Healing from Trauma, Loss, Transitions
The National Institute for the Clinical Application of Behavioral Medicine identifies several important components in healing from trauma, loss and transitions including self regulation, self empowerment, ability to express your inner experience and ability to integrate your senses through rhythm. Massage can play a significant role in supporting all of these components.
For example, receiving massage provides an opportunity to practice noticing your breath and physical sensations in your body, which are central to self regulation practices in which you use your breath to help transform upset and agitated to calm and settled. Further, activities where we feel power in our body, including massage therapy, cultivate self empowerment and the ability to take effective action. Massage therapy can facilitate emotional release, thereby promoting expression of your inner experience. Finally, because massage therapy utilizes touch and rhythmic, repetitive strokes, it establishes internal sensory integration and helps you to feel how your body relates to the surrounding environment.
Healing from Acute Injury or Surgery
The role of massage in healing from acute injury or surgery includes benefits such as reducing pain, reducing stress and anxiety, supporting immune functions, and promoting circulation to in turn support faster healing. These benefits are significant enough that hospitals, including the Mayo Clinic, incorporate massage into their patient care.