Massage as therapy

I came across this recently:

“Massage therapy has been shown to reduce aversion to touch and to decrease anxiety, depression and cortisol levels in women who have been sexually or physically abused (Field, et. al., 1997).”   (reference)

In one study, women received 45-minute massages five times a week for a month. Before and after tests showed reduced stress, lower cortisol (stress hormone) levels, and improvement in immune system function. In bulimic teenage girls, massage twice a week for 5 weeks reduced depression and anxiety, and improved body image. Other studies have shown massage improves serotonin and dopamine levels, reduce disruptive behaviour in children, and improves sleep in those with post-traumatic stress syndrome. Massage has also been shown to connect the one giving the massage and the one receiving, reducing mistrust and building a sense of safety and security.

The point of all this is massage is extremely powerful, well beyond what most of us will ever understand. Massage can do more to build intimacy with your wife than books, seminars, or hours of communication could ever do. It may take time, but if you can regularly give her a non-sexual massage, it will make a change – in both of you. Start small by doing her feet and hands. Do a number of short massages if she won’t go for longer ones.

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4 Comments on “Massage as therapy

  1. That’s not much of a reference, and I highly doubt that it means “ALL women” yadda yadda yadda. More likely its “most women” or “some women”. For over 12 years I gave my wife massages (feet, shoulders, back, whole body) 2 to 3 times a week. I’ve been told its “wonderful”. I’d say maybe once a year it would be part of sex (which is about as often as we had sex). It may have benefited her, but I certaintly didn’t see any change in the way she treats me. Too bad my wife didn’t participate in that study, she would be the exception that proves the rule.

    Look, I like the generous husband things you do here, and I follow a lot of them. But its pure bunk to say if you do this and that, or if you follow God’s teachings, it will always lead to good results. Because it doesn’t, because it depends on the other person reacting to this and that, or to change and follow God’s teachings. And sometimes they just don’t or won’t. It’s like saying “If you become a Christian all your problems will go away, your life will be great!” They don’t and it doesn’t. In fact they often get worse. Don’t spread that lie.

  2. Slowly and GENTLY brushing your wife’s hair is also a good way to give her some touch and massage her scalp.

  3. I’ve recently started a Saturday morning ritual w/ my bride where I spend an hour or so massaging her. I have found her to be very receptive to this and that it does draw us closer and usually ends happily. Because of this, I am always inclined to do it again the following weekend, even if I’m too tired to wake up enough to start massaging. We’ve been married 15 years and I’ve just barely now figured out that this is something she enjoys enough to become aroused by it. It takes about an hour for arousal to set in, but she is totally worth it.

    As with everything else in life, there is no surefire solution that works for everone. If this isn’t something your wife enjoys or isn’t bringing you closer, by all means, spend the effort looking for something else that will.

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