How Massage Can Help Your Health
A massage can be a great way to pamper yourself, including when you are on vacation. A massage feels good, and for many people they are an enjoyable experience. A better understanding of massage can help you determine how it might work as part of a health care regimen. There are several different ways in which massages can be used as part of a medical treatment plan.
There are six common types of massage used for varying purposes:
- Swedish massage includes long, soft kneading strokes as well as light tapping and movement of the joints. It usually engages top layers of muscle.
- Deep tissue massage, while also slow and deliberate, is less rhythmic and reaches underlying layers of muscle and tendon.
- Trigger point massage can focus on muscle, nerve, or circulatory areas, and it is usually directed towards an area of medical concern, such as migraine headache relief.
- Sports massages are used to help avoid or treat specific injuries from athletic activity. They are often directed toward flexibility and recovery from activity.
- Shiatsu massage is a Japanese technique that uses varied rhythmic pressure on defined points on the body, similar to acupuncture.
- Similar to Shiatsu massage, reflexology massage uses pressure on certain parts of the feet which are thought to correspond to parts of the body and to be helpful for general wellbeing.
Different styles of massage can be helpful for back and neck pain, as well as headaches. In other parts of the body, it is sometimes beneficial for other musculoskeletal pain, such as arthritis and strains or repetitive-stress injuries.
In some cases, massages are used as a complement to more conventional cancer treatments, often to help manage side effects or secondary symptoms.
Massage treatments can also be part of treatment for psychological troubles, including anxiety and mood problems as well as insomnia and fatigue.
Most types of massage work at least partly by helping both the mind and body to relax. This is helpful in improving mood and energy as well as pain relief. It is beneficial for a wide variety of movement problems as well, since muscle manipulation can improve muscle tone and flexibility.
Massage can also improve circulation, making it useful for some types of heart disease or similar problems.
In cancer treatment in particular, massages are used to help with nausea as well as pain, swelling, or depression. It is also thought to be helpful for healthy general immune system function. It is important for the massage therapist to be informed of what stage the patient is in regarding any cancer treatment, and for the patient’s primary health practitioner to be consulted on any complementary treatments.
It is a good idea to start thinking of the ways that massage can not only help you to relax, but improve your overall health. Massage therapy can be an important integral part of an overall health regimen.