Massages are no longer only for luxury spas and fancy health clubs. Today, massages are offered and readily available for everyone. Massage clinics have become widely prominent in our society and for good reason. There are so many benefits that can come from massage therapy that goes beyond the relaxation aspect of it. From improved mental and physical health to reductions in injuries and pain, massage therapy is something that truly should be added to your self-care routine.
First and foremost, massage is a general term that refers to the pressing, rubbing, and manipulation of the skin, muscles, tendons, and ligaments in your body. Massage can range from light strokes to intense deep pressure. There are many different types of massage but some of the most common types are the ones that follow.
- Swedish Massage: This is one of the most popular forms that if you’ve gotten a massage for relaxation purposes, it’s probably this type. This includes long strokes, kneading techniques, deep circular movements, vibration and tapping used to help relax and energize you.
- Deep Massage: This technique uses slower, more forceful strokes to target the deeper layers of the muscles and connective tissue. This is a common type of massage used to target muscle injuries.
- Sports Massage: Similar to Swedish massage, but it is geared towards people involved in active sports activities. It’s used to help prevent and treat injuries.
- Trigger Point Massage: This type of massage focuses on areas of tight muscle fibers that can form in your muscles after injury or overuse.
Benefits of Massage
Massage has always been considered to be a part of medicine but many times people only associate it with a relaxation treatment. There have been countless benefits that massage can bring that are both mental and physical. While there are reported benefits, there is definitely more research that needs to be done, however, massage has been said to help with:
- Digestive Issues
- Headaches (See Our Last Blog)
- Insomnia Related to Stress
- Myofascial Pain Syndrome
- Soft Tissue Strains or Injuries
- Sports Injuries
- Temporomandibular Joint Pain
Massage can also be seen as a way to produce feelings of comfort, care, and connection. Be aware though, massage should not be a replacement for regular medical care. If you are thinking about using massage as an additional add on to your care routine, consult with a doctor and be sure to follow any treatment plans that they may give you.
Risks of Massage
While many people benefit from massage, there are some risks that you might want to consider. Massage may not be the right source of treatment if you have any of the following:
- Bleeding Disorders or Taking Blood-Thinning Medication
- Burns or Healing Wounds
- Deep Vein Thrombosis
- Severe Osteoporosis
- Severe Thrombocytopenia
Once again, make sure that you discuss the pros and cons of engaging in massage therapy if you have any conditions that could be affected. You might also want to be aware that certain forms of massage therapy may leave your body feeling a bit sore the next day, but the massage should never be painful or uncomfortable. If part of your massage feels painful, don’t be afraid to speak up. The majority of problems come from too much pressure during the massage, which is easily something that can be fixed.
What To Expect
Now you don’t need any special preparations for getting a massage, but before you start your massage your therapist should ask about your medical history, what you’re looking to get out of your massage, and any other symptoms you may be having.
In most massage clinics, you will be asked to undress to your level of comfort or wear loose fitted clothing. There should be a table with either a blanket or sheet, that you will lie down on and cover yourself with a blanket or sheet. Depending on your preference or massage type, your therapist may use oil or lotion to help reduce any friction on your skin. If you have any allergies to anything like coconut oil, make sure to speak up. Your session can range anywhere from 30-90 minutes depending on the massage type and how much time you’ve scheduled. This session should be calm and relaxing though.
After your session is completed you may feel a bit sleepy, so make sure to take all the time you need after your massage, especially if you’re driving yourself home. Your therapist should also offer you a glass of water, which you should drink. They will also tell you to drink a good amount of water after your massage to help flush out the toxins that might have been released during your session.
At Life Wellness we are proud to offer high-quality massage therapy to the residents of Lakeville and Eagan. We are a Top Rated DMR Clinic and have an entire team of professional and experienced therapists that are here to provide you with the relief you need. Visit our office or contact us here to get started!