A patient that came in to our Bourbonnais IL clinic just this past week was curious what makes Massage Therapy, and what the main difference was between getting a back rub from a spouse and having a board certified massage therapist work with intention. That prompted our staff to write this article, detailing what is massage therapy, where it comes from and the different types out there.
Massage therapy takes its meaning from an Arabic word meaning ‘to touch, feel and/or handle’. Basic reasons for electing massage therapy are to lessen tension in various parts of the body and thereby improve the flow of blood Many seek massage therapy as a means of alleviating pressure and improving joint mobility.
There are an estimated 80 types of massage therapy with one of the most popular being Swedish Massage. In this technique, therapists use long gliding and kneading strokes to contact the top muscle layer to ease discomfort and enhance the circulation of blood in the affected area.
Deep Massage uses slower strokes applied with pressure by the hands and elbows with the goal of reaching deeper muscle layers than the level attained by the use of Swedish Massage.
Trigger Point Massage is predominately more intense in terms of pressure and is used to relieve muscle tension due to over-exertion or injuries especially those resulting from participation in contact sports.
Ongoing research studies espouse some positive results from the use of massage therapy for cancer patients. Non-aromatic massage therapy has been shown to lessen the pain associated with chemotherapy and improve the patient’s general outlook on life. Pediatric massage therapy studies reflect that gentle pressure to acupressure areas conducted 3 times per day for a period of 10 days spurs weight gain. While many studies have been conducted concerning the use of aromas as a part of massage therapy. Conditions such as anxiety and depression derive some benefit but only for a short period of time.
When choosing a massage therapist, one of the main considerations should be a state licensed therapist or one recommended by physician. Many people consider using a chiropractor as an alternative however while chiropractors are trained in basic muscle adjustment, they are not licensed, permitted to prescribe medications or necessitate referral from a physician.
Get connected with our chiropractic team and get a massage from a board certified massage therapist.