There is more to massage therapy than just "me time", though much appreciated. Massage not only has physical benefits, but many mental ones as well. Massage therapy can ease the discomfort after an injury or surgery. It is recommended that massage therapy be combined with physical therapy to help complete the healing process. There is a reduction of discomfort and pain and an improvement in flexibility, muscle spasms and swelling. Because there is an increase in blood flow, more oxygen and nutrients are delivered to your muscles and vital organs. Cancer patients have experienced less pain and anxiety after receiving massage as part of their treatment. Prenatal massage can ease a woman's discomfort during pregnancy and help balance out what all the extra hormones do to the anxiety levels of an expecting woman. Lead a stressful life? Massage therapy is known to reduce stress, encourage a sense of relaxation, lower blood pressure and alleviate headaches. Stress and anxiety can cause restricted breathing. Massage can literally help you breathe easier! Office jobs can cramp up your muscles from sitting all day in the same position and Swedish massage can lengthen those muscles back out to help you relax. Immunity is also improved through a regular massage regiment. Massage has been used to help treat depression, anxiety, ADHD and Autism. There is an increased peace of mind and a relaxed state of mental awareness. This more relaxed state improves a person’s ability to monitor stress signals and respond appropriately. Massage therapy also curbs the craving for a caring touch. Who knew there were so many healthy "side effects" to such a wonderful experience?! If you have not had a massage, now is the time to treat yourself! And no guilty feeling. . . you are doing it for your health!