The Benefits of Massage Therapy By Dr. Brent Bauer of the Mayo Clinic
Ten years ago however we had not begun to spend research money investigating the many, widespread benefits of massage therapy.
Over the last ten years, as medical treatments have become ever more expensive we have begun to look at less invasive, more patient-friendly processes which aid healing and help sufferers find relief. In study after study the benefit of massage therapy has shown that it:
- Reduces lower back pain and other bodily aches
- Helps soothe infants and promotes digestion
- Increases range of motion in joints
- Decreases illness-related fatigue
- Calms aggressive behavior
- Decreases depression and helps to promote a healthy mind
- Helps your immunity by increasing white blood cell counts
- Improves recovery after post-operative surgery
- Alleviates age-related disorders, sleep disorders, and many more emotional and physical problems
Its many benefits make it the natural candidate for regular health maintenance and the natural choice for practicing preventative medicine designed to help individuals extend their quality of life for as long as possible.
There are many different types of massage therapy, including these common types:
A Swedish massage is a gentle form of massage therapy that uses long strokes, kneading, deep circular movements, vibration and tapping to help relax and energize you. Studies have shown that it can help alleviate lower-back pain and ease chronic pain. Its ability to help relax the body’s muscular system often leaves the individual feeling rejuvenated.
Deep tissue massage
Deep tissue massage technique uses slower, more forceful strokes to target the deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue, commonly to help with muscle damage from injuries. It can help improve circulation and nutrients to blocked muscle tissue and enhance healing and recuperation. It also releases deep-seated muscle tension and compacted muscles leaving the body feeling freer and more energized.
This is similar to Swedish massage but is geared toward people involved in sports activities to help prevent or treat injuries. As such it can be a mix between a structural massage and a remedial massage where the latter targets specific parts of the body in order to alleviate specific symptoms there.
Trigger point massage
This massage focuses on trigger points, or sensitive areas of tight muscle fibres that can form in your muscles after injuries or overuse. It helps restore the elasticity of the muscle and the full range of motion to limbs which before might have felt ‘tight’ or restricted.