The physical and emotional benefits of massage therapy were detailed in an article published today in the Wall Street Journal newspaper.

The article, titled, “Don’t Call It Pampering: Massage Wants to Be Medicine,” discussed research studies that indicate massage reduces cortisol, decreases proteins related to inflammation, increases white blood cell count and promotes muscle recovery.

“While massage may have developed a reputation as a decadent treat for people who love pampering, new studies are showing it has a wide variety of tangible health benefits,” the article noted.

The article also mentions the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine and the Massage Therapy Foundation, both of which fund research into massage, and stated that massage is growing in popularity among U.S. consumers.

“Research over the past couple of years has found that massage therapy boosts immune function in women with breast cancer, improves symptoms in children with asthma, and increases grip strength in patients with carpal tunnel syndrome,” stated the article. “Giving massages to the littlest patients, premature babies, helped in the crucial task of gaining weight.”

Read the article here.