Benefits of Massage Therapy for Arthritis Patients Page 3

One Connecticut woman who has had arthritis for more than 25 years, said just the touch of a warm hand and the care and concern nurses show when performing the therapy are soothing and relaxing. Another patient, in Pennsylvania, said he considers touching an important part of the healing process. "It's helpful to have someone who shows care and concern," he said" (Rock, 37).

  Those two patients pay about $75 each week for their treatments, but they - and others - say it is money well-spent, since the relief from their arthritic pain is a blessing they have not experienced in years. As one patient said, "It beats pills" (Rock, 38).

What Massage Therapy Does

How does massage therapy relieve pain? In addition to helping relax the patient, the therapy improves the functions of the circulatory, lmphyatic, musculoskeletal, and nervous systems. A massage also stretches the muscles, which moves fluids that help rid the body of wastes. This, too, improves circulation (Cimons, 39).

In patients with arthritis, the therapy stretches connective tissues and helps circulation so the patient enjoys a better blood flow and, consequently, less pain in joints, where arthritis strikes the most. Again, the mental

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