Previously, Massage was only offered in luxury spas and upscale health clubs. Find out about the health benefits of massage and what to expect from a session.
Massage is the practice of pressing, rubbing and manipulating your skin or muscles.
- Swedish massage. This massage is gentle and can help you feel relaxed and energized.
- Deep Massage. This technique uses slow and more forceful strokes in order to reach deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue.
- Sports massage. This is a massage that’s similar to Swedish massage, but it’s for those who participate in sport activities to prevent or treat injury.
- Trigger Point Massage. This massage targets tight muscle groups that can develop after injury or overuse.
Integrative medicine also includes massage. Massage is being increasingly offered alongside standard treatment for a range of medical conditions.
Some massage benefits include:
- Stress reduction and relaxation
- Reduce muscle soreness and pain
- Increased circulation, energy and alertness
- Lowering your heart beat and blood pressure
- Improving immune function
While more research is needed to confirm the benefits of massage, studies have shown that it can be beneficial for:
- Digestive disorders
- Insomnia due to stress
- Low back pain
- Myofascial pain syndrome
- Nerve pain
- Soft tissue injuries or strains
- Sports injuries
- Temporomandibular pains in the joint
- Upper back and neck pain
You can use massage to treat certain conditions or diseases. Massage can also be used to build relationships.
Although massage is a great alternative to regular medical care, It should not be considered a substitute for regular medical attention.
Massage can pose risks
Massage is beneficial for all people.
- Bleeding disorders or blood-thinning medication
- Healing wounds and burns
- Deep vein embolism
- Broken bones (fractures).
- Severe osteoporosis
- Low platelet count (severe haglobinemia)
Discuss the benefits and drawbacks of massage with your doctor, especially if you are pregnant or have unanswered questions about cancer or other conditions.
Some massages can cause soreness. Don’t hesitate to contact your doctor. Exercising too much pressure can lead to serious injuries.
What should you expect from a massage
It is easy to massage. A massage therapist will ask you about your medical history and tell you the type of massage that he/she uses.
Massage therapy is best done in loose fitting clothes.
Your massage therapist may use oil or lotion to reduce friction.
A session of massage can last from 10 to 90 minutes, depending on the type of massage and how long it is. You should feel calm and relaxed during your massage.
You have the option to request that your massage therapist plays music or speak with you during your massage.
You can ask for less pressure from a massage therapist if they push too hard. Let your therapist know if it is becoming unbearable.
Finding a Massage Therapist
Ask your doctor. Massage therapists can be licensed, registered or certified in most of the states.
Ask potential massage therapists to ask questions such as:
- Are your licenses, certifications, or registered?
- What are you qualified and have you had any experience?
- How many massage therapy sessions will I need?
- What is the cost of this treatment and what are your options for coverage?
Massage: The take home message
Don’t mistake massage for a way to indulge or pamper yourself. Learn to self-massage or partner up with someone.