Does massage work?
Yes, it does!
One explanation as to why Massage works so well is because of the connection between stress, anxiety and muscle tension. One of the physiological symptoms of stress is muscular tension. Repeated over time, this tension will cause a loss in muscle elasticity.
This loss of elasticity (muscles are actually composed of elastin fibres) means that they lose the ability to release. There is no ‘bounce’ or resilience. This leads to a difficulty in releasing tension which can produce the chronic problems of back and neck pain (Greenwood & Greenwood 1979).
Another more simple reason is that we live in a largely touch starved society, and even fifteen minutes of touch a week enables the body to rebalance itself in ways too numerous to measure. Another advantage if muscle tension is relieved at the workplace – soon after it has appeared – then the stress has had less time to embed itself into the body’s tissues (Pyves & Woodhouse 2003).
Health professionals have long regarded touch as a vital component of their work (Rosee-Flanigan 1995) and Massage is increasingly being embraced by health professionals and is actually gaining recognition as a health profession in its own right (Siegal, 1993).