There are many benefits of massage therapy. Massage therapy is an effective way to alleviate many common problems. The studies show that massage can reduce pain, stress, and anxiety. Massage also improves sleep quality by increasing the amount of deep sleep you get at night. If you are looking for a way to improve your health or if you have been experiencing any of these symptoms, then it might be time to schedule a massage!
What Is Massage Therapy?
Massage is one of the earliest tools that people used to relieve pain. Throughout history, It has been practiced in most cultures, both Eastern and Western ones.
Massage is the practice of rubbing and kneading the body using the hands. Trained massage therapists provide massages. During a massage, the therapist applies pressure (gentle or strong, depending on the application) to muscles and joints to ease pain and tension. Massage therapy can be used to help manage a health condition or also to enhance wellbeing.
Typically, massage therapists use either oil or talcum powder to allow their hands to slip over a person’s skin. Sometimes, a sheet or thin piece of cloth might be used for the same effect.
Know The Benefits of Massage Therapy
Massage therapy has several benefits for your physical and mental health. One of the immediate benefits of massage therapy is a feeling of deep relaxation and calm. This occurs because massage stimulates the release of endorphins, the brain chemicals that produce feelings of wellbeing. Massage therapy also significantly reduces the levels of stress hormones, such as adrenalin and cortisol.
The physical benefits of massage therapy include:
- Reduced muscle tension
- Improved circulation
- Stimulation of the lymphatic system
- Increased joint mobility and flexibility
- Improved skin tone
- Improved recovery of soft tissues
Different Types of Massage
There are many different massage styles, and your therapist will customize your treatment depending on your age, condition, or any special needs or goals you have.
Some of the most common types of massage therapies are:
- Swedish massage – this involves soft, long, kneading strokes and light, rhythmic, tapping strokes on the topmost layers of muscles. It is often combined with a movement of the joints. Swedish massage works great for muscle tension and can be both relaxing and energizing.
- Deep tissue massage – this one focuses the pressure on the deeper layers of the skin and the muscles and is best to address certain painful, stiff “trouble spots” in your body.
- Sports massage – this one can help you with your training before or after a sports event like a marathon. It can also be used to promote flexibility and help prevent or heal sports injuries.
- Shiatsu Massage – shiatsu means “fingers” in Japanese. For this type of massage, the therapist uses rhythmic pressure in specific points called acupressure points, believed to be important for the body’s vital energy flow.
- Lymphatic drainage massage – this one is a gentle massage designed to increase the circulation of lymph fluids in your body. It is effective for toxin removal and to get all the impurities out of your body.
Does Massage Therapy Improve Circulation?
Yes, it does. Massage improves circulation because the pressure applied moves the blood through the congested areas. The squeezing and pulling also flush lactic acid from the muscles. Another remarkable benefit of massage therapy is the stimulation of lymphatic circulation. The lymph fluid moved by the pressure carries away metabolic waste from muscles and internal organs, leading to lower blood pressure and overall improved body function.
Does Massage Therapy Improve Posture?
Yes. Posture is defined as the position in which someone holds their body when they are standing or sitting. And posture is more important to your health than you might think. We are talking about both physical and mental health. Having a good posture is about way more than looking good and confident. Improving your posture can help you develop strength, flexibility, and balance in your body. This can all lead to less muscle pain and increased energy levels throughout the day.
The most common injuries and complications caused by poor posture over time are back pain, sprains and hernia (starting from the shoulder and neck area down to the lower back), varicose vein, carpal tunnel syndrome, and joints degeneration. Poor posture, especially with today’s sedentary lifestyle, is prevalent, and massage therapy can improve it. A tailored massage from a specialized therapist can increase the range of movement, reduce stiffness and increase mobility, allowing your body to position itself in a natural and pain-free position.
How Do Massage Therapy and Chiropractic Work Together?
Chiropractic treatment and massage therapy work very well together. When used in combination, they help you maintain your optimum health and enjoy life to the fullest.
Pain is often due to soft tissue tightness and spinal dysfunction. Chiropractic work and massage therapy address these components, offering a natural, drug-free approach to pain relief. They can be used as preventative as well as restorative therapies. Clients who combine massage therapy and chiropractic treatment see better, faster, and longer-lasting results because of the holistic approach to healing. Moreover, the combination of the two enhances the general sense of wellness and relaxation.
When Is the Best Time To Get a Massage – Before or After a Chiropractic Adjustment?
You can choose to have a massage either before or after a chiropractic treatment because there are benefits to both options. It also depends on your body and the issue you are addressing with the treatment.
A massage focuses on the body’s soft tissues (like the muscles), while chiropractic adjustment focuses on the hard tissues (like the vertebrae and joints of the spine). By targeting both, it is possible to achieve a faster and more complete recovery.
Having a massage before chiropractic works well because of the relaxation factor. After a massage, you are more relaxed and less anxious, which allows the chiropractor to adjust the joints and the spine better. In addition, relaxed muscles won’t pull the joints back out of alignment, which can happen when muscles are tense. Therefore, a massage before chiropractic care is recommended for those patients with a high degree of muscle tightness. When muscles are tight, it becomes difficult to perform adjustments, and a massage can allow better access to the joints.
On the other hand, some patients also greatly benefit from having a massage after a chiropractic adjustment. This approach can sustain the improved alignment of the joints because once the muscles become tight, tension is easily transferred to the joints and bones. For those undergoing multiple chiropractic adjustments because of recurrent joint problems, it is best to have the massage after.
The bottom line is that it depends on your general condition. Your chiropractor and massage therapist at Optimum Health Rehab will be able to recommend you the best option for you.
At Optimum Health Rehab, we have licensed massage therapists on staff. We are proud to offer an integrated approach to healthcare to bring you total and lasting healing and improved wellbeing. Contact us by filling this form.Massage Therapy