Massage Therapy is for More Than Relaxation
Massages are often used to relax tense or sore muscles, however, massage therapy can have benefits that extend far beyond simply improving muscle stiffness. Massage therapy has been known to help the following: relieve the following ailments:
- Reduce stress
- Improve circulation
- Lower blood pressure
- Relieve headaches
- Reduce dependency on pain medications
- Strengthen the immune system
- Allow for deeper, easier breathing.
However, the most important use of massage therapy is to aid the injury healing process.
Massage Therapy as Rehabilitation
The benefits of massage therapy range from standard muscle relaxation to lowering blood pressure, however, massage therapy can also be used in the rehabilitation process of injuries and surgery.
After surgery or injury, the body needs to relearn its natural movements and regain its range of motion. Massage therapy can help heal and even accelerate the healing process.
The massaging of muscles aids circulatory movement to muscles and tendons and encourages muscle relaxation. Circulatory movement allows for an increase in the flow of oxygen and nutrients to the injured part of the body, accelerating the rate of rehabilitation. Muscle relaxation is also essential to healing process because it allows for more productive stretching, increased flexibility, and decreased muscle stiffness.
Massage Therapy Techniques for Rehabilitation
There are numerous massage therapy techniques, but each form provides a different set of benefits to the body.
For example, Cranial Sacral massage therapy focuses on the bones of the face, while Hot Stone massage therapy involves the use of warm stones to optimize muscle flexibility.
However, the two techniques of massage therapy most commonly used to heal injuries and in post-op rehabilitation are Swedish Massage and Deep Tissue Massage.
Swedish massage is the most commonly known massage therapy technique. The goal of a Swedish massage is total body relaxation with pressure intensity ranging from light to medium.
Long, gliding strokes guide blood back to the heart. This releases stress hormones stored in the muscles, allowing the muscles to relax and absorb more oxygen and nutrients through the circulation of blood throughout the body.
Deep Tissue Massage
Deep Tissue massage has a much higher pressure intensity than Swedish Massage and focuses on massaging the deepest layers of muscle tissue and tendons.
The benefits in deep tissue massage stem from the body’s ability to release lactic acid and metabolic waste through the use of intense pressure. This allows for oxygen and nutrient rich blood to pour into the muscles, relaxing them and accelerating the rate of healing. It also often has the added benefit of lowering blood pressure.
Discover the Health Benefits of Massage Therapy in Plano
Massage therapy encourages the flow of oxygen and nutrient rich blood to muscles in the body, allowing these muscles and tendons to relax and heal, accelerating the healing process for injuries and in post-op rehabilitation. Whether recovering from an injury or simply looking for a way to relieve stress, massage therapy from a licensed massage therapist (LMT) can have numerous health benefits and greatly improve the overall quality of life.