10 Ways Massage Helps
Enhances growth, especially among infants and premature babies.
There is now a significant body of research showing the power of touch to infants and how essential this is for their growth. Initial studies in rat babies showed a decrease in growth hormones when removed from their mothers. When the babies received simulated licking that mimicked the touch and stroking of the mother, the growth hormone levels rose again.
These also showed less cortisol during the periods of being touched by their mothers as well. This has transferred to the human sphere, where premature babies also show lower levels of cortisol when massaged. Further studies have shown that premature babies put on more weight (up to 45% more) when they receive regular Swedish massage than those who don’t.
These babies also scored better on the Brazelton Neonatal Behavior Assessment Scale and displayed more normal levels of this hormone compared to those babies who did not receive the treatment. There were similar positive results for babies of drug addicted mothers and also those with HIV positive mothers. Some tips on how to do an infant massage are here
Helps with severe pain and reducing pain, not just of the muscles
massage has been shown to reduce anxiety in burns patients about to undergo painful treatments, and also in the perception of patients with post operative pain. Tips on how to reduce anxiety are here.
Fibromyalgia, lower back pain, and juvenile rheumatoid arthritis pain
several studies have supported the idea that these three conditions in particular are assisted by massage therapy in reducing pain. Here are some ideas on how to reduce back pain.
Reduces depression and anxiety
many studies have indicated that massage can show reduction in depression and anxiety symptoms.