Most people think of a massage as a way of escaping – warm hands traveling all over your back, relaxing tension and allowing you an opportunity to drift away from the everyday. Whether the therapist is utilizing hot stones, aromatherapy oil, or their own body weight, massage therapists provide a valuable service to people with back issues, but also to anyone whose ailment is manageable with touch and varying pressure.
Everyone experiences pain. Pain can be mild, achy, tingling, or stabbing. Pain can occur anywhere on or in the body. Pain is usually an indicator of injury; however, sometimes pain is a side effect of a medication, or a symptom of an autoimmune disorder. Some pain can only be managed through prescribed medication, but most pain can be mitigated or alleviated completely through regular massage therapy. All types of massages increase the flow of blood to different parts of the body, carrying essential nutrients that calm nerves, the reason that you feel pain. You massage therapist may also have some other ideas for you to help yourself heal from pain – for instance, if you tell your therapist that your back and shoulders ache, but also that you are not sitting properly while working, that could be a cause for some of your back and shoulder pain. Your therapist may recommend that you change some of your everyday behaviors in order to help them help you heal.
As mentioned previously, pain is usually indicative of injury. All but the most minor injuries hurt, and some can hurt very badly. Internal injuries to organs usually require surgery to stop the bleeding, but pain must be handled through medication. Medicine is also required in the case of broken bones. Sprains and strains, however, are different. Painful injuries though they may be, sprains and strains are muscular injuries. Back strains happen all the time, and though they can be severe enough to take you off of your feet for days, massage may be able to help when used with any medication prescribed by your doctor. Massage will treat injuries the way it treats pain: increase circulation to bring important nutrients that calm nerves and heal your muscles. This is also why sports massages are important for athletes and active individuals.
STRESS REDUCTION AND ANXIETY
Perhaps the soothing benefits of massage therapy go without saying, but having an opportunity to relax the body is also an opportunity to relax the mind. Even if you can put your mind at ease for an hour each week, that could make a difference in the way that you manage your stress. Stress can be very dangerous, and is a leading factor in cardiovascular disease. Stress can also lead to depression, which often comes with anxiety. While depression and anxiety are actually mental illnesses, massage can do wonders for their treatment and prevention. Taking care of your health may be as simple as making sure that you proactively manage your stress before it becomes serious depression and anxiety.