Massage

Massage therapy is often thought of as a luxury or saved for a special occasion or a treat.   In reality, massage should be considered a form of natural health care.  Whether you are receiving a massage for relaxation at a spa or a therapeutic massage in a clinical setting, you are receiving health benefits. Massage is a necessity in any well-care routine. We often take better care of our vehicles  — which require oil changes, tire pressure checks and tune ups on a regular basis — than our own bodies.  If we consider our bodies in those terms it makes perfect sense to keep up with our own preventative routine maintenance which might include a healthy diet, exercise, chiropractic, regular checkups and massage.  Your massage therapist is an important part of your health care team.   

 
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25 Reasons to Get A Massage

1. Relieve stress

2. Relieve postoperative pain

3. Reduce anxiety

4. Manage low-back pain

5. Help fibromyalgia pain

6. Reduce muscle tension

7. Enhance exercise performance

8. Relieve tension headaches

9. Sleep better

10. Ease symptoms of depression

11. Improve cardiovascular health

12. Reduce pain of osteoarthritis

13. Decrease stress in cancer patients

14. Improve balance in older adults

15. Decrease rheumatoid arthritis pain

16. Temper effects of dementia

17. Promote relaxation

18. Lower blood pressure

19. Decrease symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

20. Help chronic neck pain

21. Lower joint replacement pain

22. Increase range of motion

23. Decrease migraine frequency

24. Improve quality of life in hospice care

25. Reduce chemotherapy-related nausea

Source: American Massage Therapy Association

Your first massage

When you visit a massage therapist for the first time a thorough medical history should be taken.  You should also be having a conversation about your daily activities, including your job, commute, lifestyle, hobbies, physical activities, stress levels, your diet and any areas of your body where you are experiencing pain or limitation in movement. 

The more information you provide to your massage therapist, the more help she can give you. 

Chronic pain can be prevented or alleviated by receiving a massage on a regular basis.  If you are inactive, massage can be doubly important to help increase circulation and reduce stiffness.  If you are complaining of specific areas of pain or discomfort, your massage therapist may also check range of motion in the areas affected.  

Sometimes massage therapists have to be investigators.  If you are treated for the same condition for a period of time with little relief, discovering what repeated activity you are engaging in that could be contributing to your unresolved condition will be key to resolution. 

If a particular activity is causing difficulty, your massage therapist might suggest stretches or other ways to complete the activity.  As with any wellness or healthcare provider, setting goals and expectations with your massage therapist helps you receive the best possible support or relief.  It is important to also keep in mind that once a specific condition is alleviated, you should maintain a regular massage schedule to reduce the likelihood of repeat incidences.