_Brush aside any thoughts that massage is only a luxury splurge that has no real health benefits. To the contrary, hands-on healing helps you unwind, lowers blood pressure, promotes muscle relaxation and boosts your immune system. During a massage session, massage therapists use their hands and fingers to press and manipulate your skin, tendons, ligaments and muscles. The strokes gently move your blood, oxygen and lymph to various tissues and organs in a way that normally doesn't happen in the bodies of most people. As a result, the person who is receiving the massage experiences a level of physical and mental renewal that is hard to surpass.
Hidden Health Benefits of Human Touch
Today, numerous well respected studies indicate that massage therapy doesn't only feel good, it also may be good for you. Take a look at the health benefits below and discover the power of human touch:
Mark Rapaport, M.D., and his colleagues from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center followed 53 healthy adults who were divided into two groups: The participants received either 45 minutes of Swedish massage or the same amount of time of light touch massage, which is much milder and served mainly as a comparison to the more vigorous Swedish massage. After examining their blood samples, the scientists found that people in the Swedish massage group experienced a decrease in cortisol and a significant increase in lymphocytes, cells that keep our immune system strong.
"More research is ahead of us but it appears that a single massage may deliver a measurable benefit," Rapaport said in a news release.
Massage is far more potent therapy than most people realize. In fact, it can (and should) replace analgesics as a treatment for tension headaches. As it turns out, it takes only a 30-minute massage on cervical trigger points to boost autonomic nervous system regulation and alleviate the symptoms. Patients also report an improvement in their psychological and physiological state, which goes hand in hand with the reduction in stress and anxiety associated with such a disturbing condition.
Stress and lack of rest have devastating effects on our health, fitness and beauty. Don't be afraid to find yourself a good massage therapist and get some healing on a regular basis. When you're taking care of your skin and what's beneath it, you are taking care of your whole world.
Learn more: www.naturalnews.com
_There are many essential oils extracted from plants, trees and flowers that contain powerful anti-inflammatory, analgesic and detoxifying properties. These can bring pain relief to the muscle spasms and inflammation which result from sports injuries. Joint and muscle pain and menstrual pains can also be relieved with the healing properties of essential oils.
Generally, essential oils are too concentrated to use directly on the skin. Use 10 - 12 drops essential oil of choice blended with a carrier oil such as grapeseed, jojoba, sweet almond or coconut oil. These vegetable oils have the advantage of being excellent natural skin moisturizers when massaged into the skin. Add diluted blends to bath water or massage affected areas. A compress for pain relief may be used by soaking a piece of cloth in a basin of warm water along with essential oils of choice.
According to Shellie Enteen, Aromatherapist of 20 years standing, some of the best essential oils with analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties include chamomile, sweet marjoram, lavender, eucalyptus, peppermint, rosemary and thyme. Oils which have a therapeutic, warming effect for massage or in a bath include juniper, birch and black pepper.
Muscle ache relief blend: Combine 5 drops lavender, 4 drops marjoram and 3 drops rosemary with 30ml carrier oil and use for massage or in a bath.
Coriander muscle rub for pain relief: Blend 4 drops coriander, 4 drops juniper and 4 drops black pepper oil to 4 teaspoons grapeseed oil. Massage into tired, aching muscles.
PMS cramp rub: Blend 5 drops clary sage, 5 drops geranium and 5 drops chamomile oil - massage affected area, rubbing in a clockwise direction.
Jasmine massage for menstrual cramp: It takes large quantities of jasmine flowers to produce a small amount of expensive jasmine essential oil. However, only a few drops are needed to produce a pleasing, soothing effect. Blend 4 drops jasmine, 4 drops clary sage and 2 drops lavender with 5 teaspoons sweet almond oil. Massage in a stroking motion over the abdomen, up and around hips and around to the small of the back.
Cardamom massage oil for stomach cramps: Cardamom essential oil is distilled from the seeds and has a warm, spicy aroma and a warming quality. Add 2 drops cardamom, 2 drops basil and 3 drops marjoram to 2 teaspoons vegetable carrier oil of choice. Massage in a clockwise direction over the stomach and abdomen.
Rub for painful, tight chest: Add 3 drops niaouli, 2 drops hyssop and 2 drops myrrh to 3 teaspoons vegetable oil and rub into the chest.
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Healing Remedies, C. Norman Shealy, Published by Harper Collins, 2002 edition, pages 156 - 158
Dischem Magazine South Africa, Autumn 2011 edition, pages 76,77
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