Medical researchers have found that massage therapy helps reduce inflammation in muscles. Not only does it relieve pain and tension in muscles, it also triggers biochemical sensors that sends signals to the muscle cells that reduce inflammation. Massage also stimulates muscles to develop more mitochondria, which promote healing in cells.
The research indicates that massage can be helpful for chronic conditions involving inflammation like muscular dystrophy or arthritis. Massage may also be useful in treating injuries of the muscles. On the other hand, it does not get lactic acid out of tired muscles. The researchers also found that even a massage as brief as ten minutes provided benefits.
Approaches to Massage Therapy
There are three approaches to massage. The energetic approach postulates that energy circulates throughout the body and it follows a series of pathways. Massage keeps the pathways unobstructed. Many Eastern traditions of massage are based on the energetic approach.
The neurological approach makes uses of the nerve routes in the body. It’s useful if the source of the pain isn’t exactly where one feels it. For example, a patient’s shoulder might hurt, but the problem really lies with a nerve in the neck. Soothing that nerve makes the shoulder feel better.
In the structural approach, the emphasis is on the body, especially the soft tissues. Many Western techniques, like Swedish massage, emphasize the structural approach.
Who Should Not Have A Massage?
- People with open wounds, tumors, or burns in places the massage therapist is likely to handle
- People with severe osteoporosis or unhealed fractures
- People who have recently had a heart attack
- People who have blood clots in their legs
What Are Some Common Types of Massage?
Swedish massage is the most common massage style used in the United States. It uses long, soft kneading strokes and light tapping strokes on the top few layers of the muscles. The therapist will also move the client’s joints. Swedish massage is used to promote relaxation and treat some injuries.
Deep tissue massage is used for treating stiff and painful trouble spots, like a chronically sore back. The therapist uses deliberate slow strokes that put pressure on layers of muscles or other tissues deep beneath the skin.
Neuromuscular therapy massage is used to treat chronic pain caused by the nervous and musculoskeletal systems. It involves soft tissue manipulation and concentrates on circulation, poor posture, nerve compression, and problems caused by repetitive movements.
Sports massage consists of therapeutic techniques used to treat people who have hurt themselves playing a given sport. It is used to either help an athlete recover from an injury or prevent an injury in the first place by promoting flexibility.
Lakeside Sports Chiropractic and Motorsports Rehab in Cornelius, we offer massage therapy along with other services to promote whole body health. Led by Dr. Jen Lidstrom, our staff can help you get back to feeling your best. Contact Lakeside Sports Chiropractic today to schedule your consultation.