Benefits and Risks of Massage Therapy

A soothing rubdown may help you unwind, but that isn’t all. Explore the possible health advantages and risks of therapeutic massage, plus what to expect.

Massage is not any longer available only through luxury spas and upscale health clubs. Today, therapy emerges in businesses, clinics, hospitals and even airports. If you’ve never tried massage, learn about the possible health benefits of massage and what to expect during a massage therapy session.

Massage is really a general term for pressing, rubbing and manipulating your skin, muscles, tendons and ligaments. Therapists typically use their hands and fingers for massage but may also use their forearms, elbows and even feet. Massage may range between light stroking to deep pressure techniques.

There are many different forms of massage, including these common types:

? Swedish massage. This is usually a gentle form of massage that uses long strokes, kneading, deep circular movements, vibration and tapping to greatly help relax and energize you.

? Deep-tissue massage. This 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 much like Swedish massage but is aimed toward people involved in sport activities to greatly help prevent or treat injuries.

? Trigger point massage. This targets trigger points, or sensitive areas of tight muscle fibers that can form in muscle tissue after injuries or overuse.

Benefits of massage

The benefit is generally considered section of complementary and alternative medicine. It’s increasingly on offer along with standard treatment for a wide range of medical conditions and situations.

While more research is required to confirm the huge benefits, some studies have found massage helpful for:

? Stress relief
? Managing anxiety and depression
? Pain
? Stiffness
? Blood pressure control
? Infant growth
? Sports-related injuries
? Boosting immunity
? Cancer treatment

Beyond the benefits for specific conditions or diseases, some individuals enjoy massage since it often involves caring, comfort, a sense of empowerment and creating deep connections with their massage therapist.

Despite its benefits, massage isn’t meant as an alternative for regular health care. Let your doctor know you’re trying massage and be sure to follow any standard treatment plans you have.

Risks of massage

Massage is generally safe so long as it’s done by a trained massage therapist. But massage isn’t befitting everyone. Discuss with your doctor first in cases of:

? Unexplained pain or other symptoms
? Burns or open wounds
? Cancer
? Blood clots
? Fractures
? Rheumatoid arthritis
? Severe osteoporosis
? Pregnancy

Some types of can leave you feeling a bit sore the next day. But massage shouldn’t be painful or uncomfortable. If any part of your massage doesn’t feel right or is painful, speak up right away. Most serious problems result from too much pressure during massage.

In rare circumstances, massage can cause:

? Internal bleeding
? Nerve damage
? Temporary paralysis
? Allergies to massage oils or lotions

What you can expect during a massage

You do not need any special preparation for massage. Before a therapy session starts, your therapist should ask you about any symptoms, your medical history and what you’re hoping to obtain out of massage. Your therapist should explain the type of massage and techniques he or she will use.

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