Massage is useful in many conditions in which body relaxation, the reduction of swelling, and muscle mobilization is desired. Massage therapy can be helpful in overcoming the swelling and pooling of fluids at the site of recent injury or trauma.
Some of the benefits of massage therapy include, circulation improvement, promotion of the healing process, and enhancement of manipulation, joint and muscle function.
The practice of massage therapy is the assessment of the soft tissue and joints of the body. Soft tissues include the skin muscles, ligaments, tendons, connective tissue and membranes.
It treats and prevents physical dysfunction and pain of the soft tissues and joints.
Massage therapy develops, maintains, rehabilitates, or augments physical function, and relieves pain.
Massage therapy treats problem specific areas as well as the whole metabolism, by normalizing the circulatory, lymphatic, muscular, and nervous system.
Massage therapy can exert a stimulating effect or soothing effect on the nervous system.
It can improve circulation to various tissues and organs.
For example, it can aid in digestion by temporarily increasing vascularity to digestive organs; it can also improve circulation through muscle, improving healing and recovery to damaged tissue. Massage therapy has also been shown to improve the movement of blood and lymph to the heart, allowing the heart to beat more efficiently.
Most people think of the ‘relaxation’ massage when asked about massage therapy.
While this is one of the major uses and benefits of massage, its usefulness does not end there. Today, massage is commonly used to treat everything from carpal tunnel syndrome to tendonitis to breathing difficulties.
A few of the conditions that massage therapy can help relieve includes: adhesive capsulitis, sprains and strains, osteoarthritis, sciatica, headaches, iliotibial band syndrome, chrohn’s disease, menstrual difficulties, pregnancy and much more.
Swedish massage uses a variety of manipulations that include effleurage (gliding), petrissage, which includes kneading, squeezing, wringing, picking up, and skin rolling techniques, tapotement (percussion), shaking, stroking, and vibration. The uses of these techniques are many and varied depending on the goals of the treatment.
Hydrotherapy is one modality used often by massage therapists. Thermophores (heating pads) are a form of moist heat used on various areas of the body to help relax deep muscles. Cold and ice are also used to help decrease any swelling or inflammation.
Trigger point techniques are often used to rid a muscle of any trigger points. Trigger points are a hyper-irritable spot within a taut band of muscle or fascia that are painful on compression. The techniques used include muscle stripping, direct compression and stretching.
Manual lymph drainage is used to help decrease edema (swelling) caused by trauma. Drainage is performed by lightly compressing lymph nodes located in the area of congestion thereby creating a passage so that the lymph may drain.
Other techniques used by the massage therapists include deep tissue and fascia mobilization, and friction therapy.
Chiropractic and massage therapy, used in combination, form a powerful healing approach that addresses pain on many levels. Both long-term muscle tension and sudden impacts, such as falls, can pull and hold joints out of normal alignment.
Chiropractic uses adjustments to return the joints to their normal positions and restore joint mobility.
Joint misalignments or subluxations, are often accompanied by tension or injury to the surrounding muscles, and ligaments.
These tissues can produce pain that spreads because it causes protective muscle tightening in surrounding areas. Over time, tight, inflamed muscles and fascia suffer poor circulation and can develop adhesions that prevent muscles from lengthening completely.
Painful trigger points can also develop, referring pain or tingling to other areas in the body. Addressing soft tissue problems is an important complement to chiropractic care.
Muscles move joints, while ligaments support them. If a subluxation is adjusted without addressing related soft tissues, the whole problem is not being addressed and the pain and dysfunction may persist.
Sports massage can serve three distinct purposes: preparing for and recovering after an event, preventative maintenance, and recovery from injury. A pre-event massage can help heat the muscles, reduce excess muscle tension and create a sense of psychological readiness.
A post event massage can help lessen the effects of physical trauma, mainly by enhancing blood flow to the muscles, removing toxins such as lactic acid, and delivering oxygen and nutrients.
This process helps speed recovery.
Maintenance massage sessions scheduled regularly during training do much the same – relax and prepare the muscles for hard effort, and speedy recovery. By increasing the blood flow to the muscles, massage helps repair the small tears – micro-traumas, which occur after strenuous activity.
A massage therapist will develop a strategy that best suits the condition and physical history.
Give us a call at 480-755-7777 to schedule a massage therapy appointment today!