Therapeutic Massage is a gentle therapy which can relieve pain and stress. It also aids in healing certain conditions and can help prevent their return. In some cases, massage can even reduce or eliminate the need for medication or surgery. Regular massage produces a sense of well-being both physically and emotionally, and it FEELS good!
Massage is one of the most ancient and best known antidotes for stress. Reducing stress gives you energy, improves your outlook on life, and in the process reduces your likelihood for injury and illness. It can also relieve symptoms and conditions which are caused by anxiety such as asthma or insomnia, and can be an important addition to other therapeutic work such as psychological counseling or recovery from addiction.
Injuries & Prevention
Injuries such as tendonitis, ligament sprains, and muscle strains can heal more quickly with therapeutic massage. Inflammation is reduced by increasing circulation which removes waste products and brings nutrition to injured cells. Massage can also limit scar formation in new injuries and can reduce or soften scar tissue around old injuries. Regular massage can help prevent new injuries by keeping muscles in shape and allowing them to maintain their full range of motion.
Massage can facilitate the release of muscular “shielding” (chronic muscle tension) thereby permitting muscle relaxation. As one enters a state of deep relaxation, all these contracted muscles let go and the body learns to relax at a deep level. Emotional release also often accompanies the release of the muscles.
The caring human touch of massage has an extraordinary power to soothe, reassure, and relieve anxiety. Research suggests that with massage, sleep improves, anxiety and agitation decrease, and cortisol and norepinephrine (biochemical indicators of stress) decrease.
Pain of Tight Muscles and Joint Restriction
Therapeutic massage works directly on your muscles with stretching and kneading motions. It flushes muscles of built-up waste products which can make you sore. Massage can relieve many types of muscle tightness, cramps, and overly contracted muscles.
Besides releasing tight muscles that restrict joint movement, massage works directly on your joints to improve circulation, stimulate the production of natural lubrication, and relieve pain from conditions such as osteoarthritis.
Chronic and Secondary Pain
Research suggests that massage stimulates release of endorphins in the body which function as natural pain relievers.
Massage can also relieve secondary pain which can outlast its original cause. Some examples of secondary pain would be headaches caused by eyestrain, lower back aches due to pregnancy, and the protective tensing of healthy muscles around an injury.
Therapeutic massage releases restrictions in muscles, joints, and connective tissue coverings, allowing your body to return to a more natural posture. It can also relieve contracted muscles and pain caused by abnormal spinal curvatures such as scoliosis.