Massage is an ancient healing art dating back thousands of years. It was one of the principle ways of relaxing and relieving pain. It is still one of the most effective therapies for relieving stress and discomfort.
Many conditions can benefit from massage therapy:
- Joint stiffness
- Muscle tension
- Poor circulation
- Frozen shoulder
- Low back pain
- Shin splints
- Muscular aches & pains
- Neck & shoulder tension
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Thoracic outlet syndrome
- Strains & sprains
- Muscle spasms
- Digestive disorders
- Piriformis syndrome
- TMJ disorder
Massage also promotes:
- body awareness
- freedom of movement
- general relaxation
- sense of well-being
Stress – Reducing stress gives you more energy, improves your outlook on life and therefore reduces your likelihood of injury and illness. Endorphins are released during massage, giving you an over-all sense of well-being.
Painful or Tight Muscles – From short-term muscle cramps to persistent muscle tension, massage helps relieve the pain. Sometimes contracted muscles press on nerves causing tingling, numbness & more pain. Massage helps by stretching and kneading tight muscles and by stimulating the nervous system to relax muscle tension.
Delayed Muscle Soreness – After vigorous exercise such as running a marathon, overdoing a work-out at the gym, performing an activity that you are not accustomed to or just over-exerting yourself in your everyday activities, a build-up of waste products in your muscles can leave you feeling achy, tired and sore. Massage increases circulation, which removes waste products and brings in nutrients for tissue repair.
Injuries – Repetitive strain injuries, such as tendinitis can develop through a motion done repeatedly, exhausting the muscle. Working at a computer for long periods of time or playing a racquet sport excessively can gradually cause severe pain. Car accidents, on-the-job accidents, slips and falls can cause severe muscle and ligament strains and sprains. Massage reduces the inflammation by increasing circulation that removes waste products and brings nutrition to injured tissues. Certain massage techniques can limit scar formation in new injuries and can reduce scar tissue in old injuries.
Posture – Massage works to release the tight muscles that are pulling your body out of line and allowing the over-stretched, compensating muscles to relax. These compensating muscles are usually the ones causing you pain. Proper posture allows your muscles to be in a state of balance and perform their functions with ease.
How will a Massage Feel? – Massage on normal tissue feels very soothing and relaxing. Massage on an area of injury or chronic pain may at first cause some discomfort, which lessens with release of the muscles involved. Always tell your massage therapist if you feel discomfort so he or she can make adjustments to minimize pain.
Your Personalized Plan – On your first visit you will be asked general health questions and of any recommendations by a referring practitioner. You will then be assessed to determine the best approach, perhaps by checking for restricted or painful movement, gently feeling for tenderness and looking at your posture. Your massage therapist will then create a plan, which will focus on your area of concern along with other areas that may be related. A series of massages as well as appropriate frequency may be recommended depending on your problem, its severity and how long you have had it, as well as your general health.
Self-Care Techniques – Your greatest benefit from massage could be learning ways to release tension, help heal injuries and how to prevent unnecessary stresses to your body. A good stretching plan everyday increases muscle flexibility and loosens joints. Taking short stretching breaks during long hours of activity also helps reduce the occurrence of tight muscles and repetitive strain injuries. A little self-care goes a long way.
Insurance Coverage – Massages may be covered through your car insurance if you have had a car accident. Some insurance plans provided through your employment may cover massage treatments. All plans differ somewhat, therefore it is important to check your current plan. If you are self-employed or a small business there is a plan through certain insurance companies that allows you to write off your massage treatments. Information is available about this plan.