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Bodywork and Massage from Around the World


In some areas of the world, bodywork and massage are used as regular wellness practices, but some people in the United States still see massage and bodywork as an indulgent luxury that requires too much time and money. I feel that investing in your body’s health and wellness should be a top priority, improving your current and future quality of life. Massage and bodywork have been used around the world for thousands of years to reduce pain and relieve stress. Hover over the map below to see where some of the most common practices originated.

Why Consider a Regular Massage or Bodywork Regimen?

Many health care providers are starting to suggest some type of massage or bodywork in addition to their suggested treatment. According to AMTA’s 2016 Consumer Survey, an average of 19 percent of adult Americans received at least one massage between July 2015 and July 2016, and an average of 32 percent of adult Americans received a massage in the previous five years.

According to the same survey, 50 percent of adult Americans who had a massage between July 2015 and July 2016 received it for medical reasons such as pain management, stiffness, soreness, injury rehabilitation, or overall wellness. 28 percent sought out treatment to reduce stress and anxiety.

Benefits of Regular Massage

Consider massage an investment in your overall health and wellness. Regular massage appointments are known to help with:

  • Anxiety
  • Digestive issues
  • Lessen Fibromyalgia pain
  • Headaches
  • Stress and insomnia
  • Myofascial pain syndrome
  • Soft injuries
  • Sports injuries

Benefits of Regular Chiropractic Care

According to the ACA, the first state law licensing chiropractors was passed in 1913, and by 1931, 39 states had given chiropractors legal recognition. Chiropractic care is one of the most popular forms of bodywork suggested by a health care providers post injury. Going to see a licensed chiropractor regularly can help alleviate:

  • Back pain
  • Headaches
  • Gastrointestinal Issues
  • Stress
  • Ear infections
  • Neck pain
  • Arthritis and joint pain

Benefits of Regular Acupuncture

Acupuncture in the US started in the the 1970’s and the Nixon era in particular. It is documented that in 1972 President Nixon’s Secretary of State, Henry A. Kissinger, traveled to China. This seems to be the most common story. Acupuncture is a modality that makes some people uneasy due to its use of needles but, there are actually quite a few aches and health issues that acupuncture can aid with:

  • Muscle pain
  • Chronic back problems and pain
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Neck pain
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Allergies
  • Digestive problems
  • Mood, depression

Final Thoughts

Massage therapy and other types of bodywork have been around for thousands of years, and for good reason. They are effective in pain management and stress reduction. There is still a stigma that massage therapy is an unnecessary luxury, but with health care providers suggesting this type of therapeutic touch therapy in addition to their prescribed treatments, I hope that more people become educated on the benefits of regular massage therapy.

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Suzanne Schaper is a Board Certified Massage Therapist serving Lenexa and Overland Park, KS. She loves sharing her knowledge for health and wellness with her customers. "A life free of pain and disease is a more full life." Suzanne enjoys assisting her customers in their pursuit of health and happiness.

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