The benefits of massage are extensive, “says Dr Nadine de Freitas, executive director of the SA Spa Association. “It improves health through the manipulation of the soft tissue and has a therapeutic effect on the muscular, nervous, circulatory and lymphatic (immune) systems. “Below, the latest reasons to get rubbed the right way.
- BACK TO BASICS. Back pain may respond more effectively to massage than to medication or physical therapy – and the results can last as long as six months – according to a study in the Annals of Internal Medicine. A Relaxation rub down was found to be as helpful as the structural type, which focuses on specific muscles, says lead author Daniel Cherkin of the Group Health Research Institute in Seattle
- HEADS-UP. Don’t be so quick to pop a pill for that throbbing noggin. Researchers have recently discovered that working key trigger points in the neck for the 30 minutes can relieve a tension headache.
- COLD SUPPRESSANT. Think of your massage therapist as another weapon in your wellness arsenal. A study in Alternative and Complimentary Medicine found that massage may help reduce levels of cortisol, a stress hormone that can weaken your immune systems and leave you vulnerable to colds and flu.