Massage therapy utilizes the manipulation of the muscles, tendons, and ligaments to promote health and wellness. Typically, massage is used as a complementary treatment and should not replace standard medical treatment. Research has shown that massage therapy is effective in treating:
- Low-back pain
- Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS)
- Anxiety and stress
- Soft tissue injuries
- High blood pressure
You may feel muscle soreness the following day. However, if you experience pain or discomfort during the massage, you should inform your massage therapist; who will then adjust their applied pressure. A typical massage session lasts anywhere from 10-90 minutes.
Benefits of Massage
Studies show that massage is effective in treating stress, pain, and muscle tension. Massage causes the body to release endorphins that produce feelings of relaxation, while also reducing stress-causing hormones (i.e., adrenaline, cortisol, and norepinephrine). It can also strengthen your immune system through hormone regulation.
Massage therapy can reduce feelings of pain by increasing blood circulation. Your blood carries oxygen and vital nutrients to the tissues and organs of your body; therefore expediting the rate of healing. Furthermore, your massage therapist can work any tension out of your muscles that may be causing pain.
Other Benefits of Massage Therapy Include:
- Increased Range of Motion
- Heightened Mental Alertness
- Headache Relief
- Better Sleep
- Minimizes Swelling Following an Injury or Surgery
Types of Massage Therapy
- Involves the assessment and treatment of pain, soft tissue injury and/or dysfunction; affecting your range of motion and mobility.
- Also known as ‘Western’ or ‘Swedish’ massage, therapeutic massage promotes blood circulation and relaxation.
- Lymphatic Drainage
- Relaxes the nervous system and aids the body’s immune system.
- Utilizes pressure points that stimulate the body’s natural healing processes.
You may want to consult with your physician before receiving a massage if you have:
- A bleeding disorder or take blood thinners
- Burns or healing wounds
- Fractured bones
What to Expect During a Massage
Before your massage begins, your therapist may ask you about your pain and/or symptoms as well as review your medical history. They may also ask you what you want to accomplish through massage therapy. This question will help them come up with a treatment regime that will help you accomplish your goals.
Typically, at a massage appointment, you will lie undressed on a massage table with a sheet as a covering. However, if you are uncomfortable with disrobing you can wear loose-fitting to your massage appointment.
Depending on your preference, your massage therapist may also use lotion or oil to reduce skin friction. However, if you are allergic to either of these products let your massage therapist know.
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