Massage Therapy: A Key to Optimal Health and Relaxation
What is Massage Therapy?
Massage therapy is a hands-on manipulation of the soft tissue and joints of the body. In addition to the benefits of balancing the energies of the body, scientific studies have documented the diverse effects and benefits that massage therapy has to offer.
The therapeutic use of massage by a registered massage therapist affects all the systems of the body - in particular, the muscular, immune (lymphatic) and nervous systems. No wonder so many people find massage therapy so helpful in so many ways!
Many of today's chronic health problems can benefit from massage therapy because the manipulation of soft tissues affects many of our bodily systems. Massage therapy boosts the body's immune system which is often compromised due to lack of exercise, extended periods of stress, a diet lacking in proper nutrition, and poor emotional and spiritual health. Tension and toxins can build up in the muscles causing a decrease in blood flow and nutrient delivery to the tissues.
Massage therapy aims to:
- Develop, maintain, rehabilitate or augment the body's physical functions as well as the inherent energies present in the body
- Relieve or prevent physical dysfunction and pain
- Relax tightened and tense muscles
- Improve circulation, recovery time and immune system function
- Reduce overall stress, resulting in a better quality of life
Massage Techniques and Modalities Available
Sports Massage is a special form of massage and is typically used before, during and after athletic events. The purpose of the massage is to prepare the recipient for peak performance, to drain away fatigue, relieve swelling, to reduce muslce tension, to promote flexibility and to prevent injuries. A variety of techniques are used, including Swedish Massage and Shiatsu, which are specifically designed to treat professional athletes. Sports Massage also reduces heart rate and blood pressure while increasing blood circulation and lymph flow. It also relieves muscle tension, pain and improves flexiility.
Deep Tissue Massage is a massage that focuses on the deeper layers of muscle tissue. It aims to release the chronic paterns of tension in the body through slow strokes and keep finger pressure on the contracted areas, either following or going across the fibers of the muscles, tendons and fascia. Deep Tissue Massage releases chronic muscle tension and toxins by using slow strokes and deep finger pressure on the contracted areas.
Muscle Release Technique (MRT) takes stretching to the next level. This is accomplished by applying pressure directly to the muscle, which in turn stretches the muscle to release easier and quicker. This technique is a smarter, not harder technique usually producing very little or no discomfort to the patient.
Neuromuscular Therapy (NMT) aims to balance the central nervous system with the musculoskeletal system and correct any disorders brought about as a result of any imbalances between the two. NMT enhances the function of joints and muscles and speeds healing by facilitating the release of endorphines. NMT is used to treat conditions such as chronic pain, sciatica, rotator cuff dysfunction, carpal tunnel sundrome, temporomandibular joint dysfunction and migraines. NMT is also the most effective type of massage therapy for lower back pain.
Myoskeletal Alighment Technique (MAT) releases tiny muscles by mobilizing the bones to which they attach. The goal of MAT is to create whole body alignment by simply working through the bones to release hypertonic muscles responsible for the vertebral dysfunction. This method can safely and painlessly correct alignment problems in the myofascial and skeletal systems.
Our licensed massage therapists will use their extensive training to obtain a detailed picture of your individual needs and assess which technique will provide the results that you're seeking.
A Special Word about Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a common overuse injury to the hand and wrist. Some of the symptoms are numbness, tingling, or pain in the fingers. Massage therapist that are trained in the treatment of CTS use a non-evasive manipulation of muscles and ligaments in the shoulder, arm and wrist to improve circulation and reduce swelling. Interesting enough, many people are misdiagnosed with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and actually have problems in the lower neck and shoulder area. Our massage therapist works closely with the doctors at The Center for Family Wellness to make sure we are giving the best care to the correct problem.