Who can benefit from massage therapy?
Because massage therapy tends to be both mentally calming and physically therapeutic, just about anyone can benefit from a session with a trained massage therapist.
In terms of specific physical complaints, people often seek treatment as primary or complementary therapy for neck, lower back and knee pain, and all-over pain (as with fibromyalgia). Arthritis and other conditions leading to painful hands and feet can also be targeted with massage.
Massage has also been recommended for people with anxiety and depression. In addition, massage can help when stress and fatigue are secondary symptoms related to illness and intense medical treatment, such as chemotherapy, and for people recovering from surgery.
The therapy can also benefit patients with severe wounds, or who are suffering from migraines and chronic headaches. An additional health issue for which massage therapy may be helpful includes pain stemming from diabetes, HIV/AIDS and other serious ailments.
What does massage therapy entail?
Massage therapists use targeted pressure techniques on soft tissues, such as muscles, in order to promote healing and boost wellness. The types of massage each client receives will depend in part on the area of specialty of the therapist, as well as the needs of the client.
“Regular” massage is fairly well known, and involves gentle manipulation and pressing down on your skin and underlying muscles, tendons, connective tissue and ligaments.
Several other types of massage therapy exist, including deep tissue massage, which involves more pressure and longer strokes, and lymphatic, in which gentle pressure is used to stimulate the lymphatic (drainage) system to decrease swelling and boost immunity. In trigger point therapy, pain centers are deactivated through targeted massage.
Depending on the kind of friction or smoothness needed for the massage, your massage therapist may use body oils. Aromatherapy candles or essential oils mixed in with the massage oil might also be part of the healing process.
What can I expect during my first treatment?
Our licensed and certified massage therapists are trained to thoroughly evaluate any issues you may have. Don’t worry if your main concern is feeling “a little stressed out,” as opposed to having a serious injury. Massage addresses a broad spectrum of health goals, from boosting general wellness to acting as a supplemental treatment for illness and injury.
After listening to your health goals, your physical therapist will recommend areas of focus and types of massage, as well as a timetable for healing.
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