Massage therapy is one of the oldest methods of physical therapy. It is the practice of pressing, kneading, and rubbing specific areas of the body in order to promote pain relief and relax and stimulate the tissues of the body. It works on the tendons, ligaments, and muscles to improve muscle tissues. It can not only benefit the tissues, but even the body's organs.
A massage has traditionally been known as a method of achieving relaxation and relieving tension. However, many of today's health problems can benefit from massage therapy. Massage therapy treatments will improve one's health by targeting and impacting such areas such as the immune, muscular, nervous, and circulatory systems.
The therapeutic benefits of massage therapy include:
1. Massage therapy will relieve sore muscle tissues and alleviate pain which can help speed up recovery time. A minor muscle injury can often prevent one from staying physically active. Massage therapy helps one return to their active lifestyle much more quickly.
2. Many people who work often find themselves working long hours and undertaking strenuous physical tasks. They can suffer from tight and tense muscles in the neck and back. A massage therapist can locate the source of muscle tension and apply massage techniques to alleviate the condition. Back pain can be treated with massage therapy. Deep tissue massage is a popular choice for back pain as it helps to soothe aching muscles.
3. Massage therapy can greatly improve circulation. The pressure and movements causes blood to circulate into and out of muscles and joints. Improved circulation can help speed up the recovery of muscle tissue injuries. The increased blood flood helps increase the nourishment to the muscles and the stimulation of blood circulation assists the lymphatic system in improving the removal of waste throughout the body.
4. The motions of massage can help increase flexibility in muscles. The therapist can also use methods such as Muscle Energy Technique to increase flexibility by relieving tension and reducing stiffness.
5. A massage can improve skin health by regulating oil production.
Other physical benefits of massage therapy include: relieves muscle tension and stiffness that includes the neck region, reduces discomfort during pregnancy, promotes healing of strained muscles and sprained ligaments, reduces pain and swelling, reduces muscle spasms, improves joint flexibility and range of motion, enhances the health and nourishment of skin, reduces blood pressure, and relieves tension headaches and the negative effects of eye-strain.
Mental and emotional benefits of massage therapy include: promotes a relaxed state of mind, relieves mental stress, promotes clear thinking and creativity, reduces anxiety, and promotes a state of well being.
Regular massages can have the therapeutic effect of strengthening and toning the entire body which will help to prevent strains and injuries. A massage can also stimulate the nervous system to help reduce exhaustion and restore one's physical and mental levels.
Massage therapists work in a variety of settings such as sport and fitness facilities, rehabilitation facilities, work places, hospitals, nursing homes...etc. More people are now discovering the therapeutic effects of massage therapy.