With the hectic lifestyles that Americans live today, it’s no wonder hospitals and medical clinics are prescribing anti-anxiety medications by the truck load. But drugs are not always the number one, go-to solution. There are many natural, holistic ways to reduce stress and get your body, mind and soul back on track and living a healthy, less stressful lifestyle. One option is Therapeutic Massage. If you’ve never tried massage, its time you did!
What is Massage?
Massage generally involves the manipulation of skin, muscles, tendons and ligaments by the therapist while using their hands, fingers, fists and forearms to perform light stroking to deep pressure techniques. There are several different styles or types of massage, but the most common types include:
- Swedish or Relaxation massage: This is a gentle form of massage that utilizes long strokes, kneading, vibration and tapping to relax the soft tissue, increase circulation in the body, move the lymph in the channels, and bring nutrients and healing to soft tissues.
- Deep tissue massage: This form of massage is a little bit more aggressive and reaches deeper layers of the soft tissue structures underneath the skin such as tendons and ligaments. Techniques are slower and pressure can involve a firmer touch by the massage therapist. This kind of massage is used to help tissues that have been damaged from an injury.
- Trigger Point Therapy: This type of massage is a very specific type of rehabilitative massage that focuses on trigger points in the muscle tissue. A trigger point is defined as a hyper irritable spot in any type of soft tissue (usually skeletal) that creates a palpable nodule and causes pain. These typically form after injuries, overuse syndrome or surgery. Trigger Point therapy uses a very specific treatment protocol to remove the nodules and decrease pain.
Benefits of Massage
Various research has found massage to be beneficial in managing many conditions including anxiety and depression, stress relief, blood pressure control, immunity boosting, generalized pain and stiffness, sports related injuries and those individuals managing side effects from cancer treatment. Beyond the benefits massage provides for conditions or diseases, massage involves caring and touch, an increased sense of body awareness and can create a deep connection to our physical self, thus promoting stillness and stress relief within.