30 May Can Human Touch Heal?
Through the ages, the power of human touch has been used in healing and pain relief in cultures around the world. In spite of this, many people still view massage skeptically. Macho men might see it as a touchy-feely approach to healing, while others may be turned off by the exaggerated claims of some massage therapists regarding the miraculous healing power of a massage.
Relationship Between Stress and Pain
That said, it is clear that there is a correlating relationship between stress and pain. Pain certainly causes stress. Stress certainly contributes to pain in many forms from headaches to fatigue to stiff necks and tense muscles. The two often go hand in hand.
One reason massage is considered a secondary approach to healing is because Western cultures to not pay that much attention to stress. Stress is considered a normal aspect of modern life. Even though it contributes to high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and puts people in an early grave – meh. It’s just stress. It’s a part of life. You can’t win. If you get a massage today, the stress will still be there tomorrow.
That’s a funny attitude for a pill-popping culture. If you pop a pill today, the stress will still be there tomorrow, too, and a massage might teach you empirically how bio-feedback can help you to better manage stress.
So you might live a little longer.
No Nonsense List Of What Massage Can Do
Without considering any of the exaggerated claims that haunt the concept of getting a massage, it’s clear that a massage is a great healer when it comes to:
- Stress reduction
- Headache relief
- Relief of muscle cramps
- Muscle pain relief
- Reducing inflammation
- Helping circulation
- Relieving depression
- Relieving pain in neck, lower back, shoulders, legs, arms, hands, and feet
- Pain relief from conditions like peripheral neuralgia
Types of Massage
There are, of course, many styles of massage therapy. Just a few of these are:
- Swedish massage (overall relaxation, great for stress reduction
- Deep tissue massage (good for chronic pain and specific injuries)
- Structural massage (think chiropractics for muscles)
- Trigger point massage – (specific injuries and long-term stress)