Healthy Choices

Hello! I am Senda McLaughlin, owner of Professional Massage by Senda. Welcome to my monthly column where I will be introducing you to the many benefits of massage therapy as well as how to find a therapist, receive a massage, descriptions of the different types of massage and bodywork and more.

Besides the fact that for most people massage therapy feels good there are many proven medically-based benefits that may be achieved by professional massage therapy.

25 Reasons For Massage

  • Relieve stress
  • Boost immunity
  • Reduce anxiety
  • Manage low-back pain
  • Help fibromyalgia pain
  • Reduce muscle tension
  • Enhance exercise performance
  • Relieve tension headaches
  • Sleep better
  • Ease symptoms of depression
  • Improve cardiovascular health
  • Reduce pain of osteoarthritis
  • Decrease stress in cancer patients
  • Improve balance in older adults
  • Decrease rheumatoid arthritis pain
  • Temper effects of dementia
  • Promote relaxation
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Decrease symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Help chronic neck pain
  • Lower joint replacement pain
  • Increase range of motion
  • Decrease migraine frequency
  • Improve quality of life in hospice care
  • Encourage faster healing from injury

These are just some of the many benefits of massage therapy.

Massage Therapy for Regular Health Maintenance
75% of individuals surveyed claim their primary reason for receiving a massage in the previous 12 months was medical (54%) or for stress related (23%), according to the 18th annual consumer survey sponsored by the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA). Medical reasons include pain relief, muscle soreness, stiffness or spasms, injury recovery, migraines, prevention, and general well-being.

91% of individuals view massage as being beneficial to overall health and wellness.

92% of consumers surveyed believe that massage can be effective in reducing pain; with 30 % of respondents stating they have used massage therapy for pain relief.

The overall mean (excluding none) was 4.3 massages for those receiving massage in past 12 months. Those whose primary reason for getting massage was medical got a mean of 4 massages.

Overall mean (excluding none) was 10.1 massages for those receiving massage in past 5 years. Those whose primary reason for getting massage was medical got a mean of 10.9 massages.

Americans’ Reasons for Getting Massages Are Changing
Instead of seeking massage therapy solely for relaxation and pampering purposes, individuals clearly are turning to massage therapy to assist with medical conditions.

As few as 29% of individuals believe massage therapy is only a form of pampering.

In the previous 12 months, 21% of massage consumers received their last massage at a spa compared to 17% in 2013. This increase, and the presence of chiropractor’s offices, health clubs and physician’s offices/medical clinics on the list of locations where people receive massage, indicates consumers identify massage as an important component of overall health and wellness. The increase in spas’ popularity could be indicative of an improving economy, or the expansion of massage franchises, which consumers often equate with spas. This is a shift in the trend over the previous three years.

74% of consumers agree that massage therapy should be considered a form of health care.


56% of people have received a massage for one or more of the following reasons: soreness, stiffness or spasms, to relieve or manage stress, for prevention or to improve quality of life, injury recovery or rehabilitation, to keep fit or healthy/maintain wellness, or to control headaches or migraines. This compares to 43% of respondents in the 2013 study.

Health Care Providers Recommending Massage
Health care providers and doctors are more commonly viewing massage therapy as a legitimate option to address health concerns. Of consumers who discussed massage therapy with their doctors:

  • 14% were referred to a massage therapist by their doctor
  • 57% of respondents indicated that they were encouraged by their doctor to receive a massage, up from 48% in 2013.
  • 10% were told by their doctor that a massage might benefit them.
  • 59% of respondents said their physician has recommended they get a massage, up from 53% last year.

Consumers are Discussing Specific Medical Conditions With Their Doctors

  • 34% of respondents discussed pain relief or pain management with their doctor
  • 22% discussed injury recovery or rehabilitation with their doctor
  • 15% discussed soreness, stiffness, and spasms with their doctor

About the Survey Findings
The annual consumer survey was conducted by ORC International. This report presents the findings of a telephone survey conducted among two national probability samples, which, when combined, consists of 1,003 adults, 502 men and 501 women 18 years of age and older, living in the continental United States. 603 interviews were from the landline sample and 400 interviews from the cell phone sample. Interviewing for this Survey was completed on July 24-27, 2014.

Senda McLaughlin is a Certified & Licensed Massage Therapist with 30 years experience. She has lived and worked in the Heber-Overgaard area for the past 14 years. You can call her at 928-240-0954.

Previous articleCalling All Bicyclists
Next articleCarnival came to town
Barbara Samples was born and raised in Phoenix, AZ and has called Heber-Overgaard home since 2008. She is married to Larry Samples, who is co-owner with her in L & B, Inc., owner of the Mogollon Rim News. They have four (grown) children and two grandchildren. Barbara serves as the Editor.