Extracts below are taken from Gerry Pyves originator of NO HANDS® Massage "Touch is..." and "An Ancient Formula....." booklets
I have copies of both booklets If you would like to read them email me and collect them at your next session. In addition I have several copies of Gerry's book "Mavis and I" if any client would like to read it. It is a engaging fictional story of a clients hilarious healing journey through the world of Massage therapy.
Your immune system is your body's way of eliminating harmful toxins and waste and is vital for your health and wellbeing. Unlike your cardiovascular system lymph is pumped around the body by muscular movement (that's why exercise is so important for health). This study draws a direct affect on Massage and how it improves the immune system.
"HIV infected children were provided with 20 minutes of Massage a week over a 12 week period. These children had no access to any of the retroviral drugs. The control group played games.
The children who had Massage had a marked increase in their production of the all important “Killer T cells” – [These are white blood cells called lymphocytes and identify, directly attack and destroy infectious agents in the body and guard it from infection.] The authors of this study concluded that: “Massage Therapy appears to have a positive impact on immune function in HIV+ children not receiving retroviral medications”
Study: “Massage Treatment in HIV-1 infected Dominican Children: A Preliminary Report on the Efficacy of Massage Therapy to Preserve the Immune System in Children Without Antiretroviral Medication” G. Shor-Posner et al The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. December 2004, Vol 10, No.6, pp 1093-1095
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter formed in the barin and essential for the bodys central nervous system.
It is one of the natural mood enhancers produced by your body. Being able to regulate your moods is important for long-term mental health, emotions and relationships.
"Women with breast cancer were given regular Massage therapy and the results clearly showed that they produced higher dopamine levels. Dopamine is associated with good mood. Just like the previous study, the researchers also showed increased levels of natural killer cells and higher lymphocyte count, the two measures of a healthy immune system. Even more importantly, the women themselves reported feeling less depressed, less angry and having more energy.
Interestingly, the fields of neurology (nerves and brain) endocrinology (hormones) and immunity have all come together over the last decade and there is now a very clear understanding that all moods create chemical changes in our body. We are now discovering that some of these chemicals – when released persistently and repeatedly over a period of time, are damaging to the body."
Study: “Natural Killer Cells and Lymphocytes Increase in Women with Breast Cancer Following Massage Therapy” M Hernan-dez-Reif, T Field et al International Journal of Neuroscience 115(4)@ 495-510, April 2005
DEPRESSION & ANXIETY
Up to the 1940's Massage was used to treat depressed patients in hospitals. It then declined in popularity with other scientific advances in medications and was dismissed by the medical community. However, it is now known that Massage invokes parasympathetic activity (commonly known as rest/relax/restore) the bodys natural way of calming the body after a short period of stress or anxiety.
"A thoroughly scientific double-blind study tested the effects of two 20 minute clothed Chair Massages per week for pregnant women who were experiencing depression. This went on for 16 weeks – and the Massage was actually provided by their partners! 84 depressed pregnant women participated with two control groups who did other activities instead of receiving Massage.
The women in the Massage group had significantly raised levels of serotonin and dopamine (associated with good mood) and significantly decreased levels of cortisol and norepinephrine associated with stress. Women in the control groups showed no change. This is a remarkably clear scientific indication of the power of touch to both help us deal with stress and improve our mood. The women in the Massage group also reported a significant decrease in depression, anxiety and physical aches and pains. Even the newborns of the women in the Massage group performed better. The authors concluded:
“Overall the findings suggest that Massage Therapy is effective for reducing pregnant women’s stress hormones, stressful mood states, leg and back pain and for lessening obstetric and post-natal complication, hence improving normal outcomes.”
Study: “Massage Therapy Effects on Depressed Women” T. Field et al Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynaecology, June 2004 Vol 25, No. 2pp
Cortisol, adrenaline, norepinephrine and GH (growth hormone) are the bodys natural stress hormones and are released to enable the body to be alert and react to stressful situations and environments. However, sustained periods of stress (long and stress filled hours at work) mean that too much of these hormones are secreted into the body could result in sleep problems, digestive problems, depression, obesity, memory impairment, heart disease and worsening of skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.
"In this study 15 minutes of clothed Massage was given to 35 members of a large manufacturing organisation every week for six weeks. This Massage was offered in their workplace. The scientific measurements used showed clearly that Massage reduced stress and anxiety. Both the Massage ground and the control group showed well above average stress levels before the study. After the study the control group remained the same. The Massage group displayed well below average levels of stress."
Study:”The Effectiveness of Massage Therapy Interventions on Reducing Anxiety in the Workplace” K. A. Shulman & Jones Journal of Applied Behavioural Science 1996 vol 32 Ptll pp160-175
We know that masage can aleviate some of the conditions associated with ageing - relieving musle pain and stiffness, improve blood and lymph circulation, encourage joint flexibility. However there is another benefit for older clients to receive Touch Therapy. I sometimes think we forget just how important physical human contact is With many older people living on their own they have little access to receiving hugs or touch. Regular Massage is an excellent safe way to fill this need, promote good physical and mental health and mood.
"A study tested the effects of Massage therapy on 50 older adults. Sessions were provided twice-weekly for four consecutive weeks. The Massage group improved significantly more than the control group on anxiety, depression, vitality, general health, positive well-being, and a whole variety of physical indicators.
The conclusion of this study was that Massage therapy has positive effects on psychosocial and functional health in older adults. This is “research-speak” for Massage affecting all of the physical and mental aspects of our life as we get older."
Study: Patricia A. Sharpe, PhD, LMT Prevention Research Ctr, Norman J. Arnold School of Public Health University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208 firstname.lastname@example.org
SO WHY MASSAGE?
Some of you will recongnies the feelings you have on the days leading up to your massage booking. They are filled with "I can't wait I'm having a massage soon " a smugness when you tell your colleagues you are going for a Massage and on the day everything seems to revolve around your session time (I know because I do exactly the same when I go for my regular sessions!).
Sometimes it has been a while but as soon as you get onto the couch and smell the oils your body breathes out and you begin to relax before I've even laid an arm on you! There are even times when I have thought about renting the couch out by the hour because none of my clients ever seem to want to get off at the end of the Massage!
"A study of 37 studies into Massage. This one makes very interesting reading because it gives us an overview of so many other studies. Each study used had to compare a Massage-therapy group with one or more non-Massage control groups. The 37 studies selected for the analysis used a total of 1,802 participants. Of these, 795 received Massage therapy and 1,007 received a comparison treatment.
All of the 37 studies showed significant reductions in anxiety, blood pressure, heart rate, depression and pain levels in the massage group"
Study: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Department of Educational Psychology. Authors: Christopher A. Moyer, James Rounds and James W. Hannum. Originally published in Psychological Bulletin 2004, Vol. 130, No. 1, pp 3-18
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