Archive for tag: massage benefits

AMTA Lists 25 Reasons to Get a Massage

Massage .smallThe American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) has put together a list of 25 evidence-based ways that massage therapy can improve health and wellness and relieve symptoms of common health conditions.

Each item on the list below is linked to an AMTA article that in turn links to research behind the benefit:

1. Relieve stress

2. Boost immunity

3. Reduce anxiety

4. Manage low-back pain

5. Help fibromyalgia pain

6. Reduce muscle tension

7. Enhance exercise performance

8. Relieve tension headaches

9. Sleep better

10. Ease symptoms of depression

11. Improve cardiovascular health

12. Reduce pain of osteoarthritis

13. Decrease stress in cancer patients

14. Improve balance in older adults

15. Decrease rheumatoid arthritis pain

16. Temper effects of dementia

17. Promote relaxation

18. Lower blood pressure

19. Decrease symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

20. Help chronic neck pain

21. Lower joint replacement pain

22. Increase range of motion

23. Decrease migraine frequency

24. Improve quality of life in hospice care

25. Reduce chemotherapy-related nausea

The AMTA is also offering the list as a downloadable flyer that massage therapists can use in their practice, or that massage enthusiasts can give to friends to encourage them to get a massage.

If you've never received a professional massage, National University of Health Sciences offers affordable massage therapy at its on-campus integrative medical clinic - the NUHS Whole Health Center-Lombard. 

U.S. News and World Report Hails Massage as Medicine

National University faculty member, Dr. Jerrilyn Cambron was quoted in a recent U.S. News and World Report article on massage therapy, titled "Massage as Medicine." Dr. Cambron is a noted expert on massage therapy research, and is the president of the Massage Therapy Foundation, a leading massage research organization.

Massage As Medicine

The article highlights that the American Hospital Association recently surveyed 1,007 hospitals about their use of complementary and alternative medicine therapies. More than 80 percent said they offered massage therapy. Upwards of 70 percent said they used massage for pain management and relief.

The growing use of massage therapy in hospitals and integrative medical settings is why NUHS provides its massage students with internship experience in an on-campus integrative medical clinic.  NUHS massage therapy graduates are prepared to successfully bring their skills into a medical environment.

In addition, massage therapy students at NUHS enjoy the prestige of studying at a university boasting many noted leaders in the massage therapy profession, such as Dr. Cambron.

Massage Can Help Those with SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder)

Do you or someone you know get the wintertime "blues"? Less sunlight in the winter, coupled with more time indoors, can trigger what is known as "Seasonal Affective Disorder" in many people. SAD can prove to be a serious form of depression and reduce the quality of life for those with the disorder.

Sad _250wOne of the many therapies that can help SAD is massage.  A recent article from the American Massage Therapy Association catalogs several proven ways in which massage therapy can counteract physiological mood factors that often accompany SAD. According to the AMTA, massage can:

  • Reduce anxiety and depression with a course of care providing benefits similar in magnitude to those of psychotherapy.
  • Increase neurotransmitters associated with lowering anxiety and decrease hormones associated with increasing anxiety.
  • Significantly decrease heart rate, systolic blood pressure, and diastolic blood pressure.
  • Improve mental health by reducing depression in individuals with HIV, lessen anxiety in cancer patients, reduce anxiety and depression in military veterans and lower work-related stress for nurses.

Treating those with SAD is one of the many ways that massage therapists can offer real help to their clients as part of an integrative medical team. Want to learn more about massage therapy in an integrative medical setting? Just visit our website!

And if winter has you down, why not schedule a massage at the NUHS Whole Health Center in Lombard? You can also work with our chiropractic, naturopathic or oriental medicine clinicians to find additional treatments to help reduce the symptoms of SAD.

Massage Can Help Those with Osteoarthritis of the Knee

2014-01-15_knee _smIn two separate studies, massage therapy shows promise in reducing pain and increasing the range of motion for those with osteoarthritis of the knee.

One study had a group of patients attend supervised self-massage sessions twice a week, and taught them a regimen of self-massage techniques to use at home. At the end of the study, researchers found an overall improvement in stiffness, function and pain for the intervention group, while a control group that did not participate in the self-massage remained the same.

In a second study, patients receiving regular weekly or bi-weekly massage showed reduced pain and stiffness and increased functionality.

Here is a summary of both studies prepared by the American Massage Therapy Association.

It's great to know that massage therapy may have the potential to reduce reliance on prescription and over-the-counter pain medication in osteoarthritis of the knee. 

Massage Reduces Inflammation & Promotes Mitochondria Growth

Most athletes can testify to the pain-relieving, recovery-promoting effects of massage. Now there's a scientific basis that supports booking a session with a massage therapist: On the cellular level massage reduces inflammation and promotes the growth of new mitochondria in skeletal muscle. So says new research from the Buck Institute on Aging and McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. You can read more about this study and watch a video from one of the researchers explaining how they made the discovery.


The study involved the genetic analysis of muscle biopsies taken from the quadriceps of eleven young males after they had exercised to exhaustion on a stationary bicycle. One of their legs was randomly chosen to be massaged. Biopsies were taken from both legs prior to the exercise, immediately after 10 minutes of massage treatment and after a 2.5 hour period of recovery.

Buck Institute faculty Simon Melov, PhD, was responsible for the genetic analysis of the tissue samples. "Our research showed that massage dampened the expression of inflammatory cytokines in the muscle cells and promoted biogenesis of mitochondria, which are the energy-producing units in the cells," said Melov. He added that the pain reduction associated with massage may involve the same mechanism as those targeted by conventional anti-inflammatory drugs. "There's general agreement that massage feels good, now we have a scientific basis for the experience," said Melov.