Massage therapy is a growing field of study. Its impact on pain in the back, hands, neck, and knees, among other areas, has been studied extensively. People who had four weekly hand massage sessions and did self-massage at home had less hand pain and better grip ability, according to a study published in Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice. They also slept well and were less anxious and depressed than those in the control group who did not receive hand massage.
A research published in the Annals of Family Medicine in 2014 found that 60-minute therapeutic massage sessions two or three times a week for four weeks were more effective than no massage or fewer or shorter massage sessions in relieving chronic neck pain.
Massage therapy may use a range of pressure levels. Certain types of massage, such as deep tissue massage, may be uncomfortable for certain people. Massage doesn’t have to be uncomfortable to be beneficial, so let your therapist know what kind of contact you want (light touch, firm pressure, hard pressure). Depending on your case, lighter could be more soothing and therefore beneficial. Certain types of pain, such as fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, may only be able to withstand light pressure.
There is no proof that massage is harmful, but it is not recommended in some situations: massaging an inflamed area of skin, for example, may aggravate it by causing inflammation. Massage should not be performed on an infected area because it should spread the infection. Heart disorders, respiratory disease, phlebitis, and certain skin conditions are all reasons to avoid massage, according to the American Massage Therapy Association. Choose a licenced therapist; the physical therapist can be willing to recommend someone.
A therapeutic massage is performed with the hands or elbows with the aim of alleviating a physical issue, such as back pain. Non-therapeutic or relaxing massage, on the other hand, is more passive and is usually used to facilitate warmth.
“Therapeutic massage can be used to treat a variety of ailments, with low back pain being the most common, accompanied by neck and shoulder pain. I often use therapeutic massage to treat headaches, jaw pain, and TMJ (Tempromandibular Joint Dysfunction),” says Arthur Madore, LMT, a licenced massage therapist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s Osher Center for Integrative Medicine.
What are therapeutic massage's advantages
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What are the different styles of massage techniques
Other massage techniques and styles include
Reiki: This technique uses light contact to work with the body’s energy.
Craniosacral therapy: Affects the central nervous system with just five grammes of pressure.
Deep tissue massage: This form of massage uses a lot of pressure to get to the deeper layers of muscle tissue, tendons, and fascia.
Rolfing and myofascial release: These strategies are more aggressive and aimed at manipulating the soft tissues.
Madore specialises in Neuromuscular Therapy (NMT), a technique for releasing rigid muscles’ trigger points. NMT is used to restore muscle function and correct postural strain patterns.
“The treatment is focused on pain cycles, as well as an examination of how a patient’s muscle strain is causing twists or other alignment issues,” Madore states.