Massage therapy is both a wonderful adjunct to our integrated therapy sessions and an excellent healing modality in its own right. While massage can be used for highly specific and localized resolution from injuries, pain, and dysfunction, it also works on a broader level to resolve more general tension, soreness, and stress throughout the body. Approaching treatment from both perspectives leads to greater improvements in overall health, fitness, and general well-being.
Medical Massage Therapy is a term used to describe treatment that is outcome-based. This means that we are using specific techniques to obtain a predetermined result based on the stated needs of the client. For example, we might work to increase range of motion at the cervical spine after a car accident, reduce swelling in the lower extremities, improve the texture and resiliency of the tissue after a hamstring injury, reduce the frequency of headaches, etc. This does not mean, however, that medical massage is only appropriate if you have a specific injury or complaint. An outcome-based approach is just as appropriate for individuals simply looking to reduce stress and quiet their minds.
The following are just a few of the benefits of massage therapy:
- Reduce Pain and Stress
- Ease Anxiety and Depression
- Reduce Blood Pressure
- Accelerate Healing
- Improve Sleep
- Strengthen Immune System
- Manage Headaches
- Improve Athletic Performance
It is easy to see that medical massage therapy quickly gaining recognition as an acceptable method of naturally treating a wide variety of painful situations. It encourages the release of endorphins, which interact with the receptors of the brain to lower the way your body perceives pain. In addition, the release of endorphins results in a greater sense of well-being.
Sports injuries are particularly receptive to the therapy because it manipulates muscle tissues and blood and lymph flow. Massage therapy delivers stress relief so that the body relaxes and begins to heal. The therapy has more than a hundred different styles to treat pain. You may have heard of or experienced the following types of medical massage therapy.
Deep tissue massage uses pressurized massages that target the deeper layers of muscle responsible for causing chronic pain. Its ‘beneath-the-surface’ approach reliefs tension and discomfort in such ways that other surface-level massage techniques cannot.
Neuromuscular therapy (NMT) treats pain in particular muscles. It uses deep tissue techniques to release the tension of trigger points when targeted muscles are massaged. This form of medical therapy has been successful for sufferers of chronic pain – even long-standing painful conditions have shown improvement.
Sports massage focuses on massage therapy for trigger points required for athletic performance. It also delivers faster recovery from the stress of training. Because the bodies of athletes undergo tremendous levels of physical stress, medical massage is highly effective to keep them on the field and away from injury. It is used both preventative and restorative.
Swedish massage techniques utilize long strokes. The action improves blood circulation, which encourages the muscles to relax and heal naturally. Blood and oxygen flow is key to healthy muscle function in both the athlete and office worker.
Medical massage therapy is an integral part of alternative and complementary medicine practices. It is often included as a supplement to standard (traditional) medical treatment. Call us at (303) 808-2310 to request an appointment or learn more.