Massage can be used in the treatment of the acute and chronic stages of specific conditions. Treatment also enhances an individual’s overall sense of emotional and physical well-being and quality of life.
Massage therapy can help with a range of conditions, including:
Muscle tension and spasm
Tingling in your arms or legs
Fractures and edema
Inflammatory conditions (arthritis, bursitis)
Carpal tunnel syndrome
Repetative strain injuries
Chronic fatigue syndrome
Therapeutic massage is an important part of your health maintenance plan, by: reducing or eliminating pain, improving joint mobility, improving circulation, improving immune system functioning, reducing depression and anxiety, and reducing tension within muscles. Massage can relieve many types of muscle tightness, from a short-term muscle cramp to a habitually clenched jaw or tight shoulders. Some massage techniques release tension directly by stretching and kneading your muscles and their connective tissue coverings (called fascia). Other techniques work less directly, but quite powerfully, by stimulating your nervous system to allow your muscles to relax. Massage can also relieve secondary pain that outlasts its original cause. Some examples are headaches from eyestrain, low back ache during pregnancy, or the protective tensing of healthy muscles around an injury.
Massage is also successful in helping your body cope with stress. Your body’s natural response to stress is to prepare for an emergency. This causes your nervous system to release hormones such as adrenaline. With this response, most individuals will experience an increase in blood pressure and heart rate. Muscles will also tense up, and digestive systems can slow down. Much of life’s stress is ambiguous and ongoing, therefore your brain doesn’t receive a signal that it’s ok to rest and recuperate. Massage will help to trigger your nervous system to end this emergency response. Your body can then relax, and feel more rejuvenated.
Massage therapy benefits people of all ages. While it benefits the injured, the ill and the stressed, the real strength of massage therapy lies in prevention.
Your greatest benefit from massage could be learning ways to release tension or help heal injuries outside of your massage sessions. Massage therapist can show you gentle exercise to increase flexibility and teach your muscles more efficient movements.