Many people are still under the misconception that massage is a luxury with purely superficial benefits. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Massage therapy has many health benefits on a mental and physical level. These can be especially beneficial for those living with chronic or terminal illnesses such as HIV/AIDS, Cancer, PTSD, Depression, and many others.
An immediate benefit of massage can be a feeling of relaxation. Massage facilitates the release of endorphins and help reduce the levels of stress hormones such as adrenalin and cortisol, creating a feeling of well-being. Stress is known to impair immune system function, so stress reduction is very beneficial for those with immune system related illnesses such as HIV/AIDS. Working the soft tissues of the body can also greatly reduce pain levels, important for those living with all chronic or terminal illnesses. Many of these illnesses also have stigmas and trust issues for the persons living with them. Massage provides a safe environment for receiving compassionate and meaningful touch in a therapeutic and healing way from a trusted health professional.
Those living with chronic or terminal illnesses face increased challenges and obstacles in the search for comfort and relief from their constant mental and physical pain. Massage can greatly improve the quality of life for these individuals and everyone who receives it. Consult your healthcare provider to find out if massage is recommended for your specific illness. Be sure to share your medical history with your Massage Therapist so that s/he can provide the best services and environment for you.
Dawn Welburn is a NYS Licensed Massage Therapist who specializes in services for everyone, with a focus on people living with mental illnesses, chronic pain, terminal illnesses, domestic violence, and chemical dependencies. All massage therapy sessions are individually designed around the needs, goals and concerns of each client. Some of the services that may be integrated into a therapeutic massage session are: deep tissue massage, medical massage, chakra clearing, Swedish massage, stretching, focused breathing, aromatherapy, relaxation massage, acupressure, and reflexology.
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