Introduction:

Massage, which was once considered an extravagance and a luxury, is now acknowledged as authorized therapy for a few painful conditions. Therapeutic massage is used to manipulate the soft tissue of the entire body areas with a view to bringing about generalized improvements in health, such as relaxation or improvement in sleep habits, or, to provide relief from muscular aches and pains. Most cultures including traditional Chinese and Indian medical care, have developed systems of therapeutic massage, and the European massage was systematized in the early 19th century by Henrik Ling who developed Swedish massage. Current massage techniques are more soothing, calming, and intuitive.

Massage near me may provide relief and alleviate pain by means of several mechanisms, such as relaxing painful muscles, tendons, and joints, relieving stress and anxiety, and offering potential help in closing the pain gate by impeding pain messages to and from the brain.

Therapeutic massage is an active area of research, wherein investigations are carried out for its effect on the pain in the back, hands, neck, and knees, among other areas. A study published in Complementary Therapies in Clinical practice demonstrated reduced pain in the hand, and an improvement in grip strength among people who had four, weekly hand massage sessions and did self-massage at home. It was found that their sleep patterns improved, and they had lower levels of anxiety and depression in comparison with people who hadn’t received hand massages.

It was found that 60-minute therapeutic massage sessions, two or three times a week, for four weeks relieved chronic pain more effectively than when no massage was given or there were fewer or briefer massage sessions. Massage therapy involves varying degrees of pressure. Some people find certain kinds of massage such as deep tissue massage, painful. For massage to be therapeutic, it doesn’t have to be painful, so one needs to inform the therapist beforehand about the style of massage you prefer, whether it be light touch, firm pressure, or hard pressure. Lighter forms of massage may be more relaxing, and therefore more preferable and people with certain painful symptoms such as fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome may only be able to tolerate light pressure.

While no study has proven so far that massage is harmful, there are some situations wherein it is not recommended such as massaging inflamed skin, as it may worsen it by irritation. One must not massage an infected area as it might cause it to spread, and the kinds of infections for which massage should be avoided are heart problems, infectious disease, phlebitis, and some skin conditions. A licensed therapist is required to provide massage therapy.

Therapeutic massage involves the application of hands or elbows to the area to relieve symptoms such as the likes of back pain. Alternatively, non — therapeutic massage or relaxation massage is more passive and is used to provide comfort.

Therapeutic massage can be used to treat an array of conditions such as lower back pain, followed by neck and shoulder pain. Therapeutic massage is also used to treat headaches, jaw pain, and Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction.

The Benefits Of Therapeutic Massage

Most techniques of massage alleviate and reduce pain, while also improving mobility in everyday life. Therapeutic massage improves joint flexibility, relieves lower back pain, and stimulates the release of endorphins. It also treats and prevents the following conditions: 

1. Arthritis

2. Sports injuries, work-related injuries, and repetitive strain injuries (carpal tunnel, plantar fasciitis, tendonitis, bursitis)

3. Anxiety, depression, tension, and stress

4. Walking or running-related pain

5. Poor posture and suboptimal use of the body in movement

 In the words of Madore, “Therapeutic massage manipulates the body’s soft tissue, so it also stimulates the flow of fluid in the lymphatic system, which can improve natural immunity. In addition, when received soon after surgery, therapeutic massage can help reduce post-surgery swelling or adhesion s,”

Massage Techniques

The primary massage technique that therapists learn is the Swedish massage, which involves the application of oil which is used to promote relaxation.

Other massage styles and techniques include:

Reiki: this style uses a light touch, and is designed to work in alignment with the body’s energy.

Craniosacral therapy: This method uses only five grams of pressure, and influences the central nervous system. Concentrated pressure is applied to target the deepest layers of muscle tissue, tendons, and fascia.

Rolfing and myofascial release: This method involves more aggressive techniques that aim to manipulate the soft tissues.

Neuromuscular Therapy (NMT), is a technique that releases trigger points within tight muscles and is used to create a balance among muscle groups to correct postural strain patterns.

“The treatment is based not only on pain patterns but also on an assessment of how a patient’s muscle tension produces twists or other alignment problems,” says Madore.

Conclusion:

There is a low chance of harmful effects from massage therapy. There have been few reports of serious side effects, such as blood clots, nerve injuries, or bone fractures. Patients who might be at increased risk of injury have been reported to have had vigorous types of massage.

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