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Can Massage Lower My Healthcare Costs?

This is a tricky question with no straightforward answer. No, massage cannot

replace pills or surgery that provide an “instant fix”. Massage cannot guard against the

effect of substance abuse (smoking/drinking/etc), lack of exercise and poor nutrition.

These daily habits have a large impact on mental and physical health that will eventually

lead to major health issues and complications if not properly maintained. However, over

time massage can help to reduce the impact of unhealthy habits, repetitive motion on the

physical body and help to reduce daily stress on the mental and emotional body. In this

sense massage is a long-term healthcare investment and may help to lower healthcare

costs in the long run by decreasing the need for surgery and/or medication.

In this fashion massage is a preventative health care measure as it helps to

increase mind-body awareness and keep the effects of mental and physical stress at bay.

Regular massage is effective in preventing injury, and providing physical maintenance to

fascial, muscle and connective tissues patterns (Moyer, Rounds, & Hannum, 2004). This

may help decrease soreness in muscles, increase range of motion in joints and promotes

healing after injury or surgery. Nerve compression may be alleviated and relieving acute

or chronic pain, decreasing the need for painful injections, painkillers and future

surgeries. As muscles become suppler over time there circulation may increase, lowering

blood pressure and increasing in the production of endorphins, such as dopamine and

serotonin that are responsible for mood elevation. If the client were to follow a regular

massage therapy treatment plan, or incorporate it into their wellness plan, they could

possibly see a reduction in the cost of talk therapy or money spent on medication.

Massage can help to reduce the impact of unhealthy habits

As we become more aware of our bodies and how we use them we may be able to

indentify problems and address the underlying issues before they become full blown

injuries. The same can be said for an individual’s mental state; if we continue to live

within a reoccurring stress cycle eventually we reach a breaking point. Massage has been

shown to decrease pain cycles, depression, anxiety and improved sleep patterns (Moyer,

Rounds, & Hannum, 2004). As conditions such as these improve the individual may have

time and space for insight regarding destructive or negative habits. In this way massage

may save time and money when utilized as a maintenance tool decreasing the likelihood

of mental or physical problems from occurring and promoting over all good health.

Moyer, C. A., Rounds, J., & Hannum, J. W. (2004). A Meta-Analysis of Massage

Therapy Research. Psychological Bulletin, 130(1), 3-18.

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