Health Benefits

I’ve noticed an increase of articles on the web regarding the health benefits of massage. Since massage has been around for hundreds of years, it makes me wonder why all of a sudden there is all this scientific research.

Part of it, I think, is that people are more skeptical these days, at least in certain areas. They will believe any half-baked diet plan that promises instant weight loss without any sacrifice or effort involved, but are skeptical of the testimonials of dozens of people who tell them that massage or essential oils helped them in any real way. I wonder why.

Just yesterday, one of my Facebook friends posted a request for recommendations for a good colon cleanse because he’s been having some intestinal issues. I happen to know that he doesn’t like vegetables and refuses to eat them. Well, Duh! All the colon cleanses in the world aren’t going to help you if you don’t eat right. So I gave him a lecture on proper nutrition and how being an adult means eating things that are good for you because it’s the right and mature thing to do. The immature person wants an instant solution to his immediate problem that doesn’t require any lifestyle changes.

This is why I abhor colon cleanses. I keep telling people that your body will cleanse itself if you treat it properly. A so-called “cleanse” is nothing more than a fast combined with some kind of natural laxative that flushes you out and makes you feel like “Wow! I’m all clean now! I can go back to eating garbage!” If you think it’s some kind of permanent¬†prevention for colon cancer or diabetes or some other dread disease, you’re kidding yourself.

But nobody wants to hear that they have to put some effort into disease prevention. Nobody wants to give up ice cream and candy and french fries. Nobody wants to control their calories or get up off the couch and exercise. It’s much easier to swallow a pill or go on a 3-day cleanse and then forget about it.

Sorry about the rant, but this sort of thing drives me crazy because people actually believe that this makes sense. They believe whatever somebody tells them with an enthusiastic voice that this is the EASY way, and they will pay whatever price is asked.

Meanwhile, things that actually work get pushed to the back burner and are largely ignored. Things like massage. Massage therapists have known for hundreds of years that massage “somehow” improves health. In recent decades. As we learn more and understand the physiology of the body, we know that massage supports the immune system and improves circulation. Relaxation and stress reduction are key elements in reducing blood pressure and reducing the risk of heart attacks and increasing longevity and general health. My clients who come in on a regular basis don’t get as sick nearly as often as their counterparts, and when they do get sick, they heal faster. They know because they have made it part of their lives.

Still, the skeptics refuses to believe. They want “scientific proof.” So in recent years, there have been numerous scientific studies performed to assess the benefits of massage. And science has shown that (are you ready for this?) massage reduces pain, increases circulation, supports the immune system, reduces blood pressure, stress, anxiety, health risks! Gasp! You mean it’s true? How extraordinary!

Excuse me while I roll my eyes.


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