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Benefits and Risks of Massage Therapy

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

Massage is no longer available only through luxury spas and upscale health clubs. Today, therapy is offered in businesses, clinics, hospitals and even airports. If you have never tried massage, find out about the possible health benefits of massage and what things to expect during a therapeutic massage session.

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

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

? Swedish massage. That is a gentle type 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 focus on 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 geared toward people involved in sport activities to help prevent or treat injuries.

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

Benefits of massage

The benefit is generally considered part of complementary and alternative medicine. It’s increasingly on offer along with standard treatment for an array of medical conditions and situations.

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

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

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

Despite its benefits, massage isn’t meant as a replacement for regular medical care. Let your physician know you’re trying massage and become sure to check out 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 appropriate for everyone. Discuss with your physician 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 must not 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
? Allergic reactions 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 observeable symptoms, your health background and what you’re hoping to get out of massage. Your therapist should explain the kind of massage and techniques he or she will use.

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