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.
One 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:
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.
separate studies, massage therapy shows promise in reducing pain
and increasing the range of motion for those with osteoarthritis of
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
Here is a
summary of both studies prepared by the American Massage
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.
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
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.
Do you know the many benefits of
You may be tempted to trim your wellness budget when economic
times are tough, but consider the health benefits associated with
massage and keep it in your life by using your imagination.
Experts are saying that one big vacation a year is less helpful
to mental and physical health than several shorter ones at regular
intervals. Many Americans are staying home or staying closer to
home and are visiting local attractions. The new term - and you
know there had to be one - is Staycations.
With less expensive mini-vacations, get creative with your use
of massage. Have a day trip that includes a museum visit, lunch and
a massage. Get a couple's massage as a part of your
"staycation." Mothers, daughters and granddaughters can plan
a spa day with massage as the key component creating a bonding
experience and launching a new tradition. Gift certificates for
chair massage are reasonable and a welcome retreat for weary
travelers in airports or shoppers in malls.
Massage is more than a luxury; it's an important part of
self-care that has a positive effect on your work and play.
Investing in your health is one thing that's sure to pay off in
this uncertain world.
• Why Choose NUHS for Massage Therapy?
• Leading Experts Make Better Massage Teachers
• Meet MT Program Graduate Ecktor
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