Over many years, massage therapists have battled the image of being a luxury or a pampering service. However, a growing amount of massage clients now seek regular massage therapy for relaxation, stress and medical treatment.
"At 32 percent, medical reasons tied this year with stress reduction as a top reason consumers seek massage therapy," according to a 2009 survey conducted by the American Massage Therapy Association,
Massage therapy focuses on soft tissue manipulation to the muscles, tendons and ligaments. Soft tissue treatment helps to correct misalignments, which can reduce pain and prevent injury. Relieving surrounding tension, mobility to the joints can be restored. Unlike a chiropractor, a massage therapist is not trained or licensed to adjust the spine or any other joints. Many clients receive a massage to manage anxiety and depression, ease stiffness and pain, increase mobility, relieve stress, and improve sleep.
There are many massage techniques used to heal pain, but the most popular are Swedish and deep-tissue massage. Some other styles include cranial sacral therapy, reflexology, sports massage and trigger point therapy.
Other massage therapy benefits:
- Boost immunity
- Improves skin condition
- Increases blood flow
- Increases joint flexibility
- Improves range of motion
Athletes use massage therapy to prepare for an event or recover from a workout. Expectant moms use massage to assist with labor. Cancer patients use massage to relieve pain, fatigue, anxiety, depression and nausea.
Massage therapists do not make medical diagnosis, or order x-rays or blood work. They also do not prescribe conventional medication, but can recommend alternative herbal remedies.
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Combining Chiropractic and Massage
Misalignment of the musculoskeletal system can create dysfunction, pain or injury. Targeting the soft and hard tissue allows for a faster and more complete recovery.
Massages help chiropractic treatment because they relieve tension and warm up the soft tissue. It relaxes you, makes you less anxious and ready for the adjustments. Plus, adjustments last longer when the muscle tension is released because tight muscles can pull joints out of alignment.
Chiropractic, in turn, supports massage. If pain involves misalignment, adjustments may give immediate relief. Soft tissue heals quicker once the joints are realigned. The joint movement relaxes the deep layers of soft tissue that can be difficult to palpate. The use of x-rays and manual diagnostic techniques can elevate other causes for your pain, which allows for proper treatment.
Reduce sore muscles in a yoga class.