Massage therapy is a complementary health care service that can directly contribute to improved well being. Through the manipulation of soft tissues of the body, the massage therapist works toward alleviating discomfort and stress in order to renew the energy we all need in order to live fully.
For many conditions involving progressive decreases in mobility or progressive degenerative changes, massage therapy has some powerful therapeutic effects. From Parkinson’s to paralysis and from osteoporosis to osteoarthritis, pain and decreasing range of motion grow more and more debilitating. Massage therapy and joint mobilization provide motion to areas of immobility assisting the body’s circulatory, muscular, skeletal and lymphatic systems, which in turn can stimulate the immune system. Massage therapy should be included in most treatment plans for individuals suffering from progressive degenerative disease. Ask your massage therapist for further information.
Massage Therapy Can Help With:
- Back and neck pain
- General relaxation
- Acute and chronic muscle pain
- Post injury rehabilitaion
- Painful or restricted joints
- Temporomandibular joint pain (TMJ)
- Repetitive strain injuries
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Sports injuries
- Pregnancy induced pain or discomfort
- Poor cirulation/drainage
- Mild constipation
Stress Relief With Therapeutic Massage
Massage therapy deals directly with stress effects on the body. By reducing stress, you reduce the likelihood of injury and illness while at the same time increasing overall energy levels. Massage can also relieve symptoms of existing conditions that tend to be aggravated by anxiety such as asthma or insomnia. As well, since massage works to relieve stress, it is considered to be an excellent supportive therapy for people in psychological counseling or treatment for addiction.
Painful or Tight Muscles
Massage can relieve many types of muscle tightness, from a short-term muscle injury to habitually clenched jaws or tight shoulders. Massage works by stretching tight muscles and by stimulating the nervous system to relax the muscle tension.
Pain or Tingling in Arms or Legs
Muscles can become so contracted that they press on nerves and arteries to the arms, hands and legs. In this situation, massage therapy serves to release the muscular spasm which may offer immediate relief.
Pain or Restriction in Joints
In addition to the release of tight muscles that may restrict joint movement, there are massage techniques that work directly on the joints to improve circulation, stimulate production of natural lubrication, and relieve pain from conditions such as osteoarthritis.
Injuries: Sports or Work Related
Massage can help to heal injuries that develop over time, such as tendonitis, as well as ligament sprains or muscle strains caused by an accident. Massage therapy reduces the inflammation by increasing circulation. Improved circulation reduces waste and increases the flow of nutrients to the injured cells. Specific massage techniques can limit scar formation in new injuries and can reduce or make old scar tissue more pliable.
Prevention of New Injuries
Massage therapy can help to prevent injuries that might be caused by overtaxing unbalanced muscle groups, or by favoring or forcing a painful, restricted area.
Your body can return to a more natural posture after massage has released the restrictions in muscles, joints and the tough connective tissue around them. Massage can also relieve the contracted muscles and pain caused by abnormal spinal curvatures such as scoliosis.
Preparation for Massage
- You will be much more relaxed if you don’t eat for 1 to 2 hours before the massage.
- You can start the relaxation process even before the massage by taking a hot shower, bath or sauna first.
- Take off any jewelry that could cause scratching or interfere with having a continuous massage. If you wear glasses or contact lenses, remove them so that it is safe to massage around your eyes.
- Massaging the scalp is a fovorite for many people, but if are concerned about getting oil in your hair you can pin it up.
- Try to avoid chatting. Being quiet will allow you to tune into your experience more fully and to relax more deeply. However, do give your therapist feedback regarding the pressure this is most comfortable for you and feel free to ask any questions relating to your session. You don’t need to help by lifting your head, arms or legs. Let your therapist do all the work.