Stress. It’s a topic often seen in the headlines these days. We live in a world where avoiding stress is near impossible. This has led to a dangerous situation. According to Joan Borysenko, founder of the Mind/Body Clinic at Harvard:

“Stress-related disorders make up between 80-and-90 percent of the ailments that bring people to family-practice physicians.” These disorders include high blood pressure, poor digestion and sleep disorders, to name but a few.

There a numerous research papers that attest to the beneficial effects of massage and its ability to reduce the harmful effects of stress. A recent study at the Touch Research Institute found that twice weekly massage lowered cortisol levels in the blood and relieved muscle tension.

In fact, massage has had such successful results that Borysenko said, “I believe massage therapy is absolutely key in the healing process not only in the hospital environment but because it relieves stress, it is obviously foundational in the healing process any time and anywhere.”

If you feel like you would benefit from massage you’re not alone. The results of the “New Year, New You” study found that:

  • Seventy-six percent of respondents said relaxation is very important to health and wellness
  • Seventy-three percent of respondents rated getting a massage as either extremely relaxing or very relaxing, compared to 51 percent who said exercise was extremely relaxing and 29 percent opting for a glass of wine or a cocktail as extremely relaxing
  • Sixty-nine percent of respondents agreed that regular massage therapy is an important part of overall physical health and well-being
  • Fifty-two percent of respondents would like to receive a massage product or service as a gift.

Seventy-five percent of the respondents also said that their goals for 2006 would include taking better care of themselves. If you share this sentiment, it may be time to add massage to life.

“The mind, which before massage is in a perturbed, restless, vacillating and -even despondent state, becomes after massage, calm, quiet, peaceful and subdued; in fact, the wearied and worried mind has been converted into a mind restful, placid, and refreshed.” – Dr Stretch Dowse, Victorian Physician, 1887.

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