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Massage is fast becoming recognized as a leading form of relaxation therapy. Its current popularity is justified not only by modern research, but also by a long and well-documented tradition of use from cultures all around the world and dating as far back as earliest accounts of written history.

Records from physicians, philosophers, poets and historians throughout the ages have described the use of massage. Homer’s Odyssey, writings by Cicero and Herodotus, traditions and documents from all across the Orient, practices in Native American cultures, all of these speak to the long standing value of massage and therapeutic touch in practices for health and well-being.

Modern scientific research has clinically shown that such relaxation techniques can effectively reduce oxygen consumption, respiration rate, blood pressure and muscle tension. Massage brings relief to aching muscles by increasing blood supply to the affected area that helps to remove waste products such as lactic acid, the build-up of which is a primary source of muscle soreness. These effects, (reactivation of peripheral circulation, decreased muscle tension, elimination of toxins) are particularly valuable in facilitating recovery and speeding the healing process.

Evaluation supports the theory that manipulation of the fascia (which is comprised of elasticine, fibrous, connective tissue that covers and holds together the skeletal muscles and contains an assortment of nerves, blood vessels and lymph vessels) and deep muscle tissue through massage helps to free individual muscle fibers that have become compressed and bound together through injury-prompted adhesions and scar tissue. This freeing of bound-together fibers allows the muscle to assume its normal shape, size, increase and functional performance by enabling the affected cells to contract more fully, more forcefully and with greater range. The muscle will then use energy more efficiently and be less susceptible to injury.

Perhaps not as tangible, but no less documented, is the effectiveness of bodywork to aid healing and well-being on mental and emotional levels as well as the physical. Excessive stress has become formally recognized as one of modern society’s greatest health risks.

The ability of bodywork and therapeutic touch to effectively reduce the negative influences of tension and stress, to bring the self back into balance by cleansing and restoring the natural flow of the body’s energy field, is a valid and proven benefit to people from all walks of life.

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