Massage Therapy: All You Need to Know in 2023

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Right massage therapy may relieve tension, relax muscles, and relieve discomfort. If you’re worried and uncomfortable, you might assume there’s nothing you can do but take some OTC painkillers and get through the day. Victoria Bodner, a professional massage therapist, says you don’t have to grin and bear it.

Massage is an excellent technique for relaxation, pain alleviation, and muscular tension release, according to Bodner. Read about the many styles of massage and their advantages.

What exactly is massage therapy?

Massage therapy, which is performed by a licensed massage therapist, entails manipulating muscles and other soft tissues in the body with various pressures, movements, and techniques. Massage therapy can be used to relieve stress and tension, provide relief from symptoms, heal injuries, and support wellness by slowing down your nervous system.

Massage therapy can be used to relieve stress and tension, provide relief from symptoms, heal injuries, and support wellness by slowing down your nervous system.
Massage therapy can be used to relieve stress and tension, provide relief from symptoms, heal injuries, and support wellness by slowing down your nervous system.

Massage Therapy Types

Massages come in all shapes and sizes. Here are some of the services that may be available on a massage therapy menu.

The Swedish massage

Are you stressed? A Swedish massage is a traditional way to unwind. Swedish massage is a full-body massage that employs a light touch. It’s a good choice for people who are new to massages. “It can help to relax your nervous system. “Swedish massage is also a fantastic way to promote a calm emotional state of mind, which may have a direct influence on your muscles,” explains Bodner.

Deep tissue massage

Muscles can get tense through repetitive usage, even if the activity is as simple as sitting, driving, or hunching over your laptop. “Deep tissue massage penetrates into your muscles and tendons to loosen them up,” adds Bodner. It is beneficial to persons who have injuries, general muscular tightness, or persistent muscle discomfort.

Massage for athletes

Sports massages are similar to deep-tissue massages in that they target the muscles that take a hammering when participating in sports or other repetitive physical activities. “Athletes and dancers use their bodies in ways that the normal individual does not,” According to Bodner. “A massage therapist with sports massage skills can get in there and break up muscular tension and handle sports injuries.”

Massage of trigger points

A trigger point is a knot in your neck or a tight area in your back. “A trigger point is a little muscular spasm or tight area in the tissue,” adds Bodner. The massage therapist utilizes concentrated and direct pressure to target certain regions during a trigger-point treatment. This improves blood flow to the affected regions, allowing them to release. Those suffering from chronic pain may benefit from this form of massage as well.

Myofascial release therapy

The fascia is a network of connective tissue that runs beneath the skin. “It supports our muscles and helps us to move freely,” adds Bodner. Myofascial release involves your massage therapist kneading and stretching the muscles and fascia to alleviate tension and stiffness. “It’s a type of deep stretching that’s frequently utilized in conjunction with other therapeutic massage methods,” she explains. “It’s fantastic for loosening up tension in your neck, shoulders, upper and lower back.”

It supports our muscles and helps us to move freely
It supports our muscles and helps us to move freely

Massage of the lymphatic system

The lymphatic fluid serves various critical tasks, including fluid maintenance and waste removal from the body. Lymphatic massage employs a light touch to encourage the movement of lymphatic fluid throughout the body.

“Lymphatic massage is fantastic for patients with inflammation — including those with conditions like arthritis and people who have had mastectomies, which frequently entail removing the lymph nodes,” explains Bodner.

Massage for pregnant women

Prenatal massages can help pregnant women relax and manage the aches and pains of childbirth. “Prenatal massages are great for relieving strain on the hips and can assist with swelling in the feet and legs,” explains Bodner. “And when mom is at ease and feeling well, the baby benefits as well.”

Massage has several health advantages

Massage treatment may benefit everyone, but it has been shown to aid those with cancer, heart disease, stomach issues, and fibromyalgia.

Before your first appointment, make sure to discuss any medical concerns with your therapist. Here are a few of the advantages of massage treatment.

Stress and anxiety are reduced

According to one research, the sensation of serenity following a massage might help reduce tension and anxiety. The sympathetic nervous system drives your “fight or flight” reaction in stressful situations, whereas the parasympathetic nervous system concentrates on regular and day-to-day activities that lead to relaxation and slumber. A massage is supposed to boost your parasympathetic nervous system, which might help you feel less anxious.

Enhances sleep

A massage can lower cortisol (a stress hormone) while increasing serotonin and dopamine levels, which are neurotransmitters that help to calm your mood. Massage treatment has been found in studies to be useful for menopausal insomnia and congestive heart failure.

Massage has several health advantages
Massage has several health advantages

Pain and muscular tension are reduced

Several studies have been conducted to investigate how massage can assist in relieving pain such as acute back pain, neck discomfort, headaches, and knee pain. The findings indicate that treatment may be temporary rather than long-term and that obtaining a 60-minute massage numerous times per week had greater outcomes than receiving fewer or shorter massages.

Enhances immunological function

Will getting a massage help your immune system? According to one research, regular massages raise your body’s amount of white blood cells, which fight illnesses.

Constipation relief

According to one research, abdominal massage may help with bowel motions in those who are constipated after surgery.

Reduces the severity of fibromyalgia symptoms

Massage has been found in trials to alleviate symptoms of fibromyalgia, a chronic condition that causes muscular and joint pain and tiredness, in areas such as sleep, memory, and mood.

Cancer pain relief

The physical and emotional toll for cancer patients is significant. Many people have resorted to massage to help them cope with cancer discomfort, relax, and enhance their quality of life.

Many studies have been conducted, with some claiming that massage treatment has no effect on cancer pain and others claiming that it helps.

Who should consider massage therapy?

A massage may assist many of us – it’s a terrific method to promote well-being, relieve pain, and more. If you have a medical issue, you should consult with your doctor and your massage therapist. A prenatal massage can assist pregnant women to relieve discomfort and edema.

Who should consider massage therapy?
Who should consider massage therapy?

“There are so many reasons to attend a massage therapist,” adds Bodner.

Not sure which massage is best for you? You don’t have to find the ideal massage therapy before making an appointment. Massage therapists frequently combine methods to treat your specific needs.

“The various styles of massage are not mutually incompatible,” adds Bodner. “A massage therapist employs a variety of techniques to assist you in relaxing, releasing tight muscles, and addressing other difficulties.”

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