Massage therapy is a common, highly effective form of natural therapy, but not everyone understands its potential. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions, courtesy of Backsmart Wellness Center.
If massage is therapeutic, why can’t I just get my “therapy” at a spa? There’s nothing wrong with the Swedish massage you typically get at a spa. But this light form of massage, which focuses on stimulating and relaxing the tissues near the skin surface, may not be what you actually need. Our clinic can offer advanced techniques such as deep tissue massage to address issues that are more than skin deep.
What can a massage do for an injury? It might seem odd to undergo massage therapy for something like an injury, but this form of treatment can prove immensely helpful to the recovery process. Massage improves blood flow to the injury site, transporting much-needed oxygen and nutrients for faster healing. Some types of deep tissue work can also help break up adhesions, a form of excessive scar tissue that causes chronic stiffness. By loosening and relaxing muscle groups, massage therapy can even help prevent injuries while improving performance — which is why professional athletes often rely on massage to keep them fit for their chosen sport.
How does deep tissue massage relieve pain? Overworked, damaged muscle fibers tend to produce lactic acid and other inflammatory toxins that can cause swelling and soreness. Deep tissue massage helps your muscles expel these toxins so they can be eliminated by the body. If you have a chronic pain condition such as headaches or fibromyalgia, regular massage therapy sessions can help you control your symptoms. This allows you to avoid the potential risks and complications associated with prescription painkillers.
Why do I need other therapies alongside massage? Our wellness team has found that multiple natural therapeutic techniques can complement each other nicely. Massage therapy and acupuncture, for instance, both have the effect of boosting circulation, relieving inflammation and improving overall physical function, so a combination of both modalities can have an especially powerful effect on your health and wellness. If you’re undergoing physiotherapy, massage therapy can prove invaluable for relieving the muscle soreness that can accompany this exertion.
How can massage therapy help me stay well? We’ve already mentioned how massage therapy can improve blood flow, which helps to oxygenate and nourish the body. But it also reduces your level of the stress hormone cortisol, which in turn can help lower your blood pressure, improve your sleep, and improve your immune response. Last but certainly not least, massage encourages the release of dopamine and serotonin, neurotransmitters that promote feelings or relaxation and happiness. These (and other) benefits all work together to help you maintain optimum health at all times.