By Marc Courtiol
There are a number of benefits to be gained from massage therapy. Once thought of as a luxury that most people could not afford to indulge in, it has become a very beneficial component of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Massage is still thought of by many as an alternative type of medical treatment, and unfortunately some still believe that it is a pampering activity rather than one that provides tremendous benefits to the body. The reality, however, is that massage therapy can be an extremely powerful tool that can help you to lead a healthier life when it is done correctly.
Health Benefits of Massage
More research continues to be done regarding the many health benefits of massage therapy, but health care professionals are already aware that when done with the proper technique, massage offers people help or relief from a variety of ailments.
- Blood pressure maintenance
- Stress relief
- Chronic pain
- Injuries that are sports related
- Giving your immune system a boost
- Management of depression and anxiety
- Cancer treatment
Types of Massage
There are a variety of different types of massage, but the most common ones include the following:
- Swedish massage – most people who get regular massages choose this type, as it helps to relax the body and re-energize muscles and tissues.
- Sports massage – this type is very similar in nature to Swedish massage, but it primarily targets people who are involved in sports activities to prevent or treat certain types of injuries.
- Trigger point massage – tight muscles and sensitive areas can benefit from this type of massage. It is particularly useful after muscles have been overused or injured.
- Deep tissue massage – this type of massage primarily targets deep layers of tissue and muscles. It is often used to help repair damage that is the result of an injury.
If you have certain problems or conditions, you should generally avoid getting massages. If you have any of the following conditions, you should talk to your doctor ahead of time so that you can both determine if massage is appropriate for you.
- Blood clots
- Unusual or undiagnosed pain
- Fractures of any bones
- Extreme cases of osteoporosis
- Open wounds or burns
- Rheumatoid arthritis
Though massage should never be painful or uncomfortable for you, it can sometimes leave you feeling a bit sore the next day. If at any time during a massage you feel pain or discomfort, you should speak up immediately. It is always better to tell your massage therapist when something does not feel good in order to avoid a possible injury.
In rare instances, therapeutic massage can result in serious problems such as allergic reactions to lotions or oils, nerve damage, temporary paralysis, or internal bleeding. These conditions are quite uncommon, however, and in many cases they result because of the presence of a serious health condition. If you discuss your overall health with your doctor ahead of time, you should be able to keep regular massage appointments without worry.