Benefits of Massage

There are many benefits of massage therapy, including:

• Increased circulation of blood and lymph fluids

• Improved muscle efficiency

• Calming the nervous system

How these benefits are achieved result from the ability of the body to move from sympathetic to parasympathetic nervous system modes. The term sympathetic refers to the body’s responses to protect itself from perceived harm. The body may enter “fight,” “flight,” “freeze,” “feign,” or “fawn” responses depending upon the person’s mental constitution.

A massage therapist can facilitate a healing space within the treatment room to allow a body to exit the sympathetic mode and enter a parasympathetic mode which calms the nervous system, restoring ease and balance to the mind and body.

Massage for High-Risk Pregnancy

The benefits of prenatal massage are proven. For example, in a 1999 study published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynecology, prenatal massage decreased anxiety and stress hormones, resulting in fewer obstetric and postnatal complications, including lower pre-maturity rates. Also, the Journal of Clinical Medicine published a review of randomized controlled trials in 2021 whereby the authors concluded:

“Massages during pregnancy have been shown to reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety, attenuate leg and back pain, reduce cortisol levels, and show positive effects on immune function. Massage treatments show more positive effects than other relaxation techniques like progressive muscle relaxation. Effects on prenatal depression are comparable to psychotherapy and antidepressants.”

Prenatal care for women with a high-risk pregnancy typically involves extensive testing, more frequent prenatal visits, medications, and bed rest. Unfortunately, the stress of worrying about one’s health or the fetus’s viability only magnifies whatever problem exists. In addition, the reason a woman is in a high-risk category typically adds additional challenges to the expectant mother’s body. Thus, massage therapy can be even more therapeutic for high-risk pregnancies.

Seven reasons massage helps during pregnancy include:

Massage Therapy to Reduce Aggression

Depending on the cause, the degree of aggression, the person’s age, resources, and healthcare coverage, there are many approaches for dealing with aggressive behavior. However, a convincing body of evidence demonstrates that massage therapy sessions can reduce aggression in children.

Considering the popularity of violent video games, violent TV shows, and other risk factors, more children than ever could benefit from regularly applied massage therapy.

Many massage manuals further delineate types of sciatica. There are three main types of sciatica conditions generally presented in common massage manuals:

#1: True Sciatica features impingement of Sciatic nerve at Lumbar-Sacral plexus (L4 to S1 roots).

#2: Piriformis Syndrome features impingement of Sciatic nerve either between Piriformis & Superior Gemellus muscles or within the Piriformis fibers itself.

#3: Pseudo-Sciatica features impingement of Sciatic nerve other than prior two locations, usually between Gluteus Maximus & Gluteus Medius muscles.