Does pain or restricted movement keep you from living the life you want? Sports injuries, household accidents, repetitive actions on the job, and tension from everyday stresses can all cause problems that, too often, take up permanent residence in our bodies.
Massage can help. Massage is a gentle therapy that can relieve pain and, in combination with other appropriate health care measures, can help heal certain conditions and prevent their return. In some cases massage can reduce or even eliminate the need for medication or surgery.
Massage can help with...
Massage is one of the best known antidotes for stress. Reducing stress gives you more energy, improves your outlook on life, and in the process reduces your likelihood of injury and illness. Massage can also relieve symptoms of conditions that are aggravated by anxiety such as asthma or insomnia. Because it relieves stress, massage is an excellent supportive therapy for people in psychological counseling or treatment for addiction.
Painful or tight muscles
Massage can relieve many types of muscle tightness, from a short-term muscle cramp to a habitually clenched jaw or tight shoulders. Some massage techniques release tension directly by stretching and kneading your muscles and their connective tissue coverings (called fascia). Other techniques work less directly, but quite powerfully, by stimulating your nervous system to allow your muscles to relax.
Delayed muscle soreness
After vigorous exercise, buildup of waste products as well as micro-traumas in your muscles can leave you feeling tired and sore. Massage increases circulation, which removes waste products and brings in nutrients to speed healing of muscle tissue.
Pain or tingling in your arms or legs
Muscles can become so contracted that they press on nerves to the arms, hands and legs, causing pain or tingling. If this happens, a massage to release muscle spasms in the shoulder or hip can bring relief.
Massage can help heal injuries such as tendinitis that develop over time, as well as ligament sprains or muscle strains caused by an accident. Massage reduces inflammation by increasing circulation, which removes waste products and brings nutrition to injured cells. Certain massage techniques can limit scar formation in new injuries and can make scar tissue more pliable around old injuries.
Massage can relieve secondary pain that outlasts its original cause. Some examples are headaches from eyestrain, low back ache during pregnancy, or the protective tensing of healthy muscles around and injury.
Prevention of new injuries
By relieving chronic tension, massage can help prevent injuries that might be caused by stressing unbalanced muscle groups, or by favoring or forcing a painful, restricted area.
Pain or restriction in joints
Besides releasing tight muscles that restrict joint movement, massage works directly on your joints to improve circulation, stimulate production of natural lubrication, and relieve pain from conditions such as osteoarthritis.
Massage releases restrictions in muscles, joints, and surrounding fascia, freeing your body to return to a more natural posture. Massage can also relieve the contracted muscles and pain caused by abnormal spinal curvatures such as scoliosis.
The effects of forced inactivity
There are many reasons you may be forced to limit physical activity including injury, surgery, paralysis or even normal aging. When this happens, massage can relieve your aches and pains and improve circulation to your skin and muscles. Even when an immobilized area cannot be massaged directly, the relaxation and increased circulation from a general massage can give you relief.
Massage increases your circulation which in turn drains tissues of excess fluid caused by recent injury, surgery, or pregnancy.