What is therapeutic massage?
“Therapeutic massage” is an umbrella term describing treatments that entail the application of touch and pressure to the body. According to John Hopkins University, massage can be used alone or in conjunction with conventional medical treatment.
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When to book a therapeutic massage?
Let’s take a look at some of the conditions that respond well to massage:
1. Therapeutic massage for arthritis
Full-body massage involving moderate pressure has been shown to significantly reduce pain in arthritis patients. Pressure triggers the release of endorphins from the brain via pressure receptors under the skin. The Arthritis Foundation recommends that patients may benefit from frequent treatments.
2. Therapeutic massage for shoulder pain
Shoulder pain is common, and is usually caused by bad posture. Massage can promote blood flow to the shoulder muscles and eliminate muscle knots, reducing strain. Ongoing massage can also improve your posture, which can prevent the same problem occurring again in the future.
3. Therapeutic massage for neck pain
Researchers at the Group Health Research Institute in Seattle have investigated how massage helps resolve neck pain. Hour-long sessions given two or three times per week appear to be optimal for most people with acute pain. The researchers found significant benefits after just four weeks.
4. Therapeutic massage for back pain
One landmark study tracked 400 adults with chronic lower back pain. The results showed that a 10-week course of massage therapy almost or entirely eliminates pain in one-third of cases. Back pain patients often rely on long-term painkillers, and massage can be a very attractive drug-free alternative.
5. Therapeutic massage for migraines
Although it remains an under-researched area, there is evidence that massage can help treat recurrent migraines. In one study, 47 sufferers were assigned either to a control or massage condition.
Participant in the latter group were given weekly massage sessions over the course of six weeks. Those receiving massages reported fewer migraines over a three-week follow-up period. They also reported healthier sleep patterns and lower stress levels.
6. Therapeutic massage for anxiety
Anxiety is usually perceived as a mental health problem, but it also materializes in the body. Many anxiety sufferers report aches and pains, which may come and go at random. Some people then worry that their symptoms point to a serious underlying health condition. As a result, their anxiety worsens.
Because mental and physical wellbeing are so tightly linked, massaging the body can have a relaxing effect on the mind. Massage therapies encourage you to remain in the moment, in a calm environment. They also alleviate muscle tension that often builds up in people under chronic stress.
Receiving a professional therapeutic massage treatment is wonderful, but you don’t need to visit a therapist to enjoy the benefits. By investing in a simple massage tool, you can relieve muscle tension and stiffness yourself.
For example, wooden rollers are popular devices for self-massage. They require no batteries or oils – simply hold the handles and roll, applying pressure to your sore spots.
Whether you visit a therapist or decide to treat yourself, you’ll soon understand why some people get regular massages. When incorporated into your lifestyle, they can be a powerful healing tool for body and soul.