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Think massage only belongs among the luxuries like pedicures, facials and seaweed wraps found at an upscale spa? Think again. Today, massage is considered by some to be a complementary alternative medicine (CAM) to be incorporated in a wellness routine along with regular exercise and eating right. In fact, some studies have shown that regular massage may help some people control pain and manage anxiety. Here are other possible benefits of massage that might make you want to incorporate it into your wellness routine.

Wake up: Even a quick 15-minute chair massage may make you more alert.

Bust back pain: A review of back pain studies found that massage such as acupuncture massage may be more beneficial for non-specific back pain than other treatments, including physical therapy or acupuncture alone.

Recover faster: Swedish, deep tissue or athletic massage may reduce recovery time after some types of injury.

Stress relief: According to a 2010 study, massage may significantly decrease levels of the stress-inducing hormone cortisol.

Like all types of alternative therapies, it’s best to discuss massage with your doctor. Some people may need to avoid certain types of massage — for example, people who are pregnant or who have bleeding disorders.

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