What Is Massage Therapy?
Massage therapy is where your skin, tendons, muscles, and ligaments are pressed, rubbed, and manipulated. The therapy ranges from receiving light strokes to deep pressure. During the therapy, a trained and certified massage therapist manipulates your body’s soft tissues using varying degrees of movement and pressure.
Types Of Massage
There are numerous kinds of massage. The most popular ones are:
The Swedish massage is a gentle kind of massage therapy that uses deep circular movements, long strokes, kneading, vibration, and tapping. This type of massage helps you feel energized and relaxed.
This massage is like the Swedish massage. However, it is ideal for people who play sports to treat or prevent injuries.
Deep Tissue Massage
A deep tissue massage uses a slower technique and forceful strokes that target deep layers of connective tissue and muscle. It is normally used to help with muscle damage resulting from an injury.
Trigger Point Massage
The trigger point massage focuses on areas where there are tight muscle fibers that develop in your muscle after an injury or following overuse.
Who Benefits From Massage Therapy?
Massage therapy can benefit anyone. Apart from simple relaxation, it has a variety of health benefits. Massage therapy is effective for people suffering from back pain and headaches. Some studies have proven that massage therapy can relieve people suffering from migraines and that it can also improve sleep.
A review of some clinical trials showed that massage therapy helps reduce depression. But for people with a general anxiety disorder, it can only assist in giving a calming effect.
Massage therapy is also used as a complement to Western medicine by promoting relaxation, reducing cancer symptoms, and the side effects of cancer treatment. However, there are areas a massage therapist should avoid with cancer patients and times where the whole therapy should be avoided altogether.
Massages can be beneficial in reducing pain, fatigue, swelling, or nausea. Most people go for massages to help improve the function of their immune systems.
When Is Massage Therapy Not Appropriate?
Many people can benefit from massages. However, massage therapy may not be suitable if you have:
- Fractured bones
- A low platelet count or severe thrombocytopenia
- Deep vein thrombosis
- Bleeding disorders or you are taking blood-thinning medication
- Healing wounds or burns
- Severe osteoporosis
When To Consult a Doctor
Consult your doctor about the pros and cons of massage therapy if you are pregnant, a cancer patient or you have unexplained pain.
Normally, some forms of massage can leave your body feeling sore the next day. This should not raise alarm. However, a massage should not be overly uncomfortable and painful. If you generally feel a lot of pain during massage therapy, you should consider seeing your doctor for a physical examination.