The Many Benefits of Massage

Massage can be a powerful tool to help you take charge of your health and well-being

Adapted from an article written by the Mayo Clinic Staff

Massage is no longer available only through luxury spas and upscale health clubs. Today, massage therapy is offered in businesses, clinics, hospitals, health and wellness fairs, farmers markets, malls and even airports. Some massage therapists will also conduct house visits! If you have never tried massage, learn about its possible health benefits.

 

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 energise you.
  • Deep massage.This massage technique uses slower, more forceful strokes to target the deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue and it is commonly used to help with muscle damage from injuries.
  • Sports massage.This is similar to Swedish massage, but it is geared toward people involved in sport activities to help prevent or treat injuries.
  • Trigger point massage.This massage focuses on areas of tight muscle fibres that can form in your muscles after injuries or overuse.

Benefits of massage

Massage is generally considered part of complementary and alternative medicine. It is increasingly being offered along with standard treatment for a wide range of medical conditions and situations.

Studies of the benefits of massage demonstrate that it is an effective treatment for reducing stress and stress related conditions, pain and muscle tension, improving joint mobility and circulation, sports injuries, sports injury prevention and detoxification.

Some studies have found massage may also be helpful for:

  • Anxiety and depression
  • Digestive disorders
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia related to stress
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Myofascial pain syndrome
  • Soft tissue strains / injuries (e.g. repetitive strain injuries, such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome)
  • Sports injuries
  • Temporomandibular joint pain
  • Poor lymphatic drainage
  • Sinus problems
  • Pregnancy and labour support

Beyond the benefits for specific conditions or diseases, some people enjoy massage because it often produces feelings of caring, comfort and connection. It can be used for relaxation, stimulation, rejuvenation or rehabilitation.

Although it has a wide range of benefits, massage should not be used to replace medical treatment, but is included in holistic wellness care. Ensure that you inform all your medical practitioners of all the treatments you are undertaking and continue to follow any standard treatment plans you have.

Risks of massage

Most people can benefit from massage. However, massage may not be appropriate if you have:

  • Bleeding disorders or take blood-thinning medication
  • Burns or healing wounds
  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Fractures
  • Severe osteoporosis
  • Severe thrombocytopenia

Some forms of massage can leave you feeling a bit sore the next day, but massage should not ordinarily be painful or uncomfortable. If any part of your massage does not feel right or is painful, let your massage therapist know right away.

Try the healing hands of Leah from Nzuri Massage Studio. Call or message 231 3185 and make your appointment. You can also find Leah at the Artsplash Farmer's Market on Wednesdays and Saturdays 10am - 2pm. On Sunday she is at the Holder's Hill Farmer's Market 10am - 2pm.

  Leah at Holder's Hill Farmers Market.

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