Just thinking about a massage is enough to make most people smile. Massages feel good and can ease tension. However, massages have greater benefits than simple comfort. Massage therapy can promote wellness and may even help with healing after an injury. Massage can also ease mental and emotional stress, helping patients to regain a positive mindset that is so important to healing.
Improved Blood Flow
The pressure placed on the skin and tissue during massage increases blood flow throughout the body, especially if the massage is deep enough to target and warm the muscles. The increased blood flow boosts the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the cells and organs of the body. Better circulation and blood flow also helps the body to more efficiently remove waste products from the cells, which may help to decrease inflammation.
There are different types of massage which target certain body areas in order to provide pain relief and improve range of motion to the area. This can be especially helpful after an injury as part of the physical therapy element of treatment. Trigger point massages and sports massages both focus on targeting areas where muscle fibers are tight and commonly used in order to help prevent or treat injuries caused by overuse. When the body area is relaxed, it may improve range of motion and overall healing.
Physical and Mental Relaxation
A massage triggers the relaxation response in the body, allowing the muscles to loosen up. The one-on-one nature of massage combined with this relaxation response can help to ease mental stresses and bring the mind back to a tranquil state. Body aches, even mild pains brought on by poor posture or sleeping position, may also be eased by massage. By freeing the body of muscle aches and tension, it may help to free the mind to focus on daily tasks and enjoyable activities.
Improved Adjustment Effectiveness
Massage can work to compliment chiropractic adjustments. A massage before an adjustment can help to warm and loosen the muscles, which can allow the body to better adapt to and receive the chiropractic manipulation. Combining massage therapy and chiropractic treatment can maximize pain relief and relaxation.
Massage can be soothing and comforting whether there are injuries present or not. If massage is recommended as part of a physical therapy program to treat injuries and improve range of motion, insurance may cover all or a portion of the costs of regular massages. Massage may also be an inexpensive and non-invasive way to treat or prevent repetitive stress injuries caused by work or sports.