Massage Therapist Questions and Answers
Interested in massage therapy? Reach out to our team of healthcare professionals today at Viva Health Centres to learn more about the benefits of massage therapy. Call us today for more information, or simply schedule an appointment online! We are conveniently located at 9580 Yonge Street Unit #6 Richmond Hill, ON L4C 1V6.
What is massage therapy?
Massage therapy has been in practice for thousands of years and is used around the world as a type of therapy to soothe a variety of health concerns. It is often considered to fall under complementary and alternative medicine practices and treatments due to limited scientific data about its health benefits. Massage therapy was defined as the art of rubbing as the motion of massage involves rubbing the skin, although the actual practical application is more about applying pressure to muscles using the hands than it is just a simple act of rubbing the skin. People of all ages, including children, seek out massage therapy for a variety of purposes such as relieving pain, part of a sports injury rehabilitation program, stress reduction, increase relaxation, help with depression and anxiety and aid in general wellness. There are different techniques of massage therapy with the general practice being to press, manipulate and rub the muscles and soft tissues of the body. Massage therapists primarily provide treatment using their hands and fingers, but they may also use their elbows or forearms if needed.
What does a massage therapist do?
A massage therapist is trained in different methods of kneading, pressing, rubbing and manipulation of their patient’s muscles and soft tissues. They can work in a variety of settings such as private offices, spas, hospitals, sport and fitness facilities, nursing homes and studios. Massage therapists try to create a quiet, calm and soothing atmosphere for their patients to enable the patient to relax and receive the maximum benefit from their treatment. New patients will be asked about any pain or symptoms they are currently experiencing, a bit of medical history and what they are looking to get out of the massage. Once the patient is comfortably laying down on the massage table or sitting in a chair, the therapist will perform the massage using oil or lotion if massaging against bare skin. The massage will consist of the massage therapist working their way over the area being treated by applying gentle pressure to the muscles and tissues under the skin’s surface in a kneading motion.
How does massage therapy work?
There are many different types of massage therapy that work in different ways for a variety of treatment options. Some common types of massage therapy include Swedish massage, deep massage, sports massage and trigger point massage. Swedish massage is used to feel energized and relaxed through the use of long strokes, deep circular movements, kneading, tapping and vibration. Deep massage is most commonly used to help relieve muscle damage caused by injuries and uses slow, forceful strokes that are effective in targeting the deep layers of muscles. Sports massage uses similar techniques as the Swedish massage but is intended to help prevent or treat injuries for people involved in sporting activities. Trigger point massage is targeted on tight muscle fibres often found in the muscles as the result of an injury or overuse.
What are the benefits of massage therapy?
Massage therapy has been shown to have some benefits as part of an integrative medicine program. Along with standard treatment for many medical conditions, its being offered as an additional layer for improved health and well-being. The benefits of massage therapy are a reduction in stress and increased relaxation, reduced pain, muscle soreness and tension, improved circulation, alertness and energy, lowered heart rate and blood pressure and improved immune function. Additional research is still needed to fully understand the benefits of massage, but many patients have also found that it can be helpful with anxiety, fibromyalgia, headaches, lower back pain, insomnia due to stress, nerve pain, sports injuries, soft tissue strains and injuries, and upper back and neck pain. Many people get massages though, not necessarily for the health benefits, but simply because they enjoy them and it’s a nice treat to feel pampered. Massage therapy shouldn’t be to replace regular medical care and you should let your doctor know if you are receiving regular massages.