Five Ways Massage Therapy Will Help You
Massage therapy is a widespread technique of holistic medicine, one that often complements other treatment methods. In chiropractic care, for example, massage is an excellent partner to regular adjustments. It uses pressure to manipulate the body’s muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Patients see relief with reduced stress and pain in trouble areas.
There are many different kinds of massage therapy, all that work towards a similar end goal by practicing different techniques. Each type delivers various benefits, so let’s look at the most common forms of massage.
Swedish massage is a popular style that is the most gentle on the body and promotes relaxation. Therapists use long strokes and circular movements to press into the muscle and skin. The pressure tends to stay on the surface, as the primary goal of a Swedish massage is to relax and reduce mental stress.
Although most patients who request a Swedish massage are looking for an hour of relaxation and stress relief, the technique has other benefits as well. The movements can treat minor muscle tension that tends to accumulate with everyday activities, such as sitting at a computer all day. Thanks to the relief of muscle strain, many patients leave their session feeling lighter, more buoyant, and with a sense of renewed energy.
Deep Tissue Massage
If you want to relax but also reap the muscular benefits, you can upgrade to a deep tissue massage. Using similar techniques of a Swedish massage (long strokes and circular movements), therapists apply more pressure to access the deeper muscles in the body. By reaching the deep layers of the inner muscles, this form of massage therapy can heal chronic or injury-related pain.
If you’re an athlete, you can benefit from sports massage. Using distinct strokes and techniques, this form of massage therapy helps to alleviate pain from past sports injuries, as well as work with the muscles to prevent future issues. The pressure will vary depending on each patient’s unique situation, but the end goal is the same: to reduce pain, increase mobility and flexibility, and prevent injury.
Trigger Point Massage
Trigger point massage focuses specifically on clusters of deep, tight muscle fibers. When these fibers connect deep into the muscle, it can cause chronic pain and reduce mobility. Therapists use bouts of prolonged pressure and short, circular movements to separate the connective tissues and fibers. Patients often feel a “popping” or “melting” sensation as the tight knot is released.
Besides the benefits of relaxation, stress management, pain relief, and sports-injury prevention, there are many other advantages to massage therapy. With regular practice, massage can relieve anxiety and stress, and therefore help reduce stress-related ailments such as insomnia. Many patients find relief with diseases such as digestive disorders, fibromyalgia, and myofascial pain syndrome.
Further, massage therapy has emotional and mental health benefits, as well. Taking the time to care for yourself with relaxing treatments gives patients a feeling of comfort and connection to their bodies. Massage can boost mood and sense of self, which can increase happiness, productivity, and focus.