According the American Massage Therapy Association, around half of all adult Americans receive at least one therapeutic massage every year. This is a very significant number—but it’s actually very low compared to the number of Americans who want to give therapeutic massage a try. So why don’t more people seek the services a qualified massage therapist?
Everybody has their own reasons. Some may not feel comfortable allowing someone else to perform therapeutic massage on them, even if it’s a highly trained and skilled individual. Others may be concerned about the price of massage therapy, and consider it an unnecessary indulgence.
But perhaps the main reason why more people don’t seek massage therapy every year is a lack of knowledge and understanding about the many documented health benefits of massage therapy. Massage can be very pleasurable experience, and it has developed a reputation for being something that people do on vacation, or to celebrate a big milestone. But there is a reason why so many health professionals around the world hold massage therapy in high regard. The health benefits are real, and the more we understand them, the more we begin to see massage therapy in a different light.
So what are these documented health benefits?
1. Relieves postural stress
The lower back is particularly susceptible to all that office work and sitting. Treatment from a qualified massage therapist can help counteract the effects of too much sitting by taking the stiffness and soreness out of major muscle groups.
2. Improves circulation and treats pain
Therapeutic massage is known to boost the circulatory system, treat pain, and reduce inflammation throughout the body. Trained therapists know how to delivery these benefits to maximum effect.
3. Helps rid the muscular system of toxins
The movements of a skilled therapist not only feel great—they also help flush toxins from the muscle tissue. That’s why it’s usually recommended to drink plenty of water after a massage. This helps the body flush toxins that were released during a therapy session.
4. Reduces anxiety and promotes relaxation
Numerous academic studies have credited therapeutic massage with improving both the quality and duration of sleep in significant numbers of patients. This could be related to the increased feelings of relaxation and wellbeing associated with a good therapeutic massage.
Finding the best therapist in your area
The one thing that makes massage therapy difficult is that there are so many people offering massage therapy services across the country. Normally this would be a good thing—but the reality is, not everyone you encounter really has the training and experience to deliver true therapeutic massage. For instance, if you search for massage therapy on Craigslist or Facebook, you’ll probably find hundreds of so-called professionals who are willing to work for lower prices. But many of these people have not undergone any training at all. This is not good for you as a patient or for the reputation of massage therapy in general.
Even therapists who have been educated and properly licensed may not be highly experienced. In order to really get the full benefit of therapeutic massage, your best bet is to seek a therapist with all of the proper licensing and certification, In addition to years of experience and the solid online reputation backed by positive reviews. That’s how you know you’ll be getting the full health benefits of this amazing practice.