Asian massage therapy is one of the most ancient healing arts still in use today. Chinese records document it’s use over 3,000 years ago. The Egyptians, Hindu’s and Persians all used healing massage as a treatment for a variety of ailments. The Greek physician Hippocrates, often referred to as the father of medicine, wrote papers recommending using friction and rubbing to help with circulatory and joint problems nearly 2,500 years ago.
Today we know the benefits of modern Asian massage therapy to be far reaching and varied. Healing massage is a widely accepted part of many rehabilitation programs, and has also been shown to benefits other areas, such as:
• Easing or healing lower back pain
• Reducing arthritis pain
• Aiding recovery from fatigue, both mental and physical
• Reducing high blood pressure through aiding circulation
• Assisting with infertility problems
• Reducing depression and stress.
The general increase in self esteem and happiness that regular massages are know to lead to are largely related to massages greatest claim – it’s ability to reduce or eliminate stress. Doctors estimate that over 90% of disease can be either directly caused by stress, or dramatically increased by stress. Furthermore, we age both internally and externally at a far higher rate when we are exposed to high stress levels. Despite this we see people turn to drugs to deal with minor illnesses, rather than take steps to reduce a stressful environment.
The most recommended method of dealing with stress is usually to remove the cause of the stress from our lives. However when the cause of stress is our job or family this is difficult or not impossible to do without introducing new forms of stress, such as financial problems, or guilt complexes.
Relaxing Asian Massage is a proven stress reliever, and it’s benefits cannot be discounted. The healing power of massage definitely results in a reduction in anxiety levels. The connection between stress and anxiety usually starts a spiral, as anxiety builds, stress escalates, and as a result of the higher stress state it is more likely we will become anxious about new situations. A healing massage reduces stress, which puts us in a downward anxiety spiral, making us less likely to get stressed about situations. As a result the benefits of a massage in our changed outlook can last for days or weeks after the massage itself.
Lowered stress and anxiety levels will usually directly translate into better sleep quality. Estimates say as many of 80% of us do not experience 5 or more ‘good sleeps’ per week. A good sleep translates into many direct benefits, not least of which are higher energy levels and increased concentration and productivity.
The endorphins release when receiving a healing massage is part of a chemical change which has been shown to have profound effects on our body in many of the following ways:
• Sufferers of Arthritis report fewer aches and pains, as well as less stiffness in joints.
• Asthmatics, particularly children show enhanced pulmonary function, and higher ’peak flow meter’ scores.
• Pain, itching, discomfort and anxiety is reduced in severe burn victims.
• Patients with high blood pressure experience a lowering of their blood pressure.
• Premature babies will experience better and healthier weight gain.
• Premenstrual cramping and water retention is improved.
As the medical community becomes more accepting of the obvious implications of the healing touch, Asian massage therapy is becoming more and more prominent in care of the elderly and very young. Some hospitals are employing on site physiotherapists and even health spas in recognition of the healing benefits of massage and relaxation.
One of the most common objections to healing Asian massage therapy is that it is a self indulgent pampering treat. This may well be true, but it doesn’t change the many positive benefits outlined above. If I came to you and offered you a miracle drug that reduced stress, guaranteed a better nights sleep, improved concerntration, energy and productivity, enhanced recovery from many medical conditions and greatly enhanced immunity, would you not take it on the basis that it tasted sweet?
The other big objection to regular healing massage is the cost of seeing a professional practitioner. This is a more legitimate complaint, with regular visits putting a sizeable dent in the bank account. However, the concept of amateur masseurs trading massage is becoming more and more popular, and it has become relatively easy to find a massage partner in your local area to trade massage with. It’s highly recommended that you give yourself a treat and see a professional for a massage, but once you know how it works and feel comfortable doing so, have a look in your local area for an Asian massage service you can work with regularly, and experience all the benefits that massage is know to offer.