The Benefits of Breast Massage

The Benefits of Breast Massage

In recognition of October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month, this month’s feature shares how massage can improve the quality of breast health.

Image result for breast healthBreast massage is an effective means to maintain health of the breasts. According to the Texas Institute of Functional Medicines, breast massage is the act of slowly kneading and stroking the breasts, using varying amounts of mild to moderate pressure in gentle lifting and compressive movements. It can be done as self-massage or with help from a partner or therapist. While the primary purpose is to clear the lymphatic system of toxins that can disrupt health, breast massage also has cosmetic and therapeutic uses.

Let’s take a closer look at the many benefits of breast massage:

Therapeutic Benefits

Breast massage is also beneficial for breast pain. Whether the pain is caused by surgery, pregnancy, milk production, mastitis, cysts, or an unknown cause, a soft, gentle massage can be therapeutic and soothing. According to the AyurvedicCure.com, “Simply rubbing an area can have a demonstrable analgesic effect.” Massage eases soreness in the tissues, reduces pain and swelling in the breasts, and relaxes tightness or tension in the ligaments. Breast massage is particularly useful in soothing the pain associated with breast scarring from infection or surgery .

Health Benefits

There are also health benefits associated with using breast massage as a dependable means of flushing out toxins from the body’s lymphatic system. Toxic buildup from poor circulation is believed to increase the risk of cancer. Stimulating drainage of the breasts’ lymphatic and blood circulation eliminates harmful waste products and allows nutrient-rich blood to flow to the breast tissue.

Prevention Benefits

As nice as it is to have a healthy, attractive bust line, there are more serious issues to consider than appearance. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), there were 192,370 new cases of invasive breast cancer and 40,170 deaths from breast cancer in 2009., with these numbers increasing each year. It is important to become familiar with the shape and feel of normal breast tissue in order to detect any abnormalities that may develop over time. Early detection could be life-saving!

Appearance Benefits

Massage is useful in maintaining breast shape and to prevent sagging. According to the AyurvedicCure.com, breast massage stimulates circulation, which is necessary for keeping breast tissue healthy. Massage also helps break up benign cysts, strengthens the muscle tissue of the chest, builds resiliency in the ligaments and firms the skin. With regular massage, the breasts will remain firmer for longer and less likely to sag. The result is a more attractive bust line.

Regular breast massage, together with monthly self-exams, is a good way to check the breasts for changes or irregularities. With breast cancer being one of the most common cancers among women in the United States, it is crucial to take care of this important aspect of health.

Every woman who visits us for therapeutic massage during the month of October may receive a complimentary lesson in self-massage for breast health!

October is Massage Therapy Month!

October is Massage Therapy Month!

Massage is one of the oldest healing arts. Chinese records dating back 3,000 years document its use; the ancient Hindus, Persians and Egyptians applied forms of massage for many ailments; and Hippocrates recommended the use of rubbing and friction for joint and circulatory problems. Today, the benefits of massage are varied and far-reaching.

As an accepted part of many physical rehabilitation programs, massage therapy has also proven beneficial for many chronic conditions, including low back pain, neck pain, headaches, arthritis, bursitis, fatigue, high blood pressure, diabetes, immunity suppression, infertility, smoking cessation, depression, and more. And, as many millions will attest, massage also helps relieve the stress and tension of everyday living that can lead to disease and illness.

INJURY. Were you injured at home, at work or in a car accident? Whether your pain is from a recent injury or you’ve had that nagging ache for a while, massage therapy can give you relief and comfort!

HEADACHES. Do you miss out on work and play because of frequent or severe headaches? Our targeted approach treats migraine and tension headaches with great results!

INSOMNIA. Does insomnia keep you from feeling and functioning your best? Regular massage can put an end to those sleepless nights so you are more energetic and more effective!

SURGERY. If you have soreness, stiffness or poor scar healing after surgery, our post-op massage series can accelerate healing, relieve pain and minimize scarring!

STRESS. Anxiety, depression or stress got you down? Massage therapy is proven to balance endorphin and cortisol production to boost your mood and brighten your outlook on life!

JOINT PAIN. Do have pain in your muscles or joints? Our special techniques can alleviate pain from fatigue, repetitive use, over-exertion, arthritis and more!

CHRONIC CONDITION. Does a chronic fatigue condition such as fibromyalgia limit your activities and reduce your enjoyment of life? Our soothing, energizing massage relieves pain!.

PREGNANCY. The childbearing year is filled with joy, anticipation, aches and pains! Relieve the discomforts of pregnancy while lying face down on our special our special pregnancy massage table!

Massage is beneficial for many discomforts from a variety of conditions. CALL US TODAY to learn whether massage therapy is right for you! For the entire month of October, we offer SPECIAL PRICING for our Fall program – Tune-In and Tune-Up with Massage! 808.885.4459.

September is Addiction Recovery Month!

September is Addiction Recovery Month!

Image result for september recovery monthSeptember is Addiction Recovery Month, designated to increase awareness and understanding of substance use disorders and celebrate people in recovery. The 2019 theme is Join the Voices for Recovery: Together We Are Stronger.

In the early stages of recovery from addiction, patients often experience an uncomfortable gap between their mind and body. The mind knows it shouldn’t use the substance, while the body craves it. Therapeutic massage can bridge that gap, and is a powerful adjunct treatment in the addiction recovery process.

Comprehensive treatment is the key to successful recovery. In Counselor: The Magazine for Addiction Professionals, Joni Kosakoski, BSN, RN, CARN, advocates the integration of massage therapy into drug and alcohol treatment. In her article “Massage: Hands Down, a Treatment for Addiction,” Kosakoski gives a concise analysis of massage’s benefits for this population and its place in addiction treatment.

Integrating massage into a treatment program is advantageous in all stages of overcoming addiction: withdrawal, detoxification and abstinence. Researcher Norman S. Miller notes that medical management of alcohol and drug withdrawal during detoxification often is not sufficient to produce sustained abstinence from recurrent use.

The Touch Research Institute-Univ. of Miami, has documented the physiological effects of massage. Some of their findings are related to massage’s ability to reduce cortisol levels. Several studies document the ability of massage to decrease anxiety, depression, agitation and cravings.

Dopamine is well-documented as being significantly involved in addiction. Dopamine levels are lower than average during drug withdrawal and early recovery, until brain chemistry normalizes. In 1998, the Touch Research Institute published findings that a regular massage regimen increases dopamine levels. The fact that massage therapy stimulates dopamine production and decreases cortisol levels makes it highly effective in a standard detox program.

Massage treatment reduces the tendency to relapse. The 1989 edition of General Pharmacology reported that massage therapy increased beta-endorphins in the blood by 16 percent. Drugs and alcohol decrease production of endorphins. While the neurochemistry regains normal balance, this is the recovering addict’s most likely time to relapse. Massage is crucial after initial detox, as it effectively helps the patient get through this most vulnerable phase of recovery.

Image result for massage FOR ADDICTIONThis can be a powerful – even life-changing – experience for clients, as it helps them feel good while remaining drug-free, enhancing their recovery on 4 levels:

– Physical level. The enhanced circulation from massage also helps during detox. Invigoration of blood and lymphatic flow promotes an efficient exchange of oxygen and nutrients into the body’s tissues, and the removal of toxins and metabolic waste products. Kosakoski says: “All systems of the body function more efficiently with improved circulation and a reduction in tension of the soft tissues and musculature…”

– Mental level. As toxins leave the cells, thinking becomes clearer and decision-making is improved, helping those in recovery more easily recognize the downside of addiction, making the transition easier from abuse to sobriety.

– Emotional level. Learning to identify and manage the feelings and situations that trigger drug or alcohol use is a critical part of the recovery process. Regular massage sessions can aid the client’s awareness of the stressors that trigger drug use. Being conscious of these patterns is a step toward recognizing and healthfully addressing emotions associated with cravings. Emotional release can commonly occur with massage, providing a safe, non-threatening way to manage stress and emotions without the aid of drugs or alcohol.

– Spiritual level. The deep relaxation from massage can provide a still inner place for patients to become aware of their spiritual needs. Recovering addicts have reported a new appreciation of life when they can simultaneously be present, feel good and be substance-free. Kosakoski explains, “To allow oneself to surrender to the practitioner’s hands – to breathe fully and easily, to acknowledge and receive the gifts of nurturing, surrender and relaxation… is an invaluable addition to the newly recovering person’s repertoire of relapse-prevention skills.”

Massage has the unique ability to affect all levels of our being – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. As a valuable component when integrated into addiction treatment massage helps recovering addicts succeed in their recovery.

Pacific Massage Services staff is trained and experienced in the treatment of addiction recovery. Give us a call for info or appointments: 808.885.4459

Get more info: https://RecoveryMonth.gov

 

September is Healthy Aging Month!

September is Healthy Aging Month!

“The use of touch may be the most important way to communicate to aged persons that they are still important as human beings.”  – Ashley Montague. Touching: The Human Significance of the Skin.

Image result for september is healthy aging monthSeptember is Healthy Aging Month®, is an annual observance that focuses attention on the issues of aging.

Simple, gentle touch can stimulate aging minds and bodies, and it can help minimize discomfort in the elderly years.

Touch therapies are ancient healing modalities which became lost in the maze of modern medical technology. Recently there is a revival of massage as a complementary therapy in caregiving for the elderly. Age-appropriate, gentle massage is effective in providing comfort care and in enhancing quality of life.

Massage therapy is well-known for its ability to reduce muscle tension, relieve pain, increase circulation and induce the relaxation response. Research has shown that massage stimulates endorphin production (the “natural high” hormone), boosts the immune system and enhances healing after injury or surgery.

 A skilled massage therapist who is trained in working with the elderly can notice and report subtle changes in the physical body, a crucial factor in preventing potential life-threatening conditions.

Image result for massage seniorMassage decreases pain, even if pain is the symptom of a broader problem. So while massage doesn’t cure osteoarthritis, for example, it can decrease the symptoms and significantly reduce pain, keep the joints more mobile, stimulate synovial fluid, and enhance blood/lymph circulation to affected areas.

Massage also benefits skin health. It stimulates cell growth in the skin layers, prevents pressure sores, and improves skin hydration and elasticity.

Caring touch is a powerful acknowledgment to the individual that, regardless of the condition of the physical body, he or she is still a part of the human race,is still cared for, and still has value as a whole human being. This is healing in its true and deepest sense.

Pacific Massage Services staff members are trained and experienced in massage therapy for the physical needs of mature age. Give us a call for info , consultation or appointment!

808-885-4459.

Massage for Golfers! Got Kinks from the Links?

Massage for Golfers! Got Kinks from the Links? 

Image result for national golf monthAugust is National Golf Month! Tell all the golfers you know about our Golfer’s Advantage Treatments, with exclusive offers and special prices on services and gift certificates for the entire month of August!

As one of the most popular sports in the world, golf has about 30 million people in the game worldwide, and 13 million in the US. Once considered a “mind game,” with much attention on strategy and mental focus, golfers are coming to understand the body’s vital role in playing their best game.

Golfers need a well-developed upper body as well as general strength, endurance and fitness. Injuries can arise from weak muscles, exacerbated by poor technique, unbalanced posture and repetitive movement.

Many professional golfers recommend regular massage treatments to help prevent little aches from becoming a big pain in the you-know-what.

Whether a big-bucks pro, a seasoned amateur or a hopeful novice, there are some common ailments among golfers.

Because golf is a one-sided activity, the body’s musculature is used in an unbalanced way. This results in more strain on one side of the body, depending on right- or left-side dominance, posture, technique and other variable factors. A therapeutic massage, given by a therapist trained in golf injuries, can correct this imbalance by assessing and treating the affected areas and educating the golfer in stretching and exercises customized for their individual situation.

The most frequently-occurring golf injury is “golfer’s elbow,” clinically known as medial epicondylitis. It affects a golfer’s swing, as well as causing severe pain with elbow, wrist and hand movements. Treating golfer’s elbow should be in the repertoire of any good massage therapist who specializes in golf injuries.

Other significant problem areas are shoulders and hips, where repetitive strain, inflammation, swelling and pain can develop. Left untreated, this type of injury can worsen to the point of affecting a golfer’s game – or taking him out of the game entirely!

The feet, ankles, legs, gluteals and back all affect the stability, power and precision of the golfer’s stance and swing. The goal of golf massage is to signal the brain to relax contracted muscles, stimulate blood and lymph to prevent soreness, soothe inflammation, relieve pain and prevent injury.

There is a difference in the type of injuries suffered by amateur and professional golfers. Amateurs are more prone to muscle strain, golfer’s elbow, calf and hip issues. Pro players’ primary problem is pelvic imbalance.

What should a player expect from a specialized golfer’s massage? A typical treatment is a 60-90 minute deep tissue treatment targeting the golfer’s particular problem, as well as assessing and treating legs, hips, low back and shoulders. Extra attention is focused on the dominant arm to treat or prevent golfer’s elbow.

When should a golfer receive massage? This depends on a golfer’s individual situation. Massage prior to playing is recommended in the case of tight muscles and restricted movement. Treatment after a game helps prevent pain, stiffness and injury.

Says golf pro John Fischer, “The reason most people play golf is for the relaxation is offers. It’s a wonderful stress-reducer, provides plenty of exercise in a beautiful setting and it’s just plain fun!”

Of course, golfers want to play their best and enjoy their favorite game as painlessly as possible. That’s where massage therapy enters the game! And some therapists even use golf balls to do part of the treatment!

Massage for Summer Skin Care

Massage for Summer Skin Care

July is Summer Skin Care Month! Summer skin care is vital for the life-long health of your skin and, in fact, your entire body! Massage therapy is one of the few modalities that physically touches a person on about 90 percent of their skin. Medical doctors, nurses and physical therapists do not do this, neither do most other wellness professionals. It is a great responsibility and an opportunity to provide healthy touch that helps with such things as circulation, toxin elimination and stress reduction – and in keeping the skin healthy as well.

Skin Anatomy Overview

What most people call skin is made up of three main layers: the epidermis, the dermis and the hypodermis.

  • The epidermis is what we see. It is the most superficial layer – a water-resistant barrier against germs, bacteria and viruses. It also protects the deeper layers of more sensitive tissue from everyday bumps and bruises.
  • The dermis, just below the epidermis, contains touch connective tissue, hair follicles and sweat glands.
  • The hypodermis, the deepest layer, made of adipose (fat) and connective tissues.

Covering an average area of 20 square feet, skin is the largest organ in the body. It protects us against external elements, eliminates waste through sweat, helps regulate body temperature and enables us to feel hot, cold and pressure.

The skin is semi-permeable, meaning it lets in certain substances. A thin coating of sebum – natural body oil – nourishes the skin.

Massage Therapist as a First Line of Defense

A massage therapist sometimes sees more of a person’s skin than anyone else in their life – maybe not all at once, but in sections, as the draping is moved around during a treatment. It is challenging for us to get a good view of certain areas our own bodies. No matter how you twist and turn, the back and neck are difficult to see well. This goes for backs of arms and legs, too. The average person is also not educated as to what to look for when it comes to skin health.

A responsible massage therapist with pathology training will know the signs of skin cancer, psoriasis, rashes and fungal infections, and will advise you to see your doctor if there is cause for further evaluation.

A massage therapist can also tell the difference between a bruise from an accidental bump and one caused by domestic abuse. (A massage therapist may be a mandated reporter of abuse; check with your local regulating agency.)

A massage therapist cannot diagnose. It is well beyond the scope of practice as defined by most state laws. What a massage therapist can do is advise a client to see his or her primary care physician or other healthcare professional if there is a concern.

Massage for Men’s Health

Massage for Men’s Health

In recognition of June as National Men’s Health Month, we offer this important info about massage benefits specifically for men.

There is one general benefit of massage therapy that is especially relevant to men’s health: enhanced blood circulation. Because men have a statistically higher incidence of circulatory and cardiac disorders than women, maintaining a healthy circulatory system is vital to a man’s health and massage therapy is an ideal way to achieve this.

From a healthy heart to satisfying sex, maintaining the proper circulation of blood through the arteries is one of the most important things men can do to maintain good health and slow the aging process.

Another important health issue for men is prostate health. Acute prostate infection contraindicates massage. Prostatitis characterized by chronic pelvic and/or groin pain without infection will benefit from the general pain relief that massage affords. At Pacific Massage Services, we use muscle testing to assess pelvic, hip and low back pain for an imbalance in the pelvic structural alignment. One of the most commons findings is iliopsoas spasm, which we treat with a release technique of the iliopsoas muscle, accessed through the abdomen. Many men with chronic prostatitis get lasting relief after treatment with this massage technique.

The prostate gland receives dual autonomic innervation from the prostatic nerve plexus, a part of the pelvic autonomic plexus. The pelvic plexus receives its parasympathetic input from the sacral segments of the spinal cord (S2-4) and sympathetic fibers from the hypogastric presacral nerves (T10–L2). So lumbosacral massage techniques can be effective for prostate health.

Massage is the go-to treatment in recovery from surgery for athletic injury. Muscle, tendon and joint pain from participation in sports is another common malady among men, including post-exercise stiffness of the “weekend warrior,” muscle pain from repetitive movement or over-exertion, or more serious conditions such as sprains and torn myofascial tissue.

Massage therapy reduces swelling and eases pain and stiffness. It also promotes circulation to injured areas, bringing in fresh oxygen and nutrients for healing, and assists in removing metabolic waste products that further irritate injured and healing tissue.

There are many massage techniques for treating a wide range of athletic complaints, such as medial or lateral epicondylitis, knee and rotator cuff injuries and back strain, to name a few.

Massage is magic for “the morning after!” It relieves hangover symptoms with headache relief, calms the nerves of the digestive organs, and enhances liver/kidney function to process and eliminate alcohol from the body.

For heart health, satisfying sex, pain relief, better sports performance and general wellness, a regularly-scheduled massage session is one of the most important things men can do to maintain good health and slow the aging process.

Contact us about our Men’s Health Special for the month of June! 

Massage Therapy for Headaches

Massage Therapy for Headaches

Image result for headache

Fifty million Americans have chronic headaches – the most common pain problem reported to physicians, ranging in severity from annoying to debilitating. Massage therapy can help significantly with the 3 most common types of chronic headaches.

At Pacific Massage Services we assess whether a patient’s headache might indicate a life-threatening condition, such as tumor, meningitis, aneurysm or head trauma. During intake of a headache patient, we ask the following questions:

  • Is this the first headache you’ve ever had?
    • Is this the worst headache you’ve had?
    • Is this one very different from your usual headaches?
    • Do you also have other symptoms: fever, body pain, earache, dizziness, confusion, stiff neck?
    • Have you had a recent head trauma?

A “yes” answer to any of these questions results in an immediate referral to the patient’s physician to rule out a serious problem. Massage is contraindicated for a headache due to infection, recent head trauma or central nervous system injury.

Another important question we ask is: Could you be dehydrated? With insufficient water, the salinity, and thus osmotic pressure, of the cerebrospinal fluid in the cranium rises. This painful head pressure can be relieved with adequate hydration.

Once we have established that the headache does not seem to involve another condition, we determine the type of headache to help us select the most effective treatment for three main types of chronic headaches:

  1. Tension Headache. Characterized by tension and pain in neck, shoulders, head, face, TMJ; feels like a tight cap squeezing the entire head.
  2. Vascular Headache. Deep throbbing pain from excessively dilated blood vessels in the meninges, causing migraine and cluster headaches.
  3. Inflammatory. Accompanies sinus infection, URI or UR allergy; constant, deep facial pain, often exacerbated by movement.

A structural imbalance is often the root cause of chronic headaches. While massaging tense muscles can bring temporary relief, correcting a structural imbalance can bring long-term relief from chronic headaches. Two factors influence a successful massage treatment:

  1. Release of contracted muscles. Skilled massage therapists release the upper thoracic fascia, the contracted musculature of all cervical and upper thoracic muscles, and all skeletal attachments. Muscle tension constricts blood flow to these muscles and to the head. This combination of muscle spasm and inadequate blood supply is the primary cause of pain in tension headaches.
  2. Structural Alignment. Back/neck/shoulder tension often creates a structural imbalance, as can treatment to these muscles alone. So we balance upper back work by including lower back massage, and posterior work by also releasing anterior and lateral muscles, thus allowing any structural or postural misalignment to rebalance. The correction of postural deviation is often all that is needed to prevent future headaches. For vascular headaches, structural realignment has the additional benefit of improving the flow of cerebrospinal fluid and blood to the head, giving long-lasting relief.

In addition to hands-on treatment, at Pacific Massage Services, we also counsel patients on postural causes of headache, such as long hours of phone or computer work. We make suggestions for improvement, for example placing the computer monitor at eye level and use of ergonomic seating. As well, we advise patients on lifestyle changes such as sufficient water intake and possible dietary causes. When appropriate, we recommend stretching, exercise, chiropractic care, physical therapy or medical attention.

Put Your Best Foot Forward!

Put Your Best Foot Forward!

Image result for relax put your feet upYour feet have walked about 75,000 miles by age 50 and they must last a lifetime! Regular care can help keep your feet up to the task.

With proper detection, intervention and care, most foot and ankle problems can be reduced, cured or prevented.

Here are some common foot problems and ways massage therapy can help:

Arthritis. Arthritis is inflammation and swelling of the cartilage and lining of the joints, often accompanied by an increase in joint fluid, causing painful swelling and pressure in the joint. Massage therapy soothes reduces swelling and relieves arthritis pain in the feet.

Diabetes. Due to the circulation and neurological problems of diabetes, many people with this blood sugar problem experience diabetic foot ulcers which can become infected and lead to amputation or death. Massage enhances circulation of blood and lymph and helps avoid diabetic foot ulcers.

High Blood Pressure. Also known as hypertension, this condition can place additional pressure in the feet, causing edema (swelling), discomfort and pain. Massage therapy is a commonly-used treatment for swelling of the feet and ankles.

Peripheral Artery Disease. PAD is caused by a blockage or narrowing of the arteries in the legs when fatty deposits (plaque) accumulate. CAUTION: DO NOT MASSAGE legs of a PAD patient! It could dislodge plaque deposits and cause severe injury or death.

Peripheral Neuropathy. Damage to the peripheral nerves – the nerves most distant from the core of the body – is a common effect of diabetes, causing numbness and “pins & needles” in the feet. Massage soothes and relieves these discomforts.

Sprains, Strains and Fractures. Feet and ankles work together to provide support and movement for the entire body. A sprain is injury to soft tissue. Massage helps prevent swelling, relieves pain and speeds recovery of damaged muscle, tendon and ligament tissues.

Heel Pain. The heel bone – calcaneus – is the largest of the 26 bones in the foot. Pain in this area can be relieved with massage therapy.

Tendonitis. Tendons attach muscles to bones. Achilles tendonitis is one of the most common causes of heel and ankle pain. Massage therapy is often effective in relieving this painful condition.

Plantar fasciitis. This is an overuse injury of tendinitis, causing inflammation, pain, tenderness and/or thickening and/or degeneration of the connective tissue that attaches leg muscles to the bottom of the foot. It is often caused by spasm or tightness in the calf muscles. Massage therapy to the leg and foot muscles can release spasms, thus relieving strain and pain in the sole of the foot.

Remember – for prevention and treatment, massage therapy can help your feet support you, take you where you need to go and walk a lifetime of 100,000 miles!

Massage Therapy in Addiction Recovery

Massage Therapy in Recovery from Alcohol Addiction

In recognition of April as Alcohol Awareness Month, we offer information on the benefits of massage therapy for treatment during recovery from addiction.

In the early stages of recovery from addiction, patients often experience an uncomfortable conflict between their body and mind – with the mind knowing treatment is necessary, while the body still craves the addictive substance, such as alcohol or drugs. Therapeutic massage helps bridge that gap, as a powerful component in an integrated treatment plan.

Integrating massage into a substance abuse program is advantageous in all stages of recovery: withdrawal, detoxification and abstinence. Medical management of alcohol and drug withdrawal during detox often is not enough to prevent relapse.

Massage treatment reduces the tendency to relapse. General Pharmacology reports that massage therapy increases beta-endorphins in the blood by 16 percent. Alcohol decreases production of endorphins. While the neurochemistry regains normal balance, this is the recovering addict’s most likely time to relapse. ­­­

Massage has the ability to decrease anxiety, depression, agitation and cravings. Research at The Touch Research Institute/Univ. of Miami, has documented the physiological effects of massage, including: massage’s ability to reduce levels of cortisol, the stress hormone.

In 1998, the Touch Research Institute published findings that a regular massage regimen increases dopamine levels. The fact that massage therapy stimulates dopamine production and decreases cortisol levels makes it highly effective in a standard detox program. 

On a psycho-emotional level, part of recovery is learning to identify and manage situations and feelings that trigger alcohol/drug use. Regular massage sessions can aid the client’s awareness of the stressors that trigger alcohol consumption. Being conscious of these patterns is a step toward recognizing and healthfully addressing emotions associated with cravings. Emotional release can commonly occur with massage, providing a safe, non-threatening way to manage stress and emotions without the aid of drugs or alcohol.

On a spiritual level, the deep relaxation from massage can provide a still inner place for patients to become aware of their spiritual needs. Recovering addicts have reported a new appreciation of life when they can simultaneously be present, feel good and be substance-free.

Massage has the unique ability to affect all levels of our being – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. As a valuable component when integrated into treatment, massage helps recovering alcoholics succeed in their recovery.

Sources: Integrative Healthcare Institute: 2005; Miller, N.S.: Treatment of the Addictions: Applications of Outcome Research for Clinical Management. New York: Haworth, 1995. Touch Research Institute, Miami, Florida: 2003. Counselor-The Magazine for Addiction Professionals: Oct. 2003.