What exactly are the benefits of receiving massage or bodywork treatments? Useful for all of the conditions listed below and more, massage can:
- Alleviate low-back pain and improve range of motion.
- Ease medication dependence.
- Enhance immunity by stimulating lymph flow—the body’s natural defense system.
- Exercise and stretch weak, tight, or atrophied muscles.
- Help athletes of any level prepare for and recover from strenuous workouts.
- Improve the condition of the body’s largest organ—the skin.
- Increase joint flexibility.
- Lessen depression and anxiety.
- Promote tissue regeneration, reducing scar tissue and stretch marks.
- Pump oxygen and nutrients into tissues and vital organs, improving circulation.
- Reduce postsurgery adhesions and swelling.
- Reduce spasms and cramping.
- Relax and soften injured, tired, and overused muscles.
- Release endorphins—amino acids that work as the body’s natural painkiller.
- Relieve migraine pain.
What do other professionals say about massage?
- A short video demonstrating fire cupping from CBS
- An interview with Dr. Andrew Weil about the benefits of massage.
- Wall Street Journal Article “Don’t Call it Pampering: Massage Wants to be Medicine”
- Bodybuilding.com article about trigger point therapy and headaches.
- Mayo Clinic staff article about the benefits of massage.
Massage or Bodywork, what’s the difference?
Words are a difficult topic to tackle. On one hand they are nothing, just sounds that are produced by vibrations of the vocal cords and manipulation of the wind passing through our mouths and sinus cavities. In a more tangible version, they are characters drawn and organized in such a way to convey an idea, but still just lifeless representations. On the other hand they are incredibly powerful. We have cultural, societal and personal meanings attached to them that shape our minds and our lives out of the words that we use. Ultimately, whether the word ‘massage’ or ‘bodywork’ is used makes absolutely no difference in the work that is performed. Where the issue arises is in the description of the services that are offered.
The word ‘massage’ has several connotations attached to it, some good and some bad. When the word is used it generally raises a vision of spa treatments, relaxation and soft music playing in the background. Some people, from past experiences or personal beliefs, also attach a sexual meaning to the term. These aspects can have a therapeutic value when done appropriately and by a trained practitioner.
At NHE our work is focused on the human body, mind and spirit. We use training and experience in sports medicine and physical therapy to first test the body to find it’s current state and then apply treatments that are individually crafted to move that body to more harmonious function. With these things in mind, we feel that ‘bodywork’ is a more fitting and descriptive term to apply to the treatments that is provided.