — lack of regular exercise, too little fluids or fiber in the diet … If you haven’t been taking the best care of yourself, a detoxifying massage can help set things right again.

How does massage help the body detox, exactly?

The rhythmic strokes and pressure applied to muscles, tissues and organs during massage therapy help stimulate the circulatory system. It works sort of like a sponge: When pressure is applied to the tissue and fat, toxins are literally “squeezed” out from in between the muscle fibers and cells. They’re released into the circulatory system for easier elimination.

The lymph system is key

Your lymphatic fluid system works with your cardiovascular circulatory system to flush out toxins and carry immune cells throughout the body to help defend against infections. If your lymph fluid circulation gets sluggish, toxins can accumulate and immune cells may not get carried to the areas of the body where they’re needed.

Since the lymph system doesn’t have a big central pump like the heart to keep things moving, it has to rely on gravity, exercise, breathing … and massage. So if you haven’t been as good as you should about your exercise, diet and “me time” routine (it happens to the best of us!), that can affect how you feel, causing aches, pains and swelling (lymph edema). It can also cause deterioration in organs and glands like the thymus that are vital players in your immune system.

It’s easy to see why detoxification is important to avoiding illness and chronic health conditions. So if you’re not feeling your best or haven’t been as good about your diet and exercise routine lately, try a massage to get back on track. Remember to drink a glass or two of pure water after massage to help the body flush out toxins more rapidly.

 

At Elements Therapeutic Massage, we’ll work with you and your practitioner to create a plan for regular, ongoing massage therapy sessions that can keep you healthy while working with your schedule and lifestyle, your health concerns and your priorities. Call or come in today and let’s talk about how you can get more massage and well-being in your life.

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