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Therapeutic massage is the manipulation of the muscles and tissues of the body to prevent and alleviate pain, discomfort, and stress. There are many styles and types of massage therapy. Therapeutic massage encompasses basic relaxation and stress relief. Today, massage in all its forms is at the forefront of alternative and complementary therapies utilized by millions of people.
How Will It Benefit Me?
Professional massage therapists utilize specific massage techniques to increase blood circulation, combat depression, improve balance and flexibility, reduce the pain of arthritis, increase joint mobility, improve posture, and encourage overall well-being.
Should I Have A Doctor’s Permission?
If you have a specific health condition that creates pain when you are touched or physically manipulated, you should discuss the benefits and risks with your physician before you proceed with massage.
What Are The Benefits Of Repeated, Regular Massage?
While each session usually feels great, the fullest benefits are obtained when massage is repeated regularly. It often takes multiple treatments to achieve long lasting reduction in muscle spasm and tightness. The more you go, the healthier you feel.
What Types of Massage Are There?
Some of the more recognized forms are:
* Trigger Point
* Deep Tissue
* Hot Stone Envy
* Chair Massage
Trigger Point Therapy
A trigger point is a tight area within muscle tissue that causes pain in other parts of the body. A trigger point in the back, for example, may trigger pain in the neck. The neck, now acting as a satellite trigger point, may then cause pain in the head. The pain may be sharp and intense or a dull ache. Trigger points are caused by muscle overuse or injury, and because the aches are associated with moving parts, the pain is commonly mistaken for arthritis.
Trigger point massage (also known as myotherapy) is specifically designed to alleviate the source of the pain through cycles of isolated pressure and release. In this type of massage the recipient actively participates through deep breathing as well as identifying the exact location and intensity of the discomfort.
The result of trigger point massage is the elimination of toxins in the muscles and the release of energizing endorphins. A significant decrease in pain is often found after just one treatment.
Swedish massage is the style that comes to mind when most people think about massage. It was developed in Stockholm a couple of centuries ago and is the most common and best-known type form of bodywork performed today.
The goal is relaxing the entire body and this is accomplished by rubbing the muscles with long gliding strokes in the direction of blood returning to the heart. Additional techniques include circular pressure applied by the hands and palms, firm kneading, percussion-like tapping, bending and stretching. Lotion is often used to reduce friction and stimulate the skin.
Swedish massage is exceptional for increasing the level of oxygen in the blood, decreasing muscle toxins, improving circulation and flexibility while easing tension.
Deep Tissue Massage
Deep tissue massage is similar to Swedish massage but is used to target knots and release chronic muscle tension. Other benefits include reducing inflammation and helping to eliminate scar tissue. The focus is on the deepest layers of muscle tissue, tendons, and fascia (the protective layer surrounding muscles, bones and joints).
Deep tissue massage uses strokes across the grain of the muscles, not with the grain as in Swedish massage. The more intense movements and techniques such as deep finger pressure may be slightly uncomfortable and cause soreness that lasts a couple of days before resulting in the desired relaxation and pain relief.
Sports massage is geared toward athletes of every kind, from world-class professionals to weekend joggers. The particulars of the massage are specific to the athlete’s sport of choice and are often focused on a particular troublesome area like a knee or shoulder.
Aspects of massage are gaining popularity as useful components in a balanced training regimen. Sports massage can be used as a means to enhance pre-event preparation and reduce recovery time for maximum performance during training or after an event. Athletes have discovered that specially designed massage promotes flexibility, removes fatigue, improves endurance, helps prevent injuries, and prepares them to compete at their absolute best.
Reflexology is a branch of massage that focuses solely on the hands and feet. Originally developed as “zone therapy” in the early twentieth century, reflexology uses specifically targeted points on the extremities to send signals to the brain and balance the nervous system.
A reflexologist stretches and moves the hands and feet, applying pressure on reflex areas that correspond to specific organs and other parts of the body. Endorphins are released throughout the entire body, reducing stress and returning the body to equilibrium. Reflexology has been known to provide relief from ailments such as tension headaches, arthritis, digestive issues and back pain.
Hot Stone Therapy
Hot Stone Therapy melts away tension, eases muscle stiffness, and increases circulation and metabolism. Each Hot Stone session features the placement of smooth, water-heated stones at key points on the body to allow for deeper relaxation of the muscles. Our professional massage therapists then incorporate a customized massage, with the use of hot stones, to create a healing and relaxing experience.
Hot Stone Therapy is ideal for:
* Muscular aches
* Back pain
* Stress and anxiety
* Poor circulation
* Rheumatic and arthritic conditions
Hot Stone Therapy is gaining popularity for its ability to provide deeper muscle and tissue relaxation, which in turn releases more toxins and improves circulation. The benefits of Hot Stone Therapy have even been used in the treatment of insomnia and depression.
Why Massage During Pregnancy?
Massage during pregnancy offers undeniable physical benefits. Professional massage therapists will work to stimulate your lymphatic system, increasing immunity and the removal of excess toxins, while also stabilizing hormonal levels and balancing the glandular system. Hormonal changes can cause depression and anxiety during pregnancy, which is why many expecting mothers find relief with massage.
What Are The Benefits Of Prenatal Massage?
Massage therapy is a wonderful, complimentary choice for prenatal care and a healthy way to reduce stress and promote general well-being. Professional therapists work to relieve the normal discomforts experienced during pregnancy, such as backaches, stiff neck, leg cramps, headaches, joint pain, and edema. In addition, by relaxing nervous tension, you can experience a better night’s sleep.
Below are examples of how massage can help you throughout your pregnancy:
* Relieve headaches
* Help alleviate morning sickness
* Reduce fatigue
* Alleviate backaches
* Relieve leg cramps
* Reduce swelling/edema
* Relieve pain from varicosities
* Enhance sleep
* Prepare pelvic muscles for birth process
How Will I Receive My Prenatal Massage?
When receiving a prenatal massage, you will be gently positioned on your side to keep you comfortable while your therapist massages your back. Once finished with your back, you may then be placed in a semi-reclining position while your professional therapist massages the front of your body. During the first trimester, it is also acceptable for clients to lie on their backs with a slight elevation under one hip. This positioning alleviates the extra strain on the lower back and pelvic areas when the massage is being administered.
Throughout each session, our therapists will use a special body support cushion to ensure comfort and proper positioning. Depending on where you are in your pregnancy, your therapist may utilize reflexology, Swedish massage, or certain methods that address your specific requests and needs.
Are There Times When Massage During Pregnancy Should Be Avoided?
It is very important you obtain approval from your obstetrician before receiving any form of massage during pregnancy. Women with normal, low-risk pregnancies can benefit greatly from massage by a professional massage therapist. However, women in high-risk pregnancies should consult with their doctor or midwife before beginning one of our massage therapy programs. If at any time during the massage you experience discomfort, tell your therapist immediately.
Geriatric massage encompasses basic relaxation and stress relief. It’s also a beneficial tool in fighting many of the symptoms of aging. Today, massage in all its forms is at the forefront of alternative and complementary therapies utilized by millions of people.
- The-impact-of-massage-therapy-on-function-in-pain-populations-a-systematic-review-and-meta-analysis-of-randomized-controlled-trials-part-i-patients-experiencing-pain-in-the-general-population – 2016
- The-impact-of-massage-therapy-on-function-in-pain-populations-a-systematic-review-and-meta-analysis-of-randomized-controlled-trials-part-3-surgical-pain-populations – 2016
Emphasis on Education
Accurate Clinic promotes patient education as the foundation of it’s medical care. In Dr. Ehlenberger’s integrative approach to patient care, including conventional and complementary and alternative medical (CAM) treatments, he may encourage or provide advice about the use of supplements. However, the specifics of choice of supplement, dosing and duration of treatment should be individualized through discussion with Dr. Ehlenberger. The following information and reference articles are presented to provide the reader with some of the latest research to facilitate evidence-based, informed decisions regarding the use of conventional as well as CAM treatments.
For medical-legal reasons, access to these links is limited to patients enrolled in an Accurate Clinic medical program.
Should you wish more information regarding any of the subjects listed – or not listed – here, please contact Dr. Ehlenberger. He has literally thousands of published articles to share on hundreds of topics associated with pain management, weight loss, nutrition, addiction recovery and emergency medicine. It would take years for you to read them, as it did him.
For more information, please contact Accurate Clinic.
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