Welcome to this month’s article! Before & After... We’ve all seen ads for cosmetic surgery, showing how much better someone looks after their procedure.
Think of your personal “before & after” experience with massage—easing onto the table with weeks’ worth of tension coursing through your body, then that great sense of well-being and calm after your massage. What could be better?
One of the best benefits of massage is that it can be such a complete treatment. Head to toe, from your skin down to your core, massage is the greatest way to revitalize and support your overall health—both physically and mentally.
The accompanying articles in each month’s issue validate the need for regular massage and sometime show the consequences we all face if we put off taking care of ourselves.
Keep making massage a healthy priority in your life!
Massage by the Numbers
Results from the latest survey by the American Massage Therapy Association
Massage Therapy for Regular Health Maintenance
For the second year in a row, 75 percent of individuals surveyed claim their primary reason for receiving a massage in the previous 12 months was medical (43 percent) and stress (32 percent) related, according to the 17th annual consumer survey sponsored by the American Massage Therapy Association® (AMTA®). Medical reasons include pain relief, soreness, stiffness or spasms, injury recovery, migraines, prevention, and general well-being.
88 percent of individuals view massage as beneficial to overall health and wellness.
88 percent of consumers surveyed believe that massage can be effective in reducing pain; with 24 percent of respondents stating they’ve used massage therapy for pain relief.
Americans’ Reasons for Getting Massages Are Changing
Instead of seeking massage therapy solely for relaxation and pampering purposes, individuals clearly are turning to massage therapy to assist with medical conditions.
56 percent of people have received a massage for one or more of the following reasons: soreness, stiffness or spasms, to relieve or manage stress, for prevention or to improve quality of life, injury recovery or rehabilitation, to keep fit or healthy/maintain wellness, or to control headaches or migraines. This compares to 50 percent of respondents in the 2011 study.
39 percent of respondents indicated that medical benefits would be their primary motivation for having a massage. A lower number of respondents said relaxation/stress reduction or pampering would be their motivation to receive a massage; 31 percent and 14 percent, respectively.
Health Care Providers Recommending Massage as a Viable Form of Treatment
Health care providers and doctors are more commonly viewing massage therapy as a legitimate option to address health concerns.
Of consumers who discussed massage therapy with their doctors:
14 percent were referred to a massage therapist by their doctor
48 percent of respondents indicated that they were encouraged by their doctor to receive a massage.
13 percent were told by their doctor that a massage might benefit them.
Steps to Take Now to Ward off Dementia
Five health behaviors—regular exercise, not smoking, maintaining a low body weight, eating a healthy diet and refraining from excessive alcohol intake—are integral to staying healthy in body and mind.
A new research study showed people who consistently followed four or five of these behaviors experienced a 60 percent decline in dementia and cognitive decline, with exercise being the strongest mitigating factor. They also experienced 70 percent fewer instances of diabetes, heart disease and stroke, compared with people who followed none.
"We have known for some time that what is good for your heart is also good for your head, and this study provides more evidence to show that healthy living could significantly reduce the chances of developing dementia," said Doug Brown, Ph.D., director of research and development at the Alzheimer's Society in London, England.
The research was conducted by investigators at Cardiff University's School of Medicine in Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom.
Antacids’ hidden danger
People who take antacids for heartburn should beware: Prolonged use increases the likelihood of vitamin B-12 deficiency, which can contribute to health problems including depression, nerve damage, and dementia, NPR.com reports. An examination of the records of 26,000 patients at Kaiser Permanente clinics between 1997 and 2011 found that those who took a class of drugs known as proton pump inhibitors—sold over the counter as Prilosec, Prevacid, and Nexium—for two years or more had a 65 percent higher than normal risk of B-12 deficiency. Those who took the acid-inhibiting drugs called histamine-2 receptor antagonists, contained in brands such as Pepcid and Zantac, also experienced an increased but more modest risk. Unlike chewable tablets that neutralize stomach acids, the medications examined in the study shut down cells in the stomach responsible for producing acid. Those same cells also make a protein that helps with vitamin B-12 absorption. “It’s not that people should stop the medication,” says Kaiser gastroenterologist Douglas Corley. “They should check with their physician to be screened.” Vitamin deficiencies can often be effectively treated with vitamin supplements.
— The WEEK Vol 13 Iss 649
“It’s not the load that breaks you down;
it’s the way you carry it.”
— Lena Horne
The content of this article is not designed
to replace professional medical advice. If you’re ill, consult a physician.
© 2014 Massage Marketing. Used with permission; all rights reserved.