Ask most people why they come to the Art of Massage, and the answer is simple – it just feels so good! Why does it feel good? How does massage help me? Why do we believe that this practice, thousands of years old, promotes healing and wellness, relieves pain and reduces the impact of stress?
These are questions that science is beginning to address.
The Touch Research Institutes, based at the Medical School at the University of Miami, have conducted over 90 studies on the positive effects of massage therapy on many functions and medical conditions in varied age groups. Among the significant research findings are enhanced growth (e.g. in preterm infants), diminished pain (e.g. fibromyalgia), decreased autoimmune problems (e.g., increased pulmonary function in asthma and decreased glucose levels in diabetes), enhanced immune function (e.g., increased natural killer cells in HIV and cancer), and enhanced alertness and performance (e.g., EEG pattern of alertness and better performance on math computations). Many of these effects appear to be mediated by decreased stress hormones.
There is no way to measure nor adequately describe the relaxing effect of a professional therapeutic massage. But we know that over time massage improves circulation, deepens breathing, and even helps reduce depression.
Major league teams and most high-performing college athletic teams employ massage therapists to treat and, even better, to prevent injuries to players.
Pre-game or pre-workout massage helps to stretch and warm muscle tissue to prevent tears and strains. Post-event massage helps move toxic wastes out of muscles and assists in healing torn muscle tissue, thus allowing speedier recovery. Regular maintenance massage helps keep athletes healthy and performing their best – mentally and physically.
Our regular clients who are athletes tell us again and again of improved times in races, longer stretches of injury-free exercise, and of enhanced confidence and a sense of well-being that allows them to perform better and enjoy working out more.
We have helped NBA, NFL, and WNBA stars, local high school and college athletes, and ordinary athletes to do their best and feel their best.
We utilize myofascial release, trigger point therapy, Range of Motion, and active release techniques, among other methods.
Patients with arthritis, whiplash, fibromyalgia, and many chronic pain conditions can benefit from massage. Different conditions require adaptive techniques – your therapist will conduct an intake before your first visit to find out which techniques are best suited to your condition.
Workers who have suffered neck and back injuries and the victims of automobile accidents frequently utilize massage for pain management at the direction of their physician. (In Germany, doctors prescribe massage for back pain more frequently than they prescribe muscle relaxers.) Sciatic pain, stiff neck, and sleep difficulties can also be treated with massage.
Massage is also available and has been effective for people experiencing the pain of depression, anxiety, and related illnesses.
People who live hurried lives or face difficult situations accumulate stress in our bodies. How this stress shows itself varies – for some it’s acid stomach, for others, headaches, for many of us, neck, shoulder, and back pain.
What is clear is that we need to find ways to release stress or it can lead to injury and illness and decrease our enjoyment of life. Skilled massage therapy identifies those areas where stress has taken up residence in our bodies and helps you reduce muscle tension in those areas, as well as the overall level of stress and tension in the body.
Scientists have measured levels of stress hormones in saliva and found significant reduction in people who have received massage. Every day clients tell us that they haven’t felt this good in years.
Women have found relief in our hands from the aches and discomforts associated with pregnancy. Particularly in the third trimester, when lying face down becomes nearly impossible, the pregnancy table which accommodates the woman’s growing body, is a wonderful way to relax and let your body feel like itself again.
A complete intake is conducted and at times a physician’s approval is required before pregnancy massage can begin.