Can Massage Therapy increase longevity? We really don't know the answer to that question. We do know that it won't decrease life expectancy, like smoking or stress. Although Bob Hope might have told a different story.
For those millenials and gen-xers who don't know who Bob Hope is, let me give you some background. Bob Hope was an extremely successful comdian, actor, singer, dancer and all round legendary performer. He started his careeir in what was known as vaudeville. Then he went to radio, movies, tv, etc. He had an active entertainment career spanning from the 1920s until his death at age 100. Bob Hope was known to have enjoyed a daily massage. He had a private massage therapist that traveled with him and a host of other therapists through the years.
He felt so strongly about massage. He said he wouldn't have made it through all the traveling and shows if it weren't for his massage. He attributed it to his longevity. I once heard him do a tv interview where he began to talk about his foot massages. He said he loved doing the USO shows but his feet would kill him. It was the massage that got him through all those long days on the road doing stand up performances.
Lesson learned from Bob Hope: A little self-care that increases the pleasure of your day may extend your life! As studies in the field of touch therapy and somatics are showing more and more benefits, I don't beleive it will be too long before we find that something as simple as massage therapy contributes to longevity.
My orginal teacher of massage, A now retired massage therapist and teacher, Kitty Leer, taught with a passion and always reminded her students that a weekly masssage is a preventative health practice. She passed this information on like a secret recipe or a family home remedy. You must follow the recipe exactly, like Mom always knew the right tea, soup of salve to offer her children. It's that way with massage too. Makes you feel better, perform longer and maybe even live longer.
Please share your experiences or comments in the Comment Box below. I'd love to hear from you.