Massage offers real health benefits. Although I've heard that some people are not getting massage because of our “recession”, the fact is that I have re-built my business this past year despite that. Recessions are a time of increased anxiety and fear for many people. Some have lost jobs, others have reduced income due to stock market declines. And many still come for massage because it helps them to deal with the stresses of their lives, be more productive at work, feel stronger and more flexible and perhaps less likely to be let go from their job.

Some of the benefits of massage, (including some that may surprise you) are listed below. Along with promoting relaxation and improving your sense of well-being, resulting in a better nights' sleep, getting a massage has been shown to:

1.Relieve pain (from migraines, labor, fibromyalgia and even cancer)
2.Boost your level of alertness and attention.
3.Increase your body's natural killer cells, which help your immune system to defend against illness.
4.Reduce the effects of stress, anxiety and depression and ease insomnia
5.Decrease symptoms of PMS

Massage is one of the oldest and simplest forms of medical care used to ease pain and anxiety, and massages have profound health benefits. If you've never had a professional massage before, it will likely only take you one visit to understand why they're becoming so popular: they feel great! This is because massage affects the nervous system through nerve endings in the skin, stimulating the release of endorphins, the body's natural 'feel good' chemicals. Endorphins help induce relaxation and a sense of well-being, relieve pain and reduce levels of stress chemicals such as cortisol and noradrenaline -- reversing the damaging effects of stress by slowing heart rate, respiration and metabolism and lowering raised blood pressure.

Massage also stimulates blood circulation to improve the supply of oxygen and nutrients to body tissues and helps the lymphatic system to flush away waste products. It eases tense and knotted muscles and stiff joints, improving mobility and flexibility.
Massage is said to increase activity of the vagus nerve, one of 10 cranial nerves, that affects the secretion of food absorption hormones, heart rate and respiration. It has proven to be an effective therapy for a variety of health conditions, where stress is considered to be a causative factor.

In addition to the benefits listed above, massage can:

-Stimulate the lymph system, the body's natural defense, against toxic invaders.
-Relax and soften injured and overused muscles, reducing pain, spasms and cramping.
-Provide arthritis relief by increasing joint flexibility.
-Reduce recovery time for strenuous workouts and eliminate subsequent pains for the athlete at any level.
-Reduce post-surgery adhesions and edema and reduce and realign scar tissue after healing has occurred.

If those reasons are not enough for you, just come see me for an hour and I’ll convince you of the benefits! Try it. You'll like it.

Author's Bio: 

Pam Hauser, RN, LMBT, began her professional life as a Registered Nurse, first graduating from a Diploma program in 1976, then completing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) in 1982. She spent much of her nursing career in hospitals, and most of that time in critical care units. She has been a Head Nurse, a Nursing Supervisor, and completed four and a half years in the US Army Nurse Corps, exiting as a Captain.

In 1997, she changed gears and went to the Academy of Somatic Healing Arts in Atlanta, GA. She began her practice of neuromuscular therapy in January of 1998. Through the years, she has learned many other modalities, with her principle practice having a clinical focus and concentrating on Neuromuscular Therapy, CranioSacral Therapy and Lymphatic Drainage Therapy. Her main goal with a client is to restore balance and functioning while promoting health and well-being. She moved to the mountains near Asheville, NC, in October of 2002, and opened her practice in January of 2003.