What is massage?
Massage is a general term for pressing, rubbing and manipulating your skin, muscles, tendons and ligaments. Massage may range from light stroking to deep pressure. There are many different types of massage, including these common types:
- Swedish massage. This is a gentle form of massage that uses long strokes, kneading, deep circular movements, vibration and tapping to help relax and energize you.
- Deep massage. This 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.
- Sports massage. This is similar to Swedish massage, but it's geared toward people involved in sport activities to help prevent or treat injuries.
- Trigger point massage. This massage focuses on areas of tight muscle fibers that can form in your muscles after injuries or overuse.
- Digestive disorders
- Insomnia related to stress
- Myofascial pain syndrome
- Soft tissue strains or injuries
- Sports injuries
- Temporomandibular joint pain
Benefits of massage
Massage is generally considered part of complementary and integrative medicine. It's increasingly being offered along with standard treatment for a wide range of medical conditions and at Vitality Spine + Health we see patients get better faster when complementing chiropractic with massage.
Studies of the benefits of massage demonstrate that it is an effective treatment for reducing stress, pain and muscle tension.
Beyond the benefits for specific conditions or diseases, some people enjoy massage because it often produces feelings of caring, comfort and connection.
Despite its benefits, massage isn't meant as a replacement for regular medical care.
What you can expect during a massage
You don't need any special preparation for massage. Before a massage therapy session starts, you will fill out New Patient paperwork and your massage therapist should ask you about any symptoms, your medical history and what you're hoping to get out of massage. Your massage therapist should explain the kind of massage and techniques he or she will use.
At Vitality Spine + Health, you will undress to your comfort level or wear loose-fitting clothing. You will lie on the table and cover yourself with a sheet. Your massage therapist should perform an evaluation through touch to locate painful or tense areas and to determine how much pressure to apply.
Depending on preference, your massage therapist may use oil or lotion to reduce friction on your skin. Tell your massage therapist if you might be allergic to any ingredients.
A massage session may last 60 minutes, 10 minutes of undress & dress time and a 50 minute massage. Remember to breathe and you should feel calm and relaxed during and after your massage.
If the massage therapist is pushing too hard, ask for lighter pressure. Occasionally you may have a sensitive spot in a muscle that feels like a knot. It's likely to be uncomfortable while your massage therapist works it out. But if it becomes painful, speak up.
The take-home message about massage Brush aside any thoughts that massage is only a feel-good way to indulge or pamper yourself. To the contrary, massage can be a powerful tool to help you take charge of your health and well-being, whether you have a specific health condition or are just looking for another stress reliever. Come check out the massage therapist at Vitality Spine + Health for a discounted introductory rate of $49.