Massage therapy is the gentle manipulation of the soft tissue of the body. Massage techniques can be applied by fingers, palms, thumbs, elbows, shoulders, feet, forearms or even a hand-held device. The main purpose of massage is usually for the relief of pain or body stress. Although massage may not always relieve a condition, it has been known to help with such conditions as chronic headaches, fibromyalgia and chronic tension. Massage also has a role in rehabilitation and physical therapy.
There have been a number of scientific investigations on the benefits of massage therapy. Many of these studies have found that massage is an effective treatment for reducing stress and muscle tension. It has been found to be more effective than exercise in helping to rehabilitate patients after injury. The effects of massage are similar to those of exercise, but without the strain and pain associated with exercising. It has also been proven to be safe for all ages and ability levels.
Massage therapy is a therapeutic process which focuses on the soft tissues and the connective and supporting muscles. This massage technique relaxes tight and fatigued muscles, allowing the person to become more flexible. Massage also helps to reduce blood pressure, heart rate, and respiratory rate. The increase in blood circulation and the reduction in carbon dioxide allow the muscles to relax completely, thus reducing the feeling of pain or tension. Massage therapy has also been known to reduce pain and swelling in the body as a result of exercising or engaging in intense physical activity.
Another important area of massage therapy is the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system works with the immune system by moving waste products from the tissues to the various organs in the body. The natural beauty of massage therapy means that it stimulates healthy lymphatic function, allowing toxins and impurities to move through the soft tissues more easily. A massage session can release tension, improve circulation and stimulate lymphatic function.
One of the best known health benefits of massage therapy is the release of stress. The human body responds to pressure and stress in different ways. Long, slow strokes by a skilled therapist can help to release muscle tension, allowing an individual to feel calmer. Massage therapists also use long strokes to release the tension from the deeper muscles. This can be helpful for individuals who experience chronic pain, such as those who are living with fibromyalgia.
As well as the health benefits of massages themselves, Massage therapy is also an excellent way to manage pain. Some people are more sensitive to pain than others. Long slow and deep massages can help to control chronic pain by taking the pressure off joints and muscles. There are many massage therapists who specialize in sports medicine and physical therapy. If your therapist works in this field, they will be able to provide you with further information on how this form of treatment can help you. Massage therapists can also provide you with a listing of local sports therapy centers in your area so that you can schedule regular massages.