Beyond the previous health benefits, there’s a lot that getting a massage can do for you. Massage therapy is a broad form of treatment. It’s used to tackle a ton of different health conditions and ailments. The coolest thing about massages is that they can be focused on one central area. Even still, you can reap the benefits throughout your entire body.
Before we get into some of the benefits, it’s important to know that there are several different types of massage techniques. This ancient practice goes back thousands of years. While modern humans have definitely put their own spin on things, many of the same methods are still used today.
Swedish massages are, by far, the most well-known out there. However, the techniques used in a Swedish massage are relatively new compared to ancient practices. The advent of the practice is usually credited to Pehr Henrik Ling, who lived in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.
A Swedish massage focuses on providing deep pressure through long strokes. Masseurs will often use the palms of their hand or a balled-up fist to manipulate the muscles. For circulation purposes, the gliding motion is usually aimed in the same direction as the blood’s return to the heart. Occasionally, percussive movements are made as well. These massages are great if you’re looking for something that’s relaxing yet energizing.
Commonly referred to as a deep tissue massage, this technique is one of the most effective for muscle relief. There are good reasons why it does such a great job at helping you recover from pain. First, involves deep kneading motions that penetrate much further into your body than a Swedish Massage. This action helps to break down scar tissue and forces your muscles to relax.
Secondly, the friction of the masseur’s hands gliding over your muscles causes some slight separation from the muscle tissue. Injuries can cause the fibers to become scrambled and out of order. That intense pressure and constant movement work to realign them.
If you’ve never had a deep tissue massage before, there’s nothing to fear. The intense sensation you feel can be rather jarring at first. Just relax and let the masseur or massage chair do its job. Before you know it, you’ll be feeling bliss.
As the name would suggest, a sports massage is all about addressing aches and preventing injuries. World-class athletes often have masseurs on hand in locker rooms and training centers. That’s because the constant wear and tear of the job can quickly take its toll on the body.
The cool thing about a sports massage is that it’s usually targeted. While you can experience the benefits throughout your whole body, having some special attention to specific spots can make all the difference. Muscle-tendon junctions are at the core of sports massages.
A buildup of lymphatic fluids and micro-injuries can have a noticeable effect on a player’s overall performance and agility on the field or court. So, sports massages are performed regularly around the legs, arms, and hips. In terms of technique, the masseuse will use methods that are similar to those found in a deep tissue massage. However, their movements are focused more on quick muscle recovery, improved range of motion, and pain relief.
Trigger Point Massage
Have you ever had muscle aches that seemed to affect other parts of your body too? If so, you were likely experiencing a trigger point. These are more commonly referred to as a muscle knot. Trigger points are very localized. While muscle aches usually affect all of the tissue in the area, trigger points are localized to one small spot. The fibers become tight, resulting in significant pain. The weird thing about a knot is that it can also cause neck or back pain, even if the knot is on your leg.
A trigger point massage focuses on that offending spot. Masseurs have to find where the knot is located and figure out how it’s spreading. To address it, they will typically apply firm pressure. After a few moments, they’ll release. This process is repeated until the muscle fibers are able to finally loosen their grip and stop radiating pain.
Now that you know a little more about the types of massages that you can get, let’s take a look at how they can benefit you in a practical real-world situation.
Temper Effects of Dementia
If you know someone who suffers from dementia, you understand how life-changing it can be. The disease can completely change a person and make it difficult to live a normal life. Over five million people suffer from it but there’s no known cure.
While scientific studies are still ongoing, it’s believed that massages can help to stave off some of the effects of dementia. The disease affects the brain and mental ability. So, many dementia patients have a hard time creating connections between themselves and those around them.
A massage helps to break down those walls a bit. Not only are they getting the benefits of human touch and compassion, but they’re also able to eliminate some of the stress that’s associated with the disease. Patients can quickly become irritable due to the ongoing struggles they have to deal with every day. By eliminating some of that stress and anxiety, dementia sufferers are able to control mood swings. Even something as simple as a hand massage can help.
Let’s face it, everyone needs a little more relaxation. A difficult job and busy home life make it hard for most people to just get a few moments of peace. Massages are centered around the idea of rejuvenating your mind and body. You don’t have to be in any physical pain to get one either. As long as you’re willing to relax, a massage can benefit you.
Even if you have a hard time unwinding, a massage will get you there. As we talked about earlier in this massage chair guide, a good massage will cause more positive hormones to be released. After your session, you’ll feel calm, clear-headed, and relaxed. The best kind of massage for relaxation is a Swedish massage. Though, any form will give you great results.
Lower Blood Pressure
Deep tissue massages and Swedish massages are a great option if you’re looking for a natural way to lower your blood pressure. Of course, it’s always recommended that you make some lifestyle and diet changes as well to ensure that the improvements stick. But, massages can do wonders all on their own.
Once again, it’s the increased blood circulation that saves the day. With regular massages, your body has an easier time transporting oxygen and nutrients throughout your body. Even the lymphatic system benefits. Better flow ensures that toxins can be filtered out of your body.
Now you can keep your blood pressure always under control by using the best blood pressure monitor ready and within reach.
Decrease Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Most people think that a desk job is one of the safest you can have. While they certainly keep you away from all of the hazards outside your office, they can actually cause you more harm in the long run. Aside from affecting your posture, working on a computer is one of the leading causes of carpal tunnel syndrome.
The repetitive motion of typing away on a keyboard can result in a crucial nerve being pinched. What ends up happening after that is nothing short of awful. You’ll feel numbness and pain that can extend all the way up to your arm. Worst of all, the most common fix to carpal tunnel syndrome after you get it is surgery.
Needless to say, it’s best to avoid this at all costs. One way you can do that is by getting massages. More specifically, a trigger point massage will benefit you. The muscles and tendons that cause your fingers to move are partly responsible for pinching the nerve that causes pain.
Help Chronic Neck Pain
Chronic neck pain is often a result of poor posture, muscle strains, and overuse. In some cases, the issue isn’t even located in the neck. A muscle knot from another part of your body may be a big contributing factor to the problem.
While you may not be able to get rid of the pain forever due to its chronic nature, a massage can decrease its severity. Just make sure that you get a massage regularly. Studies found that more frequent massages provided more reliable pain benefits.
Lower Joint Replacement Pain
Recovering from a joint replacement is not easy by any stretch of the imagination. Your body is having to get used to an entirely new joint. In most cases, these procedures don’t address the surrounding tendons or muscles that work alongside the joint. So, when you factor in the problems that arose before you had a joint replacement, you’re looking at a long road to recovery.
Massages are frequently included as part of the treatment process before and after surgery. Prior to the replacement, massage therapists will use sports massage techniques to alleviate pain at the muscle-tendon junction. After the replacement has been done, the massages are focused on reducing any swelling you may be experiencing. The sessions are also designed to help you manage pain and regain mobility.
Increase Range of Motion
Sports massages are typically the go-to when it comes to improving range of motion for a particular muscle. Because the technique targets problem areas, you’re able to focus on any problems you’re having. With that being said, deep tissue massages work great too.
Massages can benefit your range of motion a couple of different ways. The first is by relaxing the muscles around the joints and by strengthening the tendons. Stimulating these areas can reduce tension and promote proper circulation. The second way a massage can help is by breaking down scar tissue. Deep tissue massages will make the tissue more flexible and ready to move.
Decrease Migraine Frequency
The terms “migraine” and “headache” are often used interchangeably. However, migraines are a chronic problem that affects millions. The unique thing about a migraine is that it occurs in various stages. During the very first stage, many migraine sufferers can usually tell that there’s trouble brewing.
As much as 72 hours before any pain is felt, the body starts warning sufferers of a problem. One of the most common signs is neck pain. By eliminating that pain when you first feel it, you may be able to stop the migraine from occurring. It’s not an exact science. Studies are being done to see how massage therapy can benefit migraine sufferers.
Even once you get the migraine, you can use massage therapy to get some relief. The increased circulation and muscle relief you feel can alleviate many of the symptoms that come with a migraine.
Improve Overall Quality of Life
Whether you decide to get a monthly massage at your local spa or choose to do one every single day with a best quality massage chair at home, you’ll notice a vast improvement in your quality of life. There are so many different factors that go into your overall happiness and well-being. As you can see in this buying guide, a lot of those issues can be resolved with a massage.
By getting a massage to keep those benefits going, you’ll be able to avoid bodily pain and keep your mental state in a good place. Remember, massages are designed to help you relax. They can force your muscles to let loose and cause a change in your hormone levels. All of these elements can drastically improve how you live your day to day life. Massage enthusiasts will often say that they can’t afford to not get a good massage. Judging by all the things a massage can do for you, it’s not hard to see why.
Reduce Chemotherapy-Related Nausea
Chemotherapy is the most common treatment option for cancer. While it can help patients get into remission, it also has a ton of bad side-effects. Nausea can affect people at every stage of their chemotherapy treatment. Acute nausea kicks in within a few hours and may last a full day. Then, there’s delayed nausea, which can affect people a full five to seven days after they have had treatment.
Massage therapy can be a great way to reduce the effects of nausea. Studies were performed to test that hypothesis. The results showed that a 20-minute massage before getting chemotherapy reduces the overall severity and length of nausea symptoms. Not just by a small margin either.