When you’re stressed and sore, you may think there’s nothing you can do except take a few pain relievers and get on with your day. However, licensed massage therapist Victoria Bodner explains that you don’t have to bear it.
Bodner says massage is helpful for relaxation, pain relief, easing muscle tension, and more. Find out what types of massage you can get and how they benefit you.
How does massage therapy work?
When performed by a licensed massage therapist, massage involves the use of different pressures, movements, and techniques to manipulate muscles and soft tissues. Using massage therapy to slow down the nervous system, you can release stress and tension, provide relief from symptoms, recover from injuries and promote well-being.
Massage therapy types
You can choose from a variety of massages. Some of the services you might find on a massage therapy menu are listed below.
Are you feeling stressed? Let a Swedish massage help you relax and unwind. The Swedish massage usually involves a gentle touch and a full-body massage. For people new to massages, this is a good choice. This can help calm your nervous system. As well as promoting a relaxed emotional state of mind, Swedish massage can affect your muscles directly,” states Bodner.
Massage of the deep tissues
Muscles can become tight from repeated use, even from something less active like sitting, driving, or hunching over your laptop. The goal of deep tissue massage is to release the tightness in your muscles and tendons. This exercise is good for those who suffer from injuries, general muscle tightness, and chronic muscle pain.
The sports massage
The purpose of a sports massage is similar to a deep-tissue massage, but they target the muscles that take a beating when you play sports or do repetitive physical activities. Bodner says athletes and dancers use their bodies differently than the average person. The massage therapist who is experienced in sports massage can get in there to break up tight muscles and treat sports injuries.”
Massage of trigger points
Known as a trigger point, a knot in your neck or a tight spot in your back is a tight spot. As Bodner describes it, a trigger point is a tiny muscle spasm or tight spot in the tissue. The massage therapist uses focused and direct pressure to target those points in a trigger-point massage. As a result, the areas receive more blood flow, enabling them to release. Moreover, chronic pain sufferers may also find this type of massage beneficial.
Release of myofascial tension
Located under the skin, the fascia is a web of connective tissue. Bodner mentions that it allows muscles to move freely and supports them. A myofascial release involves your massage therapist kneading and stretching the muscles and fascia to relieve tension and tightness. She explains that it is a form of deep stretching that is often combined with other therapeutic massage methods. You can use this to loosen up the tightness in your neck, shoulders, and upper and lower back.”
Massage of the lymphatic system
Maintaining fluid levels and removing waste products are two of the most important functions of lymphatic fluid. Using a gentle touch, lymphatic massage allows lymphatic fluid to flow more freely throughout the body. People with inflammatory illnesses, such as arthritis, and those who have had mastectomies, which often involve removing lymph nodes, benefit from lymphatic massage, says Bodner.
Massages during pregnancy can help moms-to-be relax, as well as address the aches and pains associated with growing a baby. Bodner says prenatal massages relieve pressure on the hips and can help with swelling in the legs and feet. Relaxed and healthy moms benefit their babies, too.”
The health benefits of massage
Although massage therapy may be beneficial to anyone, it has been noted to help people who suffer from various conditions such as cancer, heart disease, stomach problems, and fibromyalgia. Before starting therapy, you should be sure to inform your therapist about any medical issues you have. Massage therapy offers many benefits.
Stress and anxiety are reduced
Having a feeling of calm after a massage may help reduce stress and anxiety, according to a study. Parasympathetic nervous system: This system is responsible for calming you down and resting you after you have gone through a stressful situation. Sympathetic nervous system: This system drives your “fight or flight” response during stressful situations. You are believed to experience a reduction in anxiety after receiving a massage because it increases your parasympathetic response.
Sleep is improved
It has been found that getting a massage can lower cortisol levels (a stress hormone) and increase levels of serotonin and dopamine, neurotransmitters associated with mood stabilization. The benefits of massage therapy have been proven for women experiencing menopause and those suffering from congestive heart failure who suffer from insomnia.
Muscle tension and lessens pain
Massage has been shown to reduce acute pain such as back pain, neck pain, headaches, and knee pain in a number of studies. In certain cases, receiving multiple 60-minute massages per week produced better results than receiving fewer or shorter massages. The results suggest that the relief may be short-term, rather than long-term.
The immune system is improved
Massages can boost your immune system, right? Regular massages increase the number of white blood cells in the body, which are responsible for fighting viruses.
Researchers have found that an abdominal massage can help with bowel movements after surgery for those suffering from constipation.
Symptoms of Lesens fibromyalgia
In studies, using massage over the course of five weeks has been shown to improve symptoms of fibromyalgia, a chronic illness characterized by muscle and joint pain and fatigue.
Cancer pain relief
Those undergoing cancer treatments bear a heavy physical and emotional toll. In addition to lessening cancer pain, massage can increase relaxation and improve quality of life. A number of studies have examined the effects of massage therapy on cancer pain, some stating it has no impact and others stating that it does.
Massage therapy is recommended for whom?
There are many benefits to getting a massage. It can improve wellness, help with pain, and so much more. Massage therapy should not be used if you have a medical condition. Consult your doctor and discuss your options. The benefits of prenatal massage can help pregnant women reduce pain and swelling.
Bodner says you can get so many benefits from seeing a massage therapist.
Unsure of the type of massage that would be best for you? Before booking an appointment, don’t worry about picking the perfect massage. It is not uncommon for massage therapists to combine and match various techniques to suit your individual needs.
Bodner says the different types of massage are not mutually exclusive. Massage therapists use a variety of techniques to help you relax, relieve tight muscles, and address other concerns.