Sunday Self Help: Massage therapy



I wake up just about every day and there is something bothering me or some sort of pain that has kept me from a good night sleep or is looking to sour my day.  I know some days if I can move or if the pain in my back gotten so bad that I don’t or can’t get out of bed without help.  Imagine living life-like that once in a while but in my case, it’s every day of my life now.

Living a life with daily pain is so hard but there are things we can do that can help besides just medicine.  I’ve been looking into massage therapy and think that it’s would be very helpful for most people dealing with the same things as I do or any kind of chronic pain.  So what exactly is massage therapy and who should look into doing this self-help?

What is massage therapy?

 Massage therapy is manual manipulation of soft body tissues (muscle, connective tissue, tendons and ligaments) to enhance a person’s health and well-being. There are dozens of types of massage therapy. Three  types of massage therapy is 
  • Relaxation massagealso known as Swedish massage; practiced in settings like spas, wellness centers and resorts
  • Rehabilitative massage – also known as deep tissue, medical, therapeutic or clinical massage; practiced in many settings like clinics, hospitals and chiropractic offices
  • Swedish massage, the therapist uses long strokes, kneading, deep circular movements, vibration, and tapping. Sports massage is similar to Swedish massage, adapted specifically to the needs of athletes. Among the many other examples are deep tissue massage and trigger point massage, which focuses on myocardial trigger points — muscle “knots” that are painful when pressed and can cause symptoms elsewhere in the body.

What are the benefits of having massage therapy?

According to the 2007 National Health Interview Survey, which included a comprehensive survey of CAM(complementary and alternative medicine) use by Americans, an estimated 18 million U.S. adults and 700,000 children had received message therapy in the previous year.

Benefits of Managing Chronic Pain

  • Increases serotonin, which reduces pain naturally
  • Naturally increases deep sleep
  • Increases range of motion
  • Lowers anxiety and improves mood

Where is massage therapy done?

Massage therapists work in a variety of settings, including private offices, hospitals, nursing homes, studios, and sport and fitness facilities. Some also travel to patients’ homes or workplaces. They usually try to provide a calm, soothing environment.

Massage therapy is a good way to get rid of kinks in the body and keep everything loosened up. But once you start with the therapy, you need to keep up with it.  Consistency is key.  The more you have therapy the more the body  will stay loose and heal faster. Massage therapy helps with mobility, circulation, muscle soreness, as well as decreasing the pain.  These are all areas that a lot of people with chronic pain needs help with.  I could use to have a deep muscle massage probably once a week to loosen me up and help with the stiffness that I get in my back from all the pain I have had.  To find a certified, trained professional, You need to make sure that you are dealing with the right person/professional and one that works with your doctor. Only 31 states regulates the profession of massage therapy. Just like finding another doctor or another part of your team, take your time and make sure you research them well before you start your therapy.

Unlike yoga and self-meditation, massage therapy is something that needs to be done by a trained professional and you need to make sure you are receiving the correct therapy.  You must be consistent with your therapy and go on a regular basis to feel any benefits.  Also, make sure that the therapist can work with your doctors and keep them well-informed of your treatments. It might be a little more taxing to do massage therapy but in  the end, it will be worth it.


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