Massage: Get in touch with its many benefits

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A soothing massage can help you unwind, but that’s not all. Explore the possible benefits of massage

Massage.  If you’ve never tried massage, learn about its possible health benefits and what to expect during a massage therapy session.

 

What is a massage?

 

Massage is a general term for pressing, rubbing and manipulating your skin, muscles, tendons and ligaments. Massage therapists typically use their hands and fingers for massage, but may also use their forearms, elbows and even feet. Massage may range from light stroking to deep pressure.

 

Benefits of massage

 

Massage is generally considered part of complementary and alternative medicine. It’s increasingly being offered along with standard treatment for a wide range of medical conditions and situations.

Studies of the benefits of massage demonstrate that it is an effective treatment for reducing stress, pain and muscle tension.

While more research is needed to confirm the benefits of massage, some studies have found massage may also be helpful for:

Anxiety

Digestive disorders

Fibromyalgia

Headaches

Insomnia related to stress

Myofascial pain syndrome

Soft tissue strains or injuries

Sports injuries

Temporomandibular joint pain

 

Beyond the benefits for specific conditions or diseases, some people enjoy massage because it often involves caring, comfort, a sense of empowerment and creating deep connections with their massage therapist.

Despite its benefits, massage isn’t meant as a replacement for regular medical care. Let your doctor know you’re trying massage and be sure to follow any standard treatment plans you have.

 

Risks of massage

 

Most people can benefit from massage. However, massage may not be appropriate if you have:

Bleeding disorders or takes blood-thinning medication

Burns, open or healing wounds

Deep vein thrombosis

Fractures

Severe osteoporosis

Severe thrombocytopenia

 

Discuss the pros and cons of massage with your doctor, especially if you are pregnant or have cancer or unexplained pain.

Some forms of massage can leave you feeling a bit sore the next day. But massage shouldn’t ordinarily be painful or uncomfortable. If any part of your massage doesn’t feel right or is painful, speak up right away. Most serious problems come from too much pressure during massage.

 

In rare circumstances, massage can cause:

Internal bleeding

Nerve damage

Temporary paralysis

Allergic reactions to massage oils or lotions.

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