Massage has risen in prominence to become a popular part of treatment for a variety of conditions. It is often offered as part of regular medical benefits for those with coverage, and it is shown to have many benefits as a complementary treatment method. From general stress relief to treating cancer patients and autoimmune disorders, massage therapy is showing many positive outcomes and is ripe for further research.
Most people visit a massage therapist for medical or stress-related reasons, either on their own or through a referral or recommendation. There are a few subtypes of massage that focus on key areas and treatment styles. Generally, massage involves rubbing, pressing on targeted areas, and the manipulation of muscles, ligaments, tissues, and skin. A lighter touch to harder and deeper pressure is applied by the hands and arms of a massage therapist.
Trigger point massage narrows down problem areas and targets tightened and ‘knotted’ muscle from being overworked, injury, or repeated incorrect positioning, motions, or posture. Sports massage targets injuries or helps prevent them from occurring given their likelihood. Deep massage targets deep tissue and muscle with slow and forceful strokes. Swedish massage is gentler and uses tapping, longer strokes, and circular motions.
Those experiencing any of the following conditions may also find help from massage:
- Depression and Anxiety: studies have shown depressed individuals were more relaxed, at ease, and felt pleasant after a massage
- A headache: those with tension headache pain experienced reduced occurrence and intensity, sometimes after a single session
- Insomnia: massage encourages more restful sleep and a longer duration
- Fibromyalgia: this autoimmune disorder causes chronic pain and soreness in different areas of the body, and massage eases the aches and pains
- Digestive disorders: it can stimulate internal processes that aid in digestion
- Soft tissue strain
- Sports injuries
- Joint pain
- Chronic pain
- Repetitive stress disorder
Those who spend a lot of time sitting have issues caused by sustained and awkward positioning for extended periods, plus pressure on the posterior (but not necessarily ‘bad posture’). This can cause issues with the shoulders, neck, upper and lower back, and glutes that benefit from treatment. Massage also increases blood circulation through the rubbing motion. This alone can ease soreness and pain at the surface.
Massage can especially assist seniors who may be experiencing a variety of conditions, injuries, and even loneliness. Therapeutic touch in a safe and friendly environment increases feelings of social connectedness and caring. Registered Massage Therapists can visit seniors in the comfort of home for appointments and provide attentive and individualized care with no need to travel. Visit Integracare to learn more about their in-home massage therapy service as well as their additional services such as home nursing, support care, and in-home physiotherapy.
Massage isn’t appropriate for all individuals in every case. Always ask your Doctor or Caregiver about integrating this type of treatment. Massage therapy is not usually appropriate for those experiencing:
- Fractures or sprains
- Bleeding disorders
- Deep vein thrombosis
- Severe osteoporosis
Treatments may lead to soreness the following day, depending on the style and intensity, but stronger pain or ongoing soreness should not occur. Notify your health practitioner if this is the case. During your treatment, if you are experiencing pain or discomfort, please let your therapist know.