Have you ever noticed how you instinctively rub your temples with your
fingers whenever you feel a headache coming on?
This is because massaging an aching part of the body has long been
practiced in ancient societies. In fact, Hippocrates, the Father of
Medicine, defined Medicine in 400 B.C. as “the art of
Massage therapy is enjoying a comeback these days, having been
reintroduced as a form of alternative therapy. For athletes who train
or exercisers who simply need to repair overused muscles,
massage is a must to help them recover.
A study made by
Cornell University, published in 2003 in the British Journal of Sports
Medicine, found that a 20-minute massage
after a session of vigorous exercises helps relieve sore muscles after
What happens is that
when their muscles feel sore the next day and the succeeding days, they
only take light workouts until the soreness is gone.
| What is the
implication of their findings?
soreness is used by athletes to guide them in their training
regimens. Many of them train by undergoing extremely strenuous workouts
which injure the muscles as they are overused.
A massage helps athletes build stronger muscles because they can take
more frequent workouts with consistent intensity.
Even the iconic Madonna succumbs to a 3-hour Shiatsu massage
session every week to relieve muscle strain – the price she pays
for a very punishing exercise regimen.
Madonna is not the only celebrity to take advantage of massage’s
soothing effects. Supermodel Claudia Schiffer goes through a
cellulite treatment involving mechanical rollers which massage
affected areas to excrete toxins and enhance lymphatic drainage.
Actress Keira Knightley is a devotee of tailor-made massage
treatments for the face and the body, said to reduce puffiness and
enhance skin glow.
Cat Deeley, a former model and now a popular DJ, swears by stomach
massage and reflexology to eliminate harmful toxins from her body
and give her a svelte shape.
The following are a few of the amazing findings associated with the
unparalleled benefits of massage:
- It has been found to produce a decrease
in depression and anxiety
among bulimic females. Significant decreases in urinary and salivary
cortisol suggested that massage played a marked role in the reduction
- Massage therapy studies made by Tiffany Field
of the Touch Research
Institute showed enhanced immune functions, increased alertness, growth
facilitation, and significant weight gain in babies who were stroked
- Eases cramps due to
the onset of the
menses.This is specifically important for ladies who do not want their
exercise routines to be hampered by painful periods. A massage of the
area just above the pubic bone easily relieves cramping and prepares
you for your scheduled exercise routines.