Applying pressure or touching the skin provides relief to pain by relaxing muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Although some of the deeper tissues of the body like the deep spinal muscles are not easily accessible by a massage therapist, the release of more superficial layers of muscles can also affect these deeper layers. Thus, therapeutic massage helps provide better alignment and balance to both superficial and deep tissues. You can get a dark chocolate body massage which is nourishing and will leave your skin firm and glowing.
2. RELIEVES STRESS
Massage therapy can involve varying degrees of pressure. A lighter massage may be more relaxing and therefore more beneficial, depending on your situation. A light pressure will be tolerable for patients with certain pain conditions such as fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome. Certain forms of massage, such as deep tissue massage can be painful for some people. Therapeutic massage doesn’t have to be painful. You can always tell your therapist the type of touch you prefer (light touch, firm pressure, hard pressure).
3. IMPROVES BLOOD CIRCULATION
Therapeutic massage benefits organs too, as they share neurological pain pathways with muscles, bones, and nerves. Organs can exhibit distress and dysfunction when muscles, bones, or nerves are distressed. For example, lower back pain can magnify menstrual cramps and menstrual cramps can further tense the lower back muscles. Hence, for the functioning of both the organs and muscles, massage can be beneficial.
4. IMPROVES JOINT FLEXIBILITY
Therapeutic massage has shown to improve joint flexibility. It may relieve lower-back pain and stimulates the release of pain-relieving hormones called endorphins. It treats and prevents conditions such as arthritis, sports injuries, work-related injuries, and repetitive strain injuries, walking or running-related pain, poor posture and suboptimal use of the body in movement. A study in Korea examing the effects of massage therapy on ankle flexibility showed improvements. A simple ten-minute massage on a regular basis showed that the group who got a massage improved in the range of motion while the group who did not receive as many massages were not nearly as flexible.
5. HELPS IN PAIN RELIEF
A study was conducted on the use of massage for various types of pain, including muscle and bone pain, headaches, deep internal pain, fibromyalgia pain, and spinal cord pain. It revealed that massage therapy relieves pain better than getting no treatment at all. Therapeutic messages have proved beneficial when compared to other pain treatments like acupuncture and physical therapy. Massage therapy may alleviate the perception of pain and anxiety in cancer patients and may reduce post-traumatic headaches better than cold packs. Regular massage over six weeks may reduce pain, fatigue, and spasms in patients with multiple sclerosis. If you try massage therapy and find you’re not getting relief, you may benefit from altering the dose and frequency.
6. RELIEVES ANXIETY
In addition to relieving physical pain, massage therapy also helps manage anxiety and maintain a good quality of life. It’s still a matter of research that how massage alleviates pain by manipulation of soft tissue, but there can be multiple mechanisms like physiological, neurological, psychological factors that lead to the beneficiary effects of massage. Other variables that impact massage effectiveness are the technique used and the skill level of the massage therapist. Always choose a certified massage therapist who is experienced in the type of pain relief you’re seeking.
7. IMPROVES IMMUNITY
Therapeutic massage can improve natural immunity by manipulating the body’s soft tissue which further stimulates the flow of fluid in the lymphatic system that helps build your body’s immunity to flush away waste products. A 12-week study using HIV positive adolescents showed that following the study there was an improvement of immune system function. It was shown that their white blood cell count, increased following the end of the study.
Massage is not a new form of pain relief but was also mentioned by Hippocrates as an effective therapy for sports or war injuries. In today’s “pill for every ill” mentality, this age-old practice is desperately needed. Although there are no harmful effects of massage, there are some specific situations where it is not recommended. For example: massaging an inflamed area of skin can make it worse by causing irritation. Massage should be avoided to an area of infection, as it might spread the infection. Massage should be avoided at all cost for patients with heart problems, infectious disease, and some skin conditions. Always choose a licensed therapist; your Physical Therapist or Certified Massage Therapist may be able to make a recommendation.
Even if you don’t have any particular problem, visiting a licensed massage therapist once a month is recommended. But if you are suffering from back pain issues, then booking an appointment with a therapist and visiting three-to-six times within a short period of time would be beneficial.
So, next time when you are suffering from muscle pain, instead of popping a pill, call your local massage therapist and an hour of nice and relaxing massage. Massage Therapy requires pressure onto tight muscles, which might be tender and requires some extra pressure. But, after getting into those trigger points, you will be feeling good as new.