Massage is a great tool for relaxation, pain relief, muscle tension relief and more. Learn more about the most common types of massage therapy and their benefits. Massage therapy can be beneficial for anyone, but it has been observed to help people who have various conditions, such as cancer, heart disease, stomach problems, and fibromyalgia. You should be sure to talk to your therapist about medical issues before your first session. It involves soft, long, malleing strokes, as well as light, rhythmic and ticking strokes, on the upper layers of the muscles. By relieving muscle tension, Swedish therapy can be relaxing and energizing.
If you are interested in trying one of the many types of massage as a way to relieve your arthritis symptoms, it is important to first consult your rheumatologist or family doctor to ensure that the massage is safe for you. In a previous study conducted at the University of Miami, a 15-minute massage a day with moderate pressure led to reduced pain and anxiety and improved grip strength in 22 adults diagnosed with hand or wrist arthritis. Participants received four weekly massages from a therapist and learned to massage their painful joints daily at home. The results showed that the combination of massages could reduce hand pain by up to 57 percent.
The vasodilation produced by massage increases venous return, which in turn increases blood flow and oxygen supply to all your organs. Your entire cardiovascular system relaxes and improves circulation throughout your body. Activating the “rest and digestion” mode of the parasympathetic nervous system helps regulate blood pressure and heart rate. Chiropractic and massage therapy go hand in hand, especially for people with chronic pain, back or neck pain, or injuries. Chiropractic massage is better than any of these therapies on their own. Massage relaxes the body and prepares it for chiropractic adjustments that will help the central nervous system function properly.
Massages improve an athlete’s range of motion, soft tissue function, athletic performance and make them more aware of their muscle tone. In terms of cardiovascular benefits, massage therapy helps to restore the variability of an athlete’s heart rate and diastolic blood pressure, especially after a high-intensity workout. In fact, it’s believed that athletes who regularly get massages from athletic trainers avoid more injuries than those who don’t. Fibromyalgia causes pain and tenderness in the joints, muscles, tendons and soft tissues of the body. Massage therapy can have great benefits for fibromyalgia pain relief, as well as relieving co-current symptoms such as headaches, anxiety, and depression. The myofascial release massage technique has been shown to reduce patients’ sensitivity to pain, as well as symptoms of anxiety and depression.
“A trigger point is a small muscle spasm or tight spot in the tissue,” Bodner explains. In a trigger point massage, the massage therapist uses targeted, direct pressure to target those points. This increases blood flow to the areas, allowing them to free themselves. This type of massage can also be helpful for people with chronic pain.
One of the most common reasons people seek massage is for low back and neck pain, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. A body of evidence confirms its effectiveness for that purpose, including a study of 401 people with chronic low back pain published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. However, the benefits of massage were less apparent 12 months after the message therapy ended.
Myofascial release has also shown an improvement in sleep quality, quality of life and physical function in fibromyalgia patients. Research clearly supports the use of massage therapy for isolated problems that may arise for patients recovering from a stroke. Researchers believe that massage therapy after a stroke can increase sensorimotor function, improve fine motor skills, reduce anxiety and physiological stress, and improve overall health and quality of life. More specifically, massage therapy increases serotonin levels, which can not only relieve depression after a stroke, but also reduce a person’s risk of having a heart attack and another stroke. Depression is one of the predictors of stroke, so it’s possible that massage therapy can reduce the risk of stroke even before a first incident. A stroke can also cause swelling and inflammation of the body, which can be relieved by a gentle massage and massage technique called lymphatic drainage to improve circulation.
The benefits of massage not only encourage restful sleep, but also help those who otherwise cannot rest comfortably. “Massage promotes relaxation and sleep in people undergoing chemotherapy or radiation therapy,” says Lisa Marie de Miranda, a registered massage therapist and kinesiologist at Paleolife Massage Therapy. In addition, massages Massage Therapy help babies sleep more, cry less and be less stressed, according to research from the University of Warwick. Massage therapy has been shown to increase serotonin and dopamine levels, resulting in a decrease in symptoms of depression. The stress-relieving effects of a massage also significantly lower cortisol levels, which reduces anxiety.