WHAT IS A MASSAGE THERAPIST & WHAT DO THEY DO?
Licensed massage therapists have gone to an accredited school and passed state licensing requirements in the state they are practicing. They treat clients by using touch to manipulate the muscles and other soft tissues of the body. With their touch, therapists relieve pain, help heal injuries, improve circulation, relieve stress, increase relaxation, and aid in the general wellness of clients.
Massage therapists use touch to treat clients’ injuries and to promote the clients’ general wellness. They use their hands, fingers, forearms, elbows, and sometimes feet to knead muscles and soft tissues of the body.
Massage therapists talk with clients about what they hope to achieve through massage. They may suggest personalized treatment plans for their clients, including information about additional relaxation techniques to practice between sessions.
ARE THERE DIFFERENT TYPES OF MASSAGE?
Massage therapists can specialize in many different types of massage or modalities. Swedish massage, deep-tissue massage, and sports massage, are just a few of the many modalities of massage therapy. Most massage therapists specialize in several modalities, which require different techniques.
The type of massage given typically depends on the client’s needs and physical condition. For example, massage therapists may use a special technique for elderly clients that they would not use for athletes. Some forms of massage are given solely to one type of client; for example, prenatal massage is given only to pregnant women.
TOP 5 CLINICALLY PROVEN BENEFITS OF MASSAGE
1. BOOST IMMUNE SYSTEM
Many studies have linked massages to improved functioning of the immune system. In one 2010 study, massage was shown to improve production of white blood cells which fight against disease. The same study was repeated with a focus on how massage effects hormone levels and it showed that people who had Swedish massage twice a week had decreased levels of the stress hormone cortisol and more oxytocin, the trust hormone.
2. IMPROVES WELL-BEING
A relaxing massage can reduce anxiety, stress and depression. As I mentioned previously, massage has been proven to reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol. This improves your overall feeling of well being and can reduce blood pressure. Massage can also increase levels of the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine, which is great for people suffering from depression.
3. REDUCES INFLAMMATION
A study published in Science Translational Medicine in 2012 found that massage greatly relieves sore muscles after physical exercise. Just 10 minutes of massage can reduce inflammation and help your body recover more quickly.
4. REDUCES PAIN
A 2011 study of lower back pain published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that Swedish massage or deep tissue massage can help alleviate chronic lower back pain. After receiving 1 massage a week for 10 weeks, 1 out of 3 patients were relieved of pain compared to 1 in 25 given ‘usual care’.
A 2006 study published in the American Archives of Internal Medicine showed that frequent massages could decrease stiffness and pain and improve movement in people with osteoarthritis.
5. IMPROVE SLEEP
Even insomniacs may find it easier to get a good night’s rest after a Spa Experience massage treatment. Some people even fall asleep while they are being massaged! Many studies have addressed this phenomenon and accredit it to massage’s affect on delta waves, which are the brain waves associated with deep sleep.
JUST WHAT YOU NEED:
Whether your need is to have a moment of relaxation, reduce muscle tension or attain relief from chronic pain, a therapeutic massage can enhance your overall sense of emotional and physical well-being. Massage therapy can be an important part of your health maintenance plan by reducing muscular tension.