Massage is one of the most overlooked, yet accessible supportive measures you can seek for chronic pain. Dr. Ronald Melzack, a pioneer of modern pain research, introduces his own discussion of massage and pain with these words:
“Almost all societies [use] mechanical pressure…to relieve pain…There is not one of us who does not…stretch an aching back or rub an area that hurts. These are our own, almost instinctive, maneuvers which have developed into various anti-pain procedures.”
Much of the pain people experience today is caused from our increasingly technological and sedentary lifestyles. The human body was built to move; not to sit behind a desk 40 hours a week, spend another 7 – 10 hours sitting behind the wheel of a car, and another 7 – 10 hours sitting in front of a television. Technology and lack of time encourage repetitive movements often resulting in Repetitive Stress Injuries such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, and Tennis Elbow. Inactivity often results in restricted range of motion, tightened muscles and loss of proper posture.
Flexibility allows us to maintain healthy muscle tone, move freely, maintain good posture, and reduces stress in the body, all of which together reduce pain and help to fight the aging process.
Massage as a healing tool has been around for thousands of years. Touching is a natural human reaction to pain and stress, and for conveying compassion and support. Healers throughout time and throughout the world have instinctually and independently developed a wide range of therapeutic techniques using touch. Many are still in use today, and with good reason.
We now have scientific proof of the benefits of massage - benefits ranging from treating chronic diseases and injuries to alleviating the growing tensions of our modern lifestyles. Having a massage does more than just relax your body and mind - there are specific physiological and psychological changes which occur. And when massage is utilized as a frequent, preventative, therapy and not as an occasional treat, not only feels good, but can cure what ails you.
By producing a meditative state or heightened awareness of living in the present moment, massage provides emotional and spiritual balance, bringing with it true relaxation and peace. Massage is a perfect prescription for good health, massage provides an integration of body and mind.