Medical evidence is rapidly growing to support the wellness benefits of spa treatments such as massage, body wraps, hydrotherapy, meditation, and any type of treatment that produces relaxation. More and more, mainstream media is opting to buzz about how these types of therapies can improve quality of life and health in general. Oprah Magazine recently featured an article on the Health Benefits of Massage, and SpaFinder’s ClubSpa blog recently featured the benefits of hydrotherapy.
The Oprah article features a “Cedars-Sinai” study on massage which revealed that subjects who had a Swedish massage with moderate pressure experienced a decrease in stress hormones and an increase in white blood cells. This indicates a boost in the immune system. Meanwhile, volunteers who had a “light touch” treatment such as Reiki or Cranial-Sacral therapy showed higher levels of oxytocin, a hormone that promotes bonding/connection. The findings indicate that massage might be effective in treating inflammatory and autoimmune conditions such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, Fibromyalgia, and the like.
Are you interested or “in-the-know” regarding the benefits of spa treatments for yourself, family and friends? Share your questions, suggestions and success stories with others!
MASSAGE 101: 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. Hippocrates wrote papers recommending the use of rubbing and friction for joint and circulatory problems. Today, the benefits of holistic therapies are diverse and extensive. As an established part of many physical rehabilitation programs, massage and other spa therapies have also proven beneficial for many chronic conditions, including low back pain, arthritis, bursitis, fatigue, high blood pressure, diabetes, immunity suppression, infertility, smoking and alcohol 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 dis-ease and illness.
Another example is the benefit from different applications of hydrotherapy. They include an increase in blood circulation and endorphins, which create a reduction in stress and pain. “We are likely to see a renaissance in the hydrotherapy arena that was considered a relaxing past time for grandparents – especially in Europe,” says Susie Ellis, President of SpaFinder and Global Spa Summit Board Members. “SpaFinder forecasts a renewed respect for the benefits of [hydrotherapy] that has recently taken a backseat to weight loss, beauty and fitness.”
At the 2010 Global Spa Summit, Dr. Kenneth R. Pelletier, Clinical Professor of Medicine at major U.S. university hospitals, challenged the spa industry to “be less conservative and get organized about generating and communicating the evidence-based data about the efficacy of its various approaches and therapies.” Acting on this Pelletier’s suggestion, the Global Spa Summit is developing the First-Ever Evidence-Based Database for Spa and Wellness Approaches. The goal of the study is to aggregate and curate research into an accessible archive and promote existing scientific research highlighting the medical value of various spa modalities.
Promoting the benefits of wellness and spa will most certainly increase demand for these types of treatments. In a recent study by SRI International, 71% of consumer respondents said they would be more likely to visit a spa if they learned that a series of research studies demonstrated that spa treatments deliver measurable health benefits.
Are you interested in the benefits of spa treatments for you and your family? Share your questions, suggestions and success stories with us!