by Sarah Greer, Licensed Massage Therapist

Massage Therapy is a crucial tool in today’s health field. Many people see massage as just a pampering, relaxing treat, but there are some very important health benefits that will come along with a regular massage.

As a licensed massage therapist many people ask me how often they should get massages.  I recommend getting a massage once a week, especially if the person has some chronic issues to work with.  However, if an individual cannot afford to get massage therapy done weekly then I strongly suggest having a 90-minute session at least twice a month.  One of the main benefits of massage therapy is improved circulation. A milky white fluid called lymph carries impurities and waste fluids away from your tissues.  Lymph does not circulate as blood does; its movement depends largely on the squeezing effect of muscle contractions.  Most inactive people fail to stimulate lymph circulation.  On the other hand, the increased waste produced by vigorous activity can outstrip the stimulation caused by that activity.  Massage can help dramatically in either case.  The average healthy person moves about 1 liter of lymph a day.  With just one hour of massage a person moves a whole liter of lymph!In order for the whole body to be healthy, the cells need to be healthy.  The individual cells of the body are dependent on an abundant supply of blood and lymph because these fluids supply nutrients and oxygen and carry away waste and toxins.  It is easy to see why good circulation is so important and why massage can be so beneficial for the entire body due to its effect on circulation alone.Here are some additional benefits of massage therapy:*Increased energy and alertness
*Relieves muscle aches and pains
*Clients receiving massage therapy report a variety of sensations, emotions, feelings, and mental perceptions that are subjective, difficult to measure and unique to every individual
*Loosens scar tissue.  Massage can prevent scarring to some degree by not allowing stagnation of tissue edema following injury
*Massage can stimulate release of endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers, into the brain and nervous system
*Better sleep and deep relaxation. With the relief of tension and stress the client can cope better and cut off chronic tension patterns
*Relieve mental and physical fatigue
*Strengthens the immune system and promotes disease prevention
*Provides healthier, better-nourished skin by removing dry or dead skin and allowing new tissue to form

Sarah M Greer is a Licensed Massage Therapist with an office located inside Christopher’s Herb Shop in Springville, Utah.  She offers massage therapy and teaches yoga and health classes.  Visit Sarah’s website at http://www.massageyogahealth.com.