Massage therapy is a simple and effective way to improve physical and mental health. Massage is a great way to pamper ourselves, but it’s much more than a momentary feel-good treatment. Massage has many important health benefits such as reducing stress, pain and muscle tension. There is no question that you will experience the most health benefits from massage when getting regular treatments. Massage calms the nervous system, improves blood circulation and lymphatic circulation, relieves muscle pain, and helps with pain management in conditions such as arthritis, sciatica, muscle spasms. Massage stimulates the release of hormones and lowers levels of stress hormones.
Typically, once every week or two is ideal for keeping your muscle tissue pliable and in good shape. If you are in chronic pain or have a special issue to address, you might need to come weekly (or even twice a week) until you feel better.
Once you’re feeling good, once a month is the recommended minimum for maintaining the health of your tissue. If you start stretching the massages out too far apart, then your muscles can revert to their old patterns, especially if you come under stress. If you wait too long, you’ll have to start all over again to restore their suppleness and pliancy. Listen to your body, but don’t wait too long
There are many different types of therapeutic massage
- Manipulation – ligaments, tendons, and muscles are massaged, stretched, and moved to improve mobility and to relieve pain. It is often done in combination with physical therapy techniques.
- Mobilization– focuses on moving the spine, joints, and muscles in the body to improve mobility, relax muscles, and improve posture. Like manipulation, it is done with physical therapy techniques.
- Deep tissue massage – treats the deeper layers of muscle by applying strong pressure to muscles and tendons.
- Myofascial (trigger point) massage– pressure is specifically applied to pain-triggering points that are oversensitive, tense muscle tissue and adhesions of connective tissue. The idea of trigger points is controversial and myofascial massage may not be consistently effective
- Shiatsu massage– a Japanese form of trigger point massage therapy that uses thumbs to massage acupuncture points.
- Manual lymphatic drainage– encourages natural drainage of waste products from the lymph nodes.
- Thai massage– involves stretching and pulling the limbs and applying strong, rhythmical pressure to the body with hands, elbows, knees, or feet. Focuses on manipulating “energy lines” (similar to acupuncture meridians) that run throughout the body to treat illnesses.
- Swedish massage– a classic form of massage that relaxes tense muscles and improves blood circulation. The skin and muscles in affected areas are gently stroked, kneaded, rubbed, tapped, and vibrated.
- Sports massage.This is similar to Swedish massage, but it’s geared toward people involved in sport activities to help prevent or treat injuries.
Some tips from us of how to get the most out of a massage:
- Don’t eat just before a massage.
- Be on time. If you arrive in a rushed state, it may take longer to relax.
- Take off only as much clothing as you are comfortable removing. Make sure the clothing that you leave on will allow the therapist to massage you.
- If you are allergic to any oils tell your massage therapist, who can use a substitute.
- During the massage, report any discomfort.
- Relax your muscles and your mind during the massage.
- Breathe normally to help you relax.
- If you’re dizzy or light-headed after the massage, do not get off the table too fast
- Drink extra water after your massage.