Massage Therapy Combats Stress
Experts estimate that 80 percent to 90 percent of disease is stress-related. Massage therapy and bodywork is there to combat that frightening number by helping us remember what it means to relax. The physical changes massage brings to your body can have a positive effect in many areas of your life. Besides increasing relaxation and decreasing anxiety, massage lowers your blood pressure, increases circulation, improves recovery from injury, helps you to sleep better and can increase your concentration. Massage therapy reduces fatigue and gives you more energy to handle stressful situations. Our medical massage and therapeutic massage therapists in our location in Fort Collins, Colorado will listen to your needs and address specific areas to focus on during your massage therapy session.
Massage therapy is a perfect elixir for good health, but it can also provide an integration of body and mind. By producing a meditative state or heightened awareness of living in the present moment, massage can provide emotional and spiritual balance, bringing with it true relaxation and peace. It’s undoubtedly a wonderful thing when your therapist begins unwinding those stress-tightened muscles, and your day’s troubles begin to fade away. But it’s the cherry on top to know this “medicine” only gets better with frequency.
What You Already Know: The Benefits of Massage
In an age of technical and, at times, impersonal medicine, massage offers a drug-free, non-invasive and humanistic approach based on the body’s natural ability to heal itself. So what exactly are the benefits to receiving regular massage and/or bodywork treatments?
- Increases circulation, allowing the body to pump more oxygen and nutrients into tissues and vital organs.
- Stimulates the flow of lymph, the body’s natural defense system, against toxic invaders. For example, in breast cancer patients, massage has been shown to increase the cells that fight cancer.
- Increased circulation of blood and lymph systems improves the condition of the body’s largest organ – the skin.
- Relaxes and softens injured and overused muscles
- Reduces spasms and cramping
- Increases joint flexibility.
- Reduces recovery time, helps prepare for strenuous workouts and eliminates subsequent pains of the athlete at any level.
- Releases endorphins – the body’s natural painkiller – and is being used in chronic illness, injury and recovery from surgery to control and relieve pain.
- Reduces post-surgery adhesions and edema and can be used to reduce and realign scar tissue after healing has occurred.
- Improves range-of-motion and decreases discomfort for patients with low back pain.
- Relieves pain for migraine sufferers and decreases the need for medication.
- Provides exercise and stretching for atrophied muscles and reduces shortening of the muscles for those with restricted range of motion.
- Assists with shorter labor for expectant mothers, as well as less need for medication, less depression and anxiety, and shorter hospital stays.
Different types of Focused Treatments in Massage Therapy
Hot Stone massage - Hot stone massage is a specialty massage that uses smooth, heated stones. They are often basalt, a black volcanic rock that absorbs and retains heat well. It is a deeply soothing, relaxing form of massage. The heat helps tight muscles release.
Swedish Massage- The term “Swedish Massage” refers to a variety of techniques specifically designed to relax muscles by applying pressure to them against deeper muscles and bones, and rubbing in the same direction as the flow of blood returning to the heart. Swedish massage shortens recovery time from muscular strain by flushing the tissues of lactic acid, uric acid, and other metabolic wastes. It increases circulation without increasing heart load. It stretches the ligaments and tendons keeping them supple and pliable. Swedish massage also stimulates the skin and nervous system and soothes the nerves themselves at the same time. It reduces stress, both emotional and physical, and is suggested in a regular program for stress management. It also has many specific medical uses.
Deep Tissue Massage (Neuromuscular) - Deep tissue massage is a type of massage therapy that focuses on realigning deeper layers of muscles and connective tissue. It is especially helpful for chronically tense and contracted areas such as stiff necks, lower back tightness, and sore shoulders. Some of the same strokes are used as in classic massage therapy, but the movement is slower and the pressure is deeper and concentrated on areas of tension and pain.
Prenatal Massage – Prenatal massage is massage therapy specifically tailored for the expectant mother’s needs. Pregnancy massage has been found to reduce stress, decrease swelling in the arms and legs, and relieve aches and pains in muscles and joints. It’s a popular complementary therapy during pregnancy for back pain, when choices for pain relief, such as medication, are often limited.
Neonatal Massage – Touch is one of the first forms of communication babies develop. It is recognized as one of the most basic of human needs and as a healing medicine. Touch is not only healing for your baby but also for you, the parent. By touching and massaging your baby, the bonding process begins. Massage creates an expression of caring, providing a positive experience. Massage touch may even improve growth and development while promoting rest.
Reflexology – Reflexology is the physical act of applying pressure to the feet and hand with specific thumb, finger and hand techniques without the use of oil or lotion. It is based on a system of zones and reflex areas that reflect an image of the body on the feet and hands with a premise that such work effects a physical change to the body.
Trigger Point Therapy – Trigger point therapy is a bodywork technique that involves the applying of pressure to tender muscle tissue in order to relieve pain and dysfunction in other parts of the body. Sometimes massage and trigger point therapy are performed together.