Massage Therapy FAQs

Minimizing Stress

The power of massage therapy is undeniable. When properly administered, medical massage can be a powerful ally in your ongoing healthcare routine. Studies have found that as much as 90% of all diseases and medical conditions are related to stress. At Backsmart Wellness Center, we provide massage therapy to minimize your chances of developing many common medical conditions and enjoy, as much as possible, a stress-free life.

Answers from Our Edison, NJ Team

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 in addition to 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.

Is there a difference between massage and massage therapy?

There is not necessarily a distinction between massage and massage therapy, although those performing massage therapy tend to have received formal training and are giving the massage for a specific medical purpose.

What is medical massage therapy?

Medical massage therapy is a treatment prescribed for resolving conditions diagnosed by a physician. Your massage therapist has a wide range of techniques at their disposal, but will focus a medical massage session on parts of your body involved with a medical diagnosis.

A massage therapist cannot diagnose on their own; they must perform their work based upon the prescription of a doctor. Medical massage is extremely effective for a wide range of soft tissue injuries. It can also help with certain psychological disorders.

Medical massage is not considered as a treatment in its own right, rather it is complementary to the work of your medical provider. Before undergoing massage therapy, you should have received a medical diagnosis for a specific health condition.

What are the benefits of medical massage?

Medical massage has been proven to offer a wide range of benefits, including:

  • Greater joint mobility
  • Looser and more relaxed muscles
  • Enhanced blood circulation
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Reduced muscle tension, stiffness and pain
  • Enhances the immune system
  • Decreases headaches and insomnia
  • Prevents injuries by maintaining body flexibility
  • Improved removal of waste away from muscles and internal organs

How often should you get massages?

The frequency that therapeutic massage should be performed depends upon a number of factors, including the specific condition it is being performed to treat.

Will deep tissue massage relieve back pain?

Undergoing regular massage therapy can help minimize back pain. One study found that undergoing a deep tissue massage over the course of 10 days led to a significant reduction in pain for patients.

According to the American College of Physicians, massage therapy for lower back pain can offer results lasting up to 12 weeks.

Does massage therapy help with stress and anxiety?

Two-thirds of those seeking massage therapy were seeking to manage stress and relax, according to the American Massage Therapy Association.

According to the Mayo Clinic, a 60-minute massage for relaxation helps lower cortisol levels by up to 30%, as well as raising serotonin levels by almost 30 percent.

How does a medical massage work?

Although massages may be different for each individual patient, in general, a massage will take place on a comfortable massage table. You’ll be told what position to lie on this table, and your massage therapist may be applying a lotion or oil to reduce friction on your skin.

Depending upon your individual treatment, your massage therapist may be massaging either your full body or certain areas requiring special attention. For example, a stress reduction massage session normally involves all major areas of the body. On the other hand, if you require treatment for a specific injury, tightness, or pain, they will focus on the specific area involved.

Meet Dr. Lagana

Dr. Michael Lagana was recently named Top Doctor 2022 by NJ Top Docs. He is one of the few Trauma Qualified Chiropractors in the state of New Jersey and has undergone rigorous training to be able to either diagnose or manage all spine cases. He has also completed an extensive program in triaging the injured, MRI spine interpretation, spinal orthopedics, early detection for stroke, spinal biomechanical engineering, and accident reconstruction for motor vehicle accidents. Dr. Lagana is also a current candidate for a fellowship in primary spine care.

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The best way to understand massage therapy is to experience it. Visit Backsmart Wellness Center to discover what our massage therapy and chiropractic treatment can do for you!

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