A Chinese proverb once said, “Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are”. We are all aware of the importance of relaxation when it comes to our health. Stress has the ability to affect our minds, bodies and souls on a variety of levels. For years, the term massage has always been associated with relieving tension, relaxation or helping sore muscles. Day after day research is adding to the list of massage therapy benefits.
Massage is one of the oldest of the healing arts, next to acupuncture and herbal therapies. There are over 200 varieties of massage techniques and many practitioners use multiple during a single session. It’s important to understand a few basic terms that you might encounter when scheduling a massage therapy appointment.
Swedish Massage: The most commonly used technique in the United States. Swedish massage uses five basic strokes to stimulate circulation and focus on superficial muscle groups. General relaxation is the best benefit among others from this type of massage.
Deep Tissue Massage: Works the sub-layer of muscle. Massage Therapists have advanced training in anatomy and physiology to more thoroughly understand which areas to work on. This technique helps with chronic pain, rehabilitation and to reduce inflammation.
Sports Massage: Similar to deep tissue massage, but is often used before or after athletic events. This technique focuses on athletes needs to help prevent and heal from injuries.
Now that we’ve covered a few basic and most common types of massage, let’s talk about the benefits which include, but are not limited to:
- Relaxation, lessen depression and anxiety.
- Enhance immunity by stimulating the bodies defense system – Lymph
- Improved circulation
- Reduce spasms and cramping
- Release endorphins – the bodies natural pain killer
- Aid in shorter, easier labor for expectant mothers
- Reduce post surgery adhesions and swelling
- Improve skin condition
It’s important to communicate with your therapist on your wants and needs from a massage. Are you looking to distress and relax with gentle pressure; or are you hoping to heal a chronic low back problem? You will gain the most benefit from your massage if you relax for the rest of the day to not overtax your body and drink plenty of water before and after. The water will help flush out the toxins that the massage will loosen up. Always remember that massage therapy should not only be a reward for working hard, but as a way to enhance your overall well being.
North Shore Pro-Active Health at 112 W. Lake Street, Libertyville, offers a free consultation if you are interested in learning about how chiropractic care or massage therapy can enhance your life. Dr. Jordan & Dr. Jade can be reached at 847-362-4476 or www.drleasure.com.
Please share your questions with the doctors on the Patch along with any pertinent comments or concerns.