If you’re a fan of massage, you’re probably familiar with the relaxing, stress-busting effects of an occasional rubdown. Indeed, regular massage therapy can release muscle tension and promote feelings of calm and well-being, both in the short and long-term. But, did you know that a massage can be used to treat the symptoms of certain illnesses and complications to physical health?
Keep reading to learn more about the healing powers of massage, including information on technique, advantages and more.
Massage and Physical Health
There’s no doubt the soothing effects of massage can be extremely beneficial to physical health. However, in addition to relaxation, massage can actually promote healing and enhance overall body function. For example, when used as a complimentary, massage can be helpful in treating illnesses like the following:
- Fibromyalgia. Characterized by chronic nerve pain, poor mobility and other uncomfortable symptoms, fibromyalgia can be a debilitating illness. Massage can help by reducing pain and discomfort, improving mobility in the joints, and promoting deep, restful sleep. Because fibromylagia is a chronic disease, frequent, regular massage can definitely offer advantages. Some patients even opt for at-home massage on their own tables from suppliers like Earthlite, who offer massage therapy accessories to both patients and professionals.
- Scoliosis. Scoliosis, or curvature of the spine, can produce painful symptoms that interfere with the simplest of activities. By enhancing blood flow, reducing pain and relaxing muscles, regular massage can offer relief from the effects of this illness.
- Lower back pain. By offering relief from pinched nerves, tense or spastic muscles, poor mobility and other painful or disruptive symptoms, massage can be extremely helpful in addressing pain in the lower back. What’s more, because it loosens muscles and increases range of motion, massage can help prevent damage and injury to the lower back.
- Neck pain. In the treatment of neck pain, massage can keep the muscles and joints limber, reduce pain and stiffness, and significantly enhance range of motion.
- Post-operative rehabilitation. Since the manipulation of muscles and tissues can boost circulation, massage is known for its post-operative healing properties. Plus, massage therapy can help reduce stiffness and soreness in post-op patients, prevent the buildup of scar tissue, and improve flexibility and mobility.
- Arthritis. Regular massage can significantly reduce pain and stiffness in the joints, muscle tension and other symptoms of arthritis. Plus, with frequent massage sessions, many patients report significant improvements in both mobility and quality of life.
Massage and Psychological Health
In addition to addressing the symptoms of physical ailments, massage can help in treating psychological illnesses, as well. For example, by boosting the body’s production of “feel-good” chemicals called endorphins, massage can reduce the symptoms of depression, soothe away tension and anxiety, and promote all-around feelings of calm and well-being.
Is Massage Right for You?
If you suffer from a physical illness or injury, you should talk to your doctor before booking an appointment with a massage therapist. However, if you’re looking to relax and unwind, or address stress, insomnia, depression or anxiety, the following types of massage can be beneficial:
- Swedish massage. Known for its use of gentle pressure and circular motions, Swedish massage is great for reducing stress and boosting energy.
- Shiatsu. This type of massage is associated with firm, rhythmic pressure, and is known for its restorative, rejuvenating effects.
- Sports massage. Not just for athletes, sports massage can help in treating or preventing injuries to the joints, muscles and ligaments.
- Deep-tissue massage. Great for busting stress and tension, deep-tissue massage targets the muscles and connective tissues found deep below the skin.
Once considered a luxury treatment, massage is now available virtually anywhere, and is used to treat ailments ranging from the physical to the emotional. If you think massage is right for you, talk to your doctor, or book an appointment with a licensed massage therapist. You’ll be glad you did!
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