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Category: Male Masseur London Blog (page 1 of 6)

Full-Body Massage That Can Improve Health

Many massage clients comment on how regular massage is not only therapeutically effective for reducing muscle aches and pains, but it is one of the most important components of their wellness routine.
Leading a busy, hectic life without a self-care or wellness routine, will ultimately leave you feeling run down both mentally and physically.When that happens, scheduling a professional full body massage has been scientifically proven to help you feel better.

Did you know that a full body massage can have a wonderful impact on the quality of your skin.This gentle exfoliation can stimulate skin regeneration and tissue repair processes.It helps to remove dead cells from the skin. This results in skin that is re-moisturized, hydrated, smooth and feels nourished.

Getting weekly massages is an effective way of keeping your pain levels low so that you can recuperate and feel healthier on a more regular basis.Massage can soothe knots and speed the recovery of post-workout muscle soreness and help them decompress after a busy work week.

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5 Mental Health Benefits of Massage Therapy

1. Depression and Anxiety

Depression and anxiety are two of the most common mental health issues, and both can negatively impact lives. Studies have shown massage therapist can reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Researchers at Taiwan’s E-Da Hospital and College of Medicine reviewed 17 scientific studies involving 786 people. The findings showed massage had many positive benefits for people experiencing depression and led to a reduction in symptoms. At Japan’s Kyushu University, a team of experts found facial massage soothed participants’ physiological distress. They concluded that massage activated participants’ sympathetic nervous system, reducing their anxiety and improving their mood.

Before your next massage, ask your practitioner to help you choose treatments options that address your depression, anxiety, or any other mental health issues.

2. Neurotransmitter and Hormone Balance

Researchers have shown massage therapy activates neurotransmitters that can decrease anxiety and lower stress hormone levels. At the University of Miami School of Medicine, researchers found massage therapy had positive effects on people who were experiencing a range of mental health issues, including depression, eating disorders, and stress. The research team found about a 30% increase in serotonin and dopamine levels in the study participants who underwent massage, as well as a reduction in the stress hormone cortisol. These findings suggest massage was responsible for an increase in feel-good neurotransmitters and a decrease in stress.

3. Blood Pressure and Circulatory Issues

A massage therapist can help lower your heart rate as well as your systolic (pumping) and diastolic (resting) high blood pressure.

Researchers compared two groups of 25 women. One group received 10-15 minutes of Swedish massage three times a week for a total of 10 sessions; the women in the other group relaxed in the same environment, but did not receive massages. The researchers found massage caused a reduction in systolic and diastolic blood pressure that persisted for as many as three days after treatment.

A researcher at the University of South Florida studied the effects of back massage on hypertension (high blood pressure) and found blood pressure reductions in study participants who received massage. Those reductions lasted for two days after treatment.

If you experience high blood pressure, talk to your doctor about adding massage therapy to your current course of treatment. Though massage helps many people, it may not be an advised solution for everyone, especially if you have deep-vein thrombosis (blood clots). Make sure to talk to your physician before scheduling a massage appointment.

4. Alleviating Symptoms of Illness or Disease

People with life-threatening illnesses or diseases often experience anxiety and depression that can exacerbate their condition. Massage therapy can greatly increase quality of life, freeing up mental and physiological resources to fight off disease. Many physicians recommend massage as a complementary therapy to medical care for its healing power and low incidence of side effects.

At the Columbia University Medical Center, experts studied children with cancer and found massage therapy helped manage many side effects of cancer treatment, including pain, anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, and reduced immune function.

A University of Miami research team found study participants with  anxiety, stress, anger, and overall mood issues after receiving massage therapy and learning home care relaxation techniques. The people who were treated by massage therapists had lower norepinephrine (a neurotransmitter linked to depression) levels as compared to a control group.

5. Veterans’ Mental Health

Researchers recently published a paper in the journal Military Medicine describing the reintegration process for National Guard members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. The researchers followed service members and their partners for eight weeks as part of a pilot program to develop treatments for returning veterans. They found massage therapy helped veterans relieve pain, irritability, tension, worry, anxiety, and depression.

At the Fort Bliss Restoration and Resilience Center, clinical psychologist John Fortunato puts people experiencing posttraumatic stress through a rigorous and comprehensive regimen of therapies, including different types of massage. These therapies helped veterans turn off their hyperaroused survival mechanisms, learn to relax again, and get the healthy sleep their bodies needed. Of the 37 soldiers in the program, only two had to take medical discharges from service. Twelve of the service members returned to active duty.

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Massage Supports Senior Health

pic-who-needsDo you ever wonder who will help keep your body moving around safely as you get older? According to Jo Ellen Sefton and fellow researchers, massage therapists could be key players in maintaining health of older persons, particularly postural control.

This month’s Massage Therapy Foundation article outlines the findings of Sefton’s study that explored the effects of therapeutic massage on balance, neurological and cardiovascular outcomes in older adults. The results of this study were published in the International Journal of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork in 2012, and it is the second of a two-part study conducted collaboratively by researchers at Auburn University and Samford University in Alabama.

The risk of falling is a major health concern for older people. Falls in the elderly population impact personal health, affecting patients physically and psychologically and often result in significant healthcare and rehabilitation costs. Decreased mobility due to falls can lead to loss of vitality and increased morbidity.

Sefton and colleagues wanted to explore whether therapeutic massage could restore muscle balance and function, improve appropriate muscle activation, decrease spasms, correct postural imbalances or improve gait and movement confidence. They hypothesized that therapeutic massage would produce an immediate increase in instability, then improve postural stability and decrease cardiovascular measures over time, and improve long-term stability and cardiovascular functioning. Positive changes in these measures may improve confidence and allow for increased independence in older individuals.

The study was conducted in the lab with 35 adults ranging in age from 50 to 69 years old. Participants were excluded if they reported any chronic diseases or medications that would affect the study’s physiological measures. Participants were then randomized to the therapeutic massage treatment group or relaxation control group. The treatment group received six weekly 60-minute full-body massages that followed a standardized protocol, but left some flexibility for the massage therapists to respond to individual patient needs. The relaxation control group rested quietly in the treatment room for 60 minutes.

A number of assessments were conducted on both the therapeutic massage and control groups to test the study hypotheses. Static and functional balance were tested with the participants on one and both feet, and with eyes open and closed. Neurologically, motor neuron pool excitability, activation and modulation at the soleus muscle were assessed. Heart rate and blood pressure were recorded as the cardiovascular measures.

Immediate Treatment Effects

Assessments of postural control and cardiovascular measures were completed before the treatment, and then immediately after, 20 minutes after and 60 minutes post-treatment. Nervous system measures were completed pre-treatment and then 60 minutes post-treatment. The purpose of these tests was to determine whether the therapeutic massage intervention produced increased instability for participants immediately after.

The results replicated the researchers’ earlier findings showing that instability did not increase immediately after therapeutic massage. This implies that current cautionary measures implemented for our clients are likely sufficient and should be continued, although some sensitivity with clients who have special circumstances will always occur. Interestingly, the results did not support previous studies that showed therapeutic massage to decrease cardiovascular measures immediately following treatment.

Week Six Short Term Effects

To determine differences that occur during the 60 minutes after a therapeutic massage intervention, balance and cardiovascular measures were assessed immediately post-therapeutic massage to 60 minutes post-therapeutic massage. The results of the balance and postural control measures together suggest an increase in postural stability through the 60-minute period following therapeutic massage when compared to the control group.

Nervous system measures were taken pre- and 60 minutes post-therapeutic massage only. The results again echo the researchers’ earlier work, finding that when compared to only one session of therapeutic massage, an additional six weeks of treatment did not produce better performance on the assessments for the nervous system. The researchers speculated this may be due to decreased fatigue that would occur during each therapeutic massage application.

Cardiovascular measures indicated a trend of decreased systolic and diastolic blood pressure from immediate to 60 minutes post-treatment in the treatment group compared to the control. No changes in heart rate were found, and studies thus far have reported conflicting results. This led the researchers to recommend additional research on the mechanisms affecting cardiovascular measures and blood flow.

Long Term Effects

So, what was found one week after the last therapeutic massage session? The long-term treatment effects were assessed by comparing the therapeutic massage and control groups on balance, nervous system and cardiovascular measures pre-treatment at week six with those obtained at the follow-up testing session at week seven. The researchers found some effects to be fairly robust.

Assessment of balance at week six indicated no significant differences between the treatment and control groups. However, by week seven, testing showed significant differences between the therapeutic massage and control groups. This indicates that the treatment group had an improved ability to maintain balance at week seven.

No long term nervous system differences were found between the treatment and control groups, but the authors note there may be some methodological considerations that could be addressed in future work. With respect to cardiovascular effects, although there were no significant differences at week six, there were lower systolic blood pressures in the treatment group by week seven. No differences in diastolic blood pressure were found. Heart rate was higher for the treatment group at week six, but then by week seven, no differences were found when compared to the control group.

The researchers made a couple of observations about the study design that may have impacted research outcomes. First, participants were all healthy older adults who could be considered “young old,” rather than “old old.” Second, results may differ in individuals experiencing conditions common with aging such as osteoarthritis, high blood pressure or diabetes. The researchers also identified some limitations that should be considered when interpreting the findings, specifically that the participants self-selected to join the study. To account for these potential confounding elements, the team recommended a larger study in the future to include a wider range of participants.

As massage therapists see more clients who are aging, it becomes increasingly important to know how to appropriately care for them, and manage the instability that may occur when they get up off the treatment table. Understanding the physiological changes in the client, both immediately and over time, can equip us with information needed to provide good home care instruction.

The results reported by Sefton and colleagues indicate that therapeutic massage could be a beneficial non-pharmaceutical option to improve blood pressure and postural stability in older adults, short and long-term. These findings have implications for practice and policy, from the treatment room to reimbursement. The true impact of research such as Sefton’s will come from replication and dissemination of findings and continued efforts to use research evidence to inform practice guidelines and standards of care.

Resource:

  • Sefton, J. M., Yarar, C., & Berry, J. W. (2012). Six weeks of massage therapy produces changes in balance, neurological, and cardiovascular measures in older adults. International Journal of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork, 5 (3), 28-40.
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Massage During The Summer

Of course there’s a lot to do in summer gardening, grilling , traveling, you name it but that does not mean you should not take care of your self. In fact massage is a terrific thing to treat yourself to during the summer months, when your body badly needs it.

Some main reasons to treat yourself to a massage this summer:

Massage is ‘your time’. During summer, plans and activities seem to spike. Hikes, picnics and park trips become the norm. Even if you don’t have any kids and work is still relatively relaxed, most people make more plans in the summer months. A massage is a great excuse to get some time for yourself.

Massage Counteracts Swelling in Joints and Limbs
Summer heat and humidity tends to lead to swelling and discomfort, due to static accumulation of fluids. Massage can help increase blood flow, reduce swelling and make movement more comfortable, even during the height of heat.

Massage Compensates for Increased Exercise
Most people also exercise more in summer, when nice weather makes being outdoors easy. Whether your exercise of choice is gardening or running, swimming or playing organized sports, you’re likely more active this time of year. That’s great, but can lead to strains and pulls if you’re not careful. Massage can help ease pain from problems as well as make them less likely to occur.

Massages Clears Thinking
If you are busy, stressed, overwhelmed massages clear thinking and make it easier for you to stay on top of everything you need to do without feeling stressed out. Even going once every month or two can have major benefits.

Of course, the truth is, any time is a good time to get a massage. Its perks include relaxation, clearer thinking, better decision-making, reduced stress and better sleep.

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Massage can take away depression and anxiety

 

depression and anxiety need male massage therapist in london

Massage therapists use arm, hand, fingertip, and elbow pressure to treat physical and emotional problems. The word massage comes from the Arabic word mass’h, which means “press gently.”  Therapeutic massage was first described in China about 2,500 years ago. Around 400 bc, the Greek healer Hippo crates used massage to treat sprains. Most of the world’s medical systems, including Chinese medicine and India’s Ayurveda, developed their own versions.

Researchers at the University of Miami followed 37 breast cancer patients who received massage therapy or practices progressive muscle relaxation for five weeks. Women in the massage group reported feeling less depressed and angry, and they had more energy. In a University of South Florida study of high blood pressure patients, those who got 10-minute massages three times a week for three weeks lowered their higher number by 11 points.

A review of more than a dozen massage studies conducted by the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine concludes that massage therapy relieves depression and anxiety by affecting the body’s biochemistry. In a series of studies including about 500 men, women, and children with depression or stress problems, researchers measured the stress hormone cortisol in participants before and immediately after massage and found that the therapy lowered levels by up to 53%. (Cortisol can drive up blood pressure and blood sugar levels and suppress the immune system.) Massage also increased serotonin and dopamine, neurotransmitters that help reduce depression.

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GETTING THE MOST OUT OF YOUR MASSAGE

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DRINK WATER

Massage increases your blood circulation and hydrates your muscle tissues. You know those “wow” moments you have during your massage? They’re signifying blood flowing to areas that have been nutrient deprived and blocked by constricted muscles or trigger points. These “stress spots” are potent and toxic to your body, and require the assistance of water to be flushed out.

Water is the drano our bodies need to flush out lactic acid and metabolic waste that causes knots and pain. When a muscle is dehydrated it searches for a water source, and if it can’t easily get it will cling to another muscle tissue instead.

The simple fact is that massages are dehydrating. Kneading and working muscles gets fluid pumping out of the soft tissue and into your circulatory system, where it heads towards your kidneys. Therefore it’s incredibly important to drink water because not only does it flush toxins out of your system, but it ensures that all the good work your massage does doesn’t go to waste!

STRETCH

Having just had a massage therapist break up the adhesions on your muscles, it’s now up to you to stretch in order to reap the benefits. Stretching essentially works to realign your muscle fibers and improve muscle recovery. It also helps to train your nervous system, which is the main determinator when it comes to your body’s flexibility.

Did you know that a person under anesthesia has virtually full range of motion, even in the case of a serious condition like frozen shoulder? This is because the nervous system, not the muscles, is the great limiter of motion. Keep this in mind as you go through your post-massage stretch routine.

HYDROTHERAPY

The healing properties of hydrotherapy are based on its mechanical and thermal effects. It makes use of the body’s reaction to hot and cold stimuli, the protracted application of heat, the pressure exerted by the water, and the sensation of the water itself.

Nerves carry sensations felt by the skin deeper into the body, where these responses then work to stimulate the immune system, influence the production of stress hormones, encourage blood flow, and improve circulation and digestion. Essentially, enjoying hydrotherapy following a massage prolongs your sense of relaxation, helps to induce a deeper night’s sleep, and encourages greater muscle recovery.

EAT

Massage therapy has a big effect on the body’s circulation and stimulates digestion. If you’re feeling a little light headed post-massage, this might be the result of not eating.

Following a massage your body needs to refuel. For this reason, consider taking a snack to your next appointment, such as a banana and some raw almonds. Ensure you keep meals light, and opt for things such as stir-fried vegetables and rice.

REST

It’s not always possible, but always try to schedule your massage appointments at times when you can relax afterwards. The idea behind this is to prolong your sense of deep relaxation for as long as possible. Listen to your body. If you feel like having a sleep, sleep. If you feel like curling up under a blanket and reading a book, do it. If you want to stretch out on the sofa and watch reruns of The Bachelor, indulge. This is your time to recover, repair and re-tune yourself.

HAVE A BATH

Having a bath will encourage rest, and is particularly nice when Epsom salts are added. Adding Epsom salts (magnesium sulphate) will help heal any aches and pains, open up your blood vessels, and increase circulation. A warm shower will suffice if you don’t have a bath. Just remember – the key word here is warm – not cold, and not scorching hot! A super hot bath will increase inflammation, which isn’t a good idea after a massage.

WELCOME ANY EMOTIONS

As your body relaxes, it’s normal for it to release any emotional baggage it’s holding onto. While on one occasion you might feel elated, refreshed and energised, there may be other times when you feel the need to cry. This is okay. Embrace it. Allow it to happen. You’ll appreciate the emotional release afterwards!

PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR BODY’S REACTION

While it’s normal to feel a little sore following a massage (think the day after a good gym workout), it’s not normal to feel pain several days after your massage. If your pain is intense and long-lasting, this is a sign your massage therapist may have gone too hard. Make note of any sore areas and inform your therapist during your next visit. This is important so your treatments can be modified to best suit you.

URINATE

And finally… go to the toilet. By urinating you are letting go of your toxins, so what are you waiting for? Get rid of them!

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Massage Benefits for Runners

1. Reduced Muscle Pain and Fatigue

When you have started a new training program, increased the intensity of your training or are simply just running more mileage, massage therapy can be extremely helpful. Often times, the increased workload results in muscle pain and fatigue. This pain is caused by the release of body-producing toxins such as lactic acid into the tissue. When left untreated, the tissue can become damaged over time. Where there is muscle damage, there is less circulation. Reduced circulation can lead to congestion, tightness and shortening of the tissue.

2. Increased Circulation and Blood Flow

Massage increases circulation and blood flow. With this increased circulation, overall healing is expedited by triggering the immune system to promote a healing response in the tissue.

Following a run, the body needs to recover from the stresses places upon it. When muscles are challenged during a run, the body releases toxins into the tissue. Massage is one of the quickest ways to promote recovery because it helps release these toxins from the tissue. In conjunction with proper hydration, toxins are flushed from the system, thus helping lessen soreness and fatigue while helping freshen your legs for your next workout.

3. Increased Flexibility

Increasing an athlete’s range of motion can help improve performance. When we can move properly, we can run more efficiently.

A good massage helps rebalance the musculoskeletal system. Runners frequently experience pain and tightness in the IT Band, Achilles tendon, knees and hamstrings. Many runners can pinpoint where they are experiencing pain. A good therapist will evaluate pre-exsiting conditions and postural errors that could be contributing to pain, as the source of pain is usually not where the pain is manifesting itself. For example, pain in the hamstring may be attributed to limited lumbar mobility. The hamstring could be over-stretched and compensating for shortening of the hip flexors. The body is like a weight and pulley system. When a muscle experiences fatigue from overuse, another muscle will kick in to try and bring balance back to the body. Often times, this secondary muscle is not meant to sustain that kind of responsibility. When left untreated, it undergoes strain and, much like a domino effect, other muscles become involved and affected. A good therapist will analyze all these factors and develop an appropriate treatment plan to help break a cycle of recurring injury.

4. Relaxation

Lastly, massage promotes relaxation, which has myriad benefits. Relaxing the muscles also helps relax the mind and reduces stress, which can help re-energize you following a big race or tough workout, or even when the craziness of life combined with the demands of training start to wear on you.

When targeting specific areas, pause and press into the sorest areas for about 10 seconds and then release. Focus on frequently stretching the hip flexors, glutes, quads and calves all important muscle groups for healthy movement.

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Massage and the Stress Response

stressMassage has long been seen as a way for people to decrease their stress levels. With the growing number of people seeking massage therapy care in recent years, it becomes increasingly important to understand if it is effective in managing the negative health consequences of stress.

“Physiological Adjustments to Stress Following Massage Therapy: A Review of the Literature,” provided a critical evaluation of peer-reviewed research that had investigated the relationship between massage therapy and physiological measures of stress. The authors emphasized that reviews like this one are important to understanding the effectiveness of massage therapy in the management of the health impacts of stress.

Methods

In this literature review, massage therapy was defined as “the manipulation of soft tissues for the purpose of producing physiological effects on the vascular, muscular or nervous systems of the body.” Only studies where massage therapy was applied within the context of this definition were included, so any studies involving light touch modalities were excluded. The research group only included studies where the massage was provided by trained therapists, and those with adults as the participants. This process of deciding what studies will be included and excluded is called setting the inclusion criteria.

With these criteria in mind, the research team conducted a broad and extensive search of several electronic research databases, along with the researchers’ own libraries, for articles that pertained to “stress” in combination with “massage,” “bodywork,” “physiotherapy,” and “manual therapy.” Articles were included when “presenting dependent variables of stress that included the hormones cortisol, epinephrine, norepinephrine, or physical measures of blood pressure (BP) and heart rate.” Of the initial 1032 citations reviewed that met the search parameters, only “25 articles were found to meet all inclusion criteria.”

Results

The research team found that the 25 studies employed a diversity of experimental methods. There was large variability in session duration, “from 5 to 90 minutes, with over half (52%) of the studies having a session duration between 20 and 30 minutes.” Commonly, 6 to 10 treatments were delivered, but data was most often collected following the first session. The researchers chose not to report on specific massage techniques used as the specific techniques used were reported in varying degrees of detail and those studies had varied results.

“Study populations were varied and included sexually abused women, patients with eating disorders, pain conditions, hypertension, HIV positive diagnosis, cancer, post-operative patients, critical care patients, healthy adult populations, and some specific disease states.” Hormones that are markers for stress response were also noted by the researchers in this review.

Cortisol

Salivary cortisol is easy to collect from the mouth and non-invasive, so massage therapy studies frequently use this method for assessing cortisol levels. Of those studies that measured reductions in salivary cortisol it appears that the decrease, although significant, may be short term. There does not appear to be a cumulative reduction in salivary cortisol levels with multiple massage treatments. The subject populations in these studies were highly varied, “which suggests that many groups may experience an immediate benefit from massage therapy for this variable. . . However, most study participants were either healthy adults or experiencing chronic life stress.”

Urinary cortisol has been used to assess changes following multiple massage treatments. The studies that assessed urinary cortisol did so at baseline and after 5 weeks of twice-weekly massage and found evidence of a cumulative reduction in urinary cortisol.

Catecholamines

“Epinephrine (adrenaline) is produced mainly from the adrenal medulla and reflects the subject’s sympathomedullar activity” [activity from this gland]. “Epinephrine output is mainly influenced by mental stress.”

“Norepinephrine (noradrenaline) is considered an indicator of sympathoneuronal [sympathetic nervous system] activity as most of the circulating norepinephrine is released from sympathetic nerve endings. This hormonal defense reaction is aimed at routing energy from organs to muscles for the muscles” and “is more responsive to physical activity” than to mental stress. However, the authors state a decrease in either of these hormones “may indicate a physiological reduction in stress” routing circulation from organs to muscles.

Cardiovascular responses reported in 16 of the studies were blood pressure and heart rate. “Increases in blood pressure, respiration and heart rate are all physiological manifestations of the sympathetic nervous system’s response to stressful events.” There were mixed results in the studies reporting these responses, with the differences including what body parts were massaged, the massage techniques applied, overall health of the study participants, duration of the massage session, and single session versus multiple sessions. No studies reported an increase in blood pressure. Also the effect of massage on heart rate, although not sustainable, seemed to be repeatable as decreases following massage occurred one visit after the next.

Discussion

It was noted by the research team that their review was based on the outlined inclusion criteria. The authors contrasted their review with a meta-analysis completed by Moyer et al. (2004). Results of the two reviews were not consistent. The two reports differed with respect to levels of salivary cortisol and blood pressure; the Moyer et al. (2004) report found no massage sessions that affected salivary cortisol and did find a change for blood pressure. The authors of the current review conclude that the difference in findings reveals more about the current state of massage therapy research than about the clinical effects of massage therapy on stress measures. Overall, “the studies reviewed showed a variety of methodological shortcomings.”

Of significant interest to readers is the authors’ conclusion that, “to date, the research on massage therapy and stress has not progressed to demonstrate efficacy in a trial of sufficient size or methodological rigor to make definitive statements about its efficacy in reducing stress as measured by physiological variables in any particular patient population.” It is unfortunate that the evidence does not support making strong conclusions about the impact of massage therapy on physiological stress indicators. It is also unclear why there is no mention of heart rate and blood pressure in the key words listed as search criteria in the current review, even though these non-hormonal markers of stress were included in the review. This may lead to difficulty in having this review come up in other literature searches.

The authors identify opportunities for future studies to examine the effectiveness of massage therapy. Based on the diversity among the studies in the current review, the authors emphasized the need for research that employs methodological rigor including large sample sizes, detailed and reproducible treatment protocols, and reporting of clinical and statistical significance.

The Massage Therapy Foundation continues to support and promote research as seen in this month’s review. The Foundation is currently accepting scientific submissions for our 2016 International Massage Therapy Research Conference (IMTRC) that will be held in Seattle, Washington, May 12-15.

References

  1. Moraska et al. (2008). Physiological adjustments to stress following massage therapy: A review of the literature. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 7(4), 409–418.
  2. Moyer, C. A., Rounds, J., Hannum, J., W. (2004). A meta-analysis of massage therapy research. Psychological Bulletin 130(1), 3-18.

 

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Massage for Elderly Clients

While massage methods are not qualitatively different for a younger person than for someone over age 70, there are some important considerations to keep in mind. For example, an elderly person has less muscle tissue than a younger individual. Muscle is replaced by fat and more connective tissue as a person ages. The connective tissue is not as flexible as that of a younger person; bones are thinner and more easily broken, and skin is thinner and more easily bruised, all factors requiring adjustments in positioning, pressure, and massage strokes when treating an elderly client with osteoarthritis.

 

Approaching the elderly client with compassion and caring will go a long way toward creating a successful practice with that client base. Elderly individuals may be depressed, a side effect of medications, or the result of chemical imbalances or situational factors. Spending time talking to an elderly client can, in some cases, significantly ease some of the social isolation elderly individuals may feel after the death of spouses, friends, and loved ones. Massage for the elderly can be effective in easing loneliness and depression caused by situational factors, and can lessen dependence on certain medications.

Diminished cognitive function may also be present in an elderly client, in the case, for example, of Alzheimer’s disease or other complications. Massage may decrease the tendency toward wandering and anxiety in those with Alzheimer’s, but consent from a relative is necessary if the individual is unable to consent to treatment.

Extending your massage practice to the elderly is a mutually beneficial way to grow your practice.  Your local care facility may allow you have a chair massage day. Do you have a practice that serves the elderly?  Share your experiences in the comments below.

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Massage Therapy – Sleeping Easy Tonight

There’s nothing that can replace a good night’s sleep. For healthy function and cognitive ability, a good night’s sleep in imperative. Around 1milion people in the Uk do not receive the restorative sleep they need. At one time or another these people experience sleep issues that can lead to dips in work performance, foggy time with the family, weight gain and even substance abuse.

Fatigue and problems with concentration are usually the first to manifest. This affects health and mood, as well as your overall well-being. Treating insomnia has long been done with sleep aids and drugs, but new research shows that you may be able to try a more natural option: Massage Therapy.

Who Can Benefit From Massage Therapy for Sleep Disorders
If you are one of those fifty to seventy million Americans that find themself suffering from chronic insomnia, Massage Therapy may be your answer. People who sleep less than eight hours per day experience what is known as sleep debt something that cannot be made up for by sleeping in a little on the weekend. A full eight hours every night is important to keep your health optimal.

In addition to good nutrition and exercise, stress related insomnia can be alleviated with massage. Other conditions that contribute to poor sleep may benefit from Massage Therapy include headaches, anxiety, digestive disorders, nerve pain, fibromyalgia, spots injuries and soft tissue sprains to name a few.
Massage Therapy is not just a luxury and can reduces the stress hormone cortisol, which is constantly telling the body it’s time to wake up. At the same time, massage increases the neuro-hormone serotonin. This feel-good hormone is the precursor to melatonin, which is the brain’s cue to quiet down and prepare for sleep. The more serotonin that is released in massage, the easier and quicker you can drift off into sleep at night. Additionally, massage increases delta brain waves, which are linked to deep sleep. Not only will you fall asleep quickly, but massage will help you stay that way.
Regular massage truly elevates your everyday life, helping you sleep better, and in turn be a better you.

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