Launch a New Career in Healing Massage
Massage is a wonderful tool for relaxation, but too often we think of it as a luxury. Pacific College of Oriental Medicine knows that massage can improve many health issues, from injury rehabilitation to oncology and cancer treatments, and be a powerful form of healing. Furthermore, according to a recent U.S. Department of Labor study, employment for massage therapists is expected to increase 19 percent between 2008 and 2018, faster than the average for all occupations.
Massage is the ultimate mind-meets-body treatment. A good massage offers both mental and physical benefits. Massage also improves blood circulation, which can help dramatically improve sports injury recovery time by increasing the flexibility of the injured limb. This is just one reason why massage is great for athletes—consistently relieving muscle tension with massage can help them prepare for strenuous workouts and keep muscles limber so tearing is avoided.
When circulation is improved, the nervous system also benefits. Massage can help lower blood pressure, heart rate and even enhance skin tone and relieve migraines. By stimulating the lymphatic system, massage also supports the body’s natural healing mechanisms. There is even a form of massage specifically developed for patients recovering from surgery and cancer treatments, called lymphatic drainage.
The mental and emotional tie-in to this host of physical benefits is that patients come away from a massage feeling rejuvenated and de-stressed. Oncology patients show less pain, fear, fatigue, nausea, anxiety and depression following massage therapy, according to a study by the Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Massage can strengthen the immune system, which is paramount in a cancer patient’s recovery, because many cancer treatments such as radiation and chemotherapy weaken the immune system.
The American Hospital Association found that in 1998, only 7.7 percent of hospitals offered integrative therapies such as massage. By 2017, that number increased to more than 50 percent. Massage therapists can make a difference in a patient’s recovery from a variety of health issues that are traditionally treated at a hospital, from surgery (massage reduces post-surgery adhesions and swelling), injury rehabilitation and cancer therapies such as chemotherapy (massage can alleviate side effects of oncology therapies).