A woman in the lobby of Elements Therapeutic Massage in Park Ridge slumps into an easy chair, resting her head in one hand; the other hand rubs her eyes where dark circles threaten to be a permanent feature. She hasn’t been sleeping well and feels nauseous from worry and stress.
The woman describes to staff her pain and anxiety and the reply is universal: “No one should have to live like that.”
The good news is that even when the circumstances of our lives are out of our control, we can still be in command of how we respond to them. Like many others, she has discovered the benefits of massage therapy, and now those benefits are confirmed by a new study published in the British Medical Journal.
Proving to help with more than just tight muscles, the study showed how massage helps with sadness, worry, fatigue, nervousness, pain, sleep, and getting around. For example, while all participants reported sadness at the beginning of the study, only 40 percent continued to note feeling sadness after four weeks of massage. The overall benefits are physical, emotional, and social.
If cancer patients experience that kind of success, consider what massage therapy can do for you.
Back in Park Ridge, when our client emerges from her massage, the fire in her eyes has been rekindled. It’s not that all of life’s problems have gone away, but now she feels better prepared to face them.
For more information on how massage specifically benefits people who are fighting cancer, check out the blog post from our therapist Christine, who writes about this as both a patient and practitioner.
Image source: http://www.lifementalhealth.com (via Flickr)