Are there any actual health benefits to getting a massage?

Every year, 60 million people in the United States get a massage.  The average cost for a one-hour session in the United States is $75.  The massage industry has become an $18 billion dollar per year industry!

But besides relaxation, are there any real health benefits to getting a massage?

Peer-reviewed medical research has shown the following benefits from massage:

Pain relief — A large study found improvement in pain levels from musculoskeletal injuries.  There is also some evidence that massage can provide short-term improvement for patients with back pain.

Anxiety and depression relief  — Massage can provide transient improvement of anxiety and can reduce depression.

Headaches — Some studies have shown benefit in migraine patients with reduction in number of headaches.

Sleep — Studies have shown benefit with sounder sleep after massage therapy.

Blood pressure — research has found temporary reduction of blood pressure and heart rate.

Arthritis — Patients with knee osteoarthritis who had massage had improvement with pain, stiffness, and function.

 

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