“I have all sorts of [age-related] aches and pains. My friends recommended massage. Is it really beneficial or just an indulgence?” — L. Rodriguez
Linda J. Buch, a certified fitness trainer in Denver, Col., responds:
Once considered an alternative medicine, today massage therapy is recommended by many medical professionals to patients suffering from [many ailments, including] anxiety, fibromyalgia, physical injury and general soreness.
There are more than 80 types of massage therapy, all with specific applications and methods for treatment. A well-trained therapist knows how to cater to your specific needs and give you an effective massage, says Elaine Calenda, academic dean of the Boulder College of Massage Therapy.
Massage promotes blood flow, which makes the therapy popular among athletes for the relief of muscle soreness, rehabilitation and healing of sports injuries. Massage stimulates the lymphatic system, helps blood vessels dilate (which slows breathing and heart rate) and improves sleep.
While massage therapy should not be substituted for regular medical care, it has established itself as a viable and often, essential, part of a good wellness program.
—The Denver Post; Denver, Colorado; Jun 15