More than just a feel-good treatment
By Sarah Shupe, Certified Medical Assistant
When we hear the word massage we think of relaxation, self-care and a spa day. While a massage feels great and helps you transport to a relaxing oasis, it can also have health benefits. Below we break down different types of massage and the added health benefits from this incredibly soothing treatment.
What are the different types of massage?
When it comes to scheduling a massage, it is important to know that there are different modalities that offer a completely customized experience. Let your massage therapist know what you are hoping to get out of your treatment, any problem areas or soreness, and any pre-existing health conditions.
Deep tissue massage is sustained pressure using slow, deep strokes to target the inner layer of your muscles and connective tissues. This massage can address chronic pain within the body while aiding in relaxation. Many clients refer to this type of massage as a “hurt so good.”
Swedish massage helps to relieve stress and aid in relaxation. This massage is a combination of long strokes with light pressure, and extra attention is given to the hands, feet and scalp.
Prenatal massage reduces pregnancy aches and pains while easing stress and muscle tension. You are placed in a side lying position and supported with pillows to make you and your bump comfortable. It is important that you see a massage therapist who has training in prenatal massage to ensure yours and baby’s health.
What are the health benefits of massage?
Myofascial release is a gentle technique in massage that targets pain arising from the fascia. Fascia are fibrous connective tissues that weave throughout the body, attaching, separating and supporting muscles, bones, ligaments and internal organs. When the fascia is healthy, it is supple, allowing smooth, pain-free movement. When it is unhealthy, the fibers become tight, limiting mobility and causing stiffness and pain.
Lymphatic drainage is a technique that stimulates natural drainage of the lymph system, which helps to eliminate waste from the body. The goal is to move the fluid out of the tissues and into the lymph nodes, where bacteria, viruses and other harmful microorganisms are destroyed. Lymphatic drainage aids in strengthening your immune system, helps to reduce cellulite and improve your mood.
Quicker recovery from workouts is at the top of every athlete’s list. Massage increases circulation to muscles and connective tissue, allowing you to bounce back more quickly from difficult workouts. It can also be helpful in alleviating pain from muscle strain.
Massage is all about feeling refreshed, relaxed and recharged; releasing endorphins to help our bodies deal with stress and pain, aiding in making us a better version of ourselves. Schedule a massage with a certified massage therapist to explore the health benefits of taking care of your body and spirit.