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Benefits of Swedish Massage
What is
Swedish Massage
Benefits of
Swedish Massage
History of
Swedish Massage

Approximately 46 million adults in the US, about one in every five (22%), have been diagnosed with arthritis. 

Since 1999, there has been a 22 percent increase in the number of women who attribute their disability to arthritis. 

With the aging of the Baby Boomers, it is estimated that 67 million adults will have arthritis by 2030. 

The economic impact of arthritis is $128 billion: $81 billion for direct health care expenditures and $47 billion in indirect costs due to lost earnings. 

Most of the health care costs are for anti-inflammatory drugs, but many Arthritis Patients have problems with the side effects of these drugs.  

When faced with a future of hazardous drugs, many arthritis patients turn to Massage Therapy for help.

Skeleton showing Joints Affected by Arthritis
Normal Joint and Joints with Rheumatoid and Osteoarthritis

Massage Therapy offers many benefits for those afflicted with Arthritis. The Arthritis Foundation reports that Massage Therapy:

  • Reduced Muscle and Joint Pain and Stiffness.
  • Improved Grip Strength
  • Increased Production of Natural Pain-Killing Endorphins
  • Enhanced Flexibility and Range of Motion
  • Improved Sleep
  • Balanced Immune System
  • Lessened Fatigue, Anxiety and Depression. 

A study at the University of Medicine in New Jersey found that Massage could be used to lessen or even eliminate the need for drugs used to treat Arthritis and decrease health care costs.  A clinical trial conducted by Researchers at Yale concluded that Massage therapy is a safe and effective way to reduce pain and improve function in adults with osteoarthritis of the knee.  "Massage is free of any known side effects and according to our results, clearly shows therapeutic promise," said senior investigator of the study David L. Katz, M.D.
Studies done at the School of Medicine in Miami have found a lack of deep sleep among those suffering from chronic pain causes additional pain chemicals to be released and exacerbates the condition by reducing the natural restorative healing that occurs during deep sleep.  Further more, they determined that Massage increases deep sleep, eliminating this additional pain. 
Another study done with Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients showed that Massage decreased anxiety and stress hormone levels as well as pain.  In the journal PLoS One it was reported that a 60-minute Massage Treatment delivered once a week for pain due to osteoarthritis of the knee was both optimal and practical. (The researchers defined an optimal, practical dose as producing the greatest ratio of desired effect compared to costs in time, labor, and convenience.)
Yet the benefits of Massage Therapy for those with Arthritis do not end with reduced symptoms and less drugs.  Recent discoveries have proven that the joint cartilage of patients with Osteoarthritis is highly metabolically active and that the damaged cartilage tissue actually tries to remodel and repair itself.  Though once thought to be impossible, arresting or reversing the disease occurs spontaneously in some arthritic patients.  Because Massage Therapy increases circulation in arthritic areas, bringing nutrients to the tissues and removing metabolic wastes, it strongly aids the natural healing of Arthritis.  And this increased metabolic activity in joints is also a good prevention for developing osteoarthritis in the first place.  So Massage Therapy is not only an excellent way to relieve the symptoms of Arthritis and reduce/eliminate the need for drugs, but it’s also a cure and prevention.

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References: |Arthritis Foundation| |American Massage Therapy Association| |Arthritis Self Management|
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