Massage, well known for its stress relieving qualities as well as its effects on muscle soreness and stiffness, has many other attributes as well. Massage provides a wide array of health benefits that impact us on emotional, psychological and physical levels. Below is a list of those attributes verified by research:

  1. Circulation
    • increases number of red blood cells
    • assists in the elimination of waste products
    • reduces edema
    • helps with detoxification

  2. Immune System
    • increases immune system response by increasing cytotoxic capacity (natural killer cell activity)
    • increases number of white blood cells
    • can speed healing after injury and help with total body
    • recovery from disease

  3. Increases Energy

  4. Stimulates Nerves

  5. Releases Endorphins (Natural Pain Killers)
    • helps with depression or anxiety
    • can reduce chronic pain

  6. Blood pressure
    • Reduces heart rate
    • Reduces blood pressure in hypertensive people

  7. Muscles
    • helps with muscle tone by stimulating weak/inactive muscles
    • improves areas of existing strains/fibrosis/spasm
    • relaxes muscles
    • decreases formation of excessive scar tissue
    • enhances athletic performance

  8. Flexibility
    • increases flexibility and can then increase range of motion to joints
    • increases the stretching and loosening of connective tissue

  9. Can improve skin tone/health and nourishment

  10. Helps heal sprains and damage to ligaments
    (structures that connect bones)

  11. Stuctural
    • stabilizes the spine and helps keep chiropractic adjustments
    • improves posture

  12. Reduces tension and migraine headaches and the effects of eye strain

  13. Lachrymae by Lord Frederic Leighton (exhibited 1895) Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYCCan improve digestion

  14. Can increase concentration, alertness and performance in office workers

  15. Promotes deeper, easier breathing

  16. Helps promote better sleep

  17. Additional emotional/mental benefits
    • (see 5 and 14 above)
    • increased capacity for calm thinking and creativity
    • enhanced body awareness
    • peace of mind/ wellbeing
    • helps with the ability to handle stress and deal with difficult situations
    • provides nurturing touch to those who do not receive sufficient touch in daily life

In addition to these attributes, studies have shown that massage has merit in helping a number of specific problems.

See links to medical studies on the benefits of massage;