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Massage therapy can increase quality
Stop by Health 1st’s Wellness Wednesday
table in the Children’s Hospital Lobby between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. April
9 to receive a free chair massage.
Getting older is a part of life. In many cultures, the elderly are
revered for their wisdom and are treated with respect. Aging, however,
comes with its own set of challenges. With all the advances in modern
medicine and awareness of the importance of a healthy lifestyle, people
are living longer than ever before. With this increase in longevity,
there is a search for ways to cope with the associated health issues of
Fortunately, an age-old form of health care has proven to be very
beneficial in helping many of the ailments that incur with age—massage
therapy. Remember that massage therapy is not a cure all or a
replacement for other forms of medical care. However, when used in
conjunction with a healthy lifestyle, massage therapy can be a vital
tool in increasing our quality of life.
There are numerous health benefits that can be derived from massage.
One of the most important benefits for seniors is the increase in
mobility. This occurs as a result of both a decrease in muscle tension
and an increase in the flexibility of the joints. Another wonderful
benefit is the reduction of pain through the release of our body’s
natural pain killers, endorphins. Some of the other physical benefits
include an increase in circulation which can improve nutrient delivery
to the tissues, decrease edema in the extremities, and improve healing.
Various age-related conditions such as osteoarthritis, bursitis, and
overall stiffness can also be dramatically improved though massage
Often overlooked, the psychological benefits of massage can be just as
beneficial as the physical effects. It has been well documented that
touch is an essential human need and its deprivation can lead to
depression or anxiety. Massage can help fill this void as well as
improve mental functioning, enhance sleep, and boost an overall sense
Massage therapy for the senior population does not differ that much
from massage for younger adults. Depending on the individual, the
length of the session may be shorter and greater care may be taken to
use various positions to accommodate any special needs. The techniques
are generally more gentle and soothing in nature unless there is a
specific compliant that is being addressed.
If you have any health concerns it is always a good idea to check with
your health care provider before you start massage therapy. While
massage therapy is very safe, there are certain conditions where
massage is contraindicated or must be modified. Always discuss any
questions you have with your therapist.
April is the final month of Health 1st’s year-long Wellness Team
competition. Whether developing a new team, reactivating an old team or
continuing a current team, Health 1st wants you to join the fun. Teams
of 10 will compete during April, and Health 1st will track steps taken
by every team to see if everyone's steps can go around the world during
the mnth. Free pedometers and log books will be provided.
In addition, worksite screening will be held at Harborview Office Tower
on April 24 and Cannon Place on May 8.
Subscribers of the state health plan can receive a thorough preventive
health screening at the above locations/dates. This screening, valued
at $200, is available for $15. Employees without this insurance can
participate for $38. This screening includes height, weight, blood
pressure and a blood draw for blood chemistry profile, hemogram, and a
blood lipid profile. For information, contact Health 1st at
email@example.com; or call 792-9959 or 792-1245.
Editor's note: The preceding column was brought to you on behalf of
Health 1st. Striving to bring various topics and representing numerous
employee wellness organizations and committees on campus, this weekly
column seeks to provide MUSC, MUHA and UMA employees with current and
helpful information concerning all aspects of health.
Friday, April 4, 2008
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