Ridding their bodies of stress, relieving muscle pain, and feeling rejuvenated in less than one hour – without calories, exertion, alcohol, or drugs: these are reasons people sign up for massage therapy.
The health and pampering benefits of massage therapy have been scientifically proven. According to PainScience.com, “Basic research has shown that touch is neurologically complex, and has many physiological effects. In 2009, Swedish researchers identified specialized nerve fibers that respond only to light stroking of a certain speed.”
Massage researcher and Psychologist Dr. Christopher Moyer adds that massage therapy offers emotional benefits by reducing depression and anxiety. He says that single sessions of massage therapy “significantly reduce ‘state’ anxiety, the momentary emotional experiences of apprehension, tension, and worry in both adults and children. Multiple sessions of massage therapy, performed over a period of days or weeks, significantly reduces” other forms of anxiety.
Additional studies show that massage therapy reduces blood pressure, promotes nighttime sleeping, and reduces lower back pain.
Massage therapists have learned and practiced how to provide these therapeutic benefits though in-depth training programs. Courses at First Institute, a nationally accredited career training facility in Crystal Lake, target anatomy by studying muscle and bone formations. Kinesiology classes detail body movement, while physiology classes pinpoint body parts and their purposes. Students need to pass a national certification exam to earn a massage therapist license.
WedMD reports that almost one quarter of all adult Americans have had at least one massage in a particular year. “Massage has been practiced for thousands of years. You can choose from massage styles with a wide variety of pressures, movements, and techniques. These all involve pressing, rubbing, or manipulating muscles and other soft tissues with hands, fingers, and sometimes forearms, elbows, and feet.”
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