Massage therapy is more than just a luxury. This method is an old art therapy for soft tissue manipulation by a skilled and trained specialist. With different movements and degrees of pressure that are applied to the body, this treatment can be useful for physical and mental conditions.
Research shows that moderate pressure massage can be beneficial for depression, anxiety and stress in addition to pain and general health. Even a 10-minute massage will have positive effects. There are different types and unique approaches to massage therapy. In this article, we will review the most popular types of massage methods to help you choose the best type of this treatment.
Massage therapy in the treatment of pain and reduction of swelling and skin rejuvenation
Massage therapy has a long history in cultures around the world. Today, various types of massage therapy are used for many health purposes, such as relieving pain, rehabilitation after sports injuries, reducing stress, relaxing, controlling anxiety and depression, and helping the body rejuvenate.
Who does massage therapy?
Massagers are people who take specialized massage courses under the supervision of centers approved by the Ministry of Health and receive a valid certificate. These people are allowed to do massage, but for the treatment of the patient and in fact massage therapy, there is a need for a supplementary course that the massager can under the doctor’s supervision. The specialist will perform massage therapy for the patient.
In addition to quickly relieving pain through body massage, physiotherapists can also determine the underlying cause of the pain. Physiotherapists use massage therapy to help treat patients because of their scientific knowledge of the anatomy and physiology of the body and their knowledge of diseases.
Therefore, physiotherapists not only work with the surface of the skin, but also identify the root of the problem and work on its depth, this action prevents the problem from recurring.
The benefits of massage therapy
According to the research of the Massage Therapy Association, massage therapy has several benefits, and here are some of the benefits of massage therapy:
Improve blood circulation: As a result of improving blood circulation, the sensitive muscles are relieved by physical activity.
Muscle relaxation and range of motion: Muscle relaxation solves the problem of insomnia.
Increasing endorphin levels: Increasing endorphin levels is actually one of the most significant benefits of massage therapy. Endorphins are chemicals produced by the body that improve the patient’s condition; Therefore, massage therapy is very effective in managing chronic pain due to the increase in endorphins.
Neuromuscular massage therapy
Neuromuscular massage therapy, called trigger point myotherapy, is the most effective type of back massage and therapy for managing low back pain. The American University of Pain Management has introduced this type of massage therapy as an effective treatment for low back pain caused by soft tissue injuries (for example, muscle tension and bruising).
Neuromuscular massage therapy method
In neuromuscular massage, pressure is applied in alternating intensity to the areas of muscle cramps. This pressure is usually applied to the affected area with a finger, fingertip or elbow. The important thing is that the pressure intensity should be the same for 10 to 30 seconds.
Massage therapy reduces muscle pain.
Touching the affected muscles usually causes pain, which is caused by not enough blood reaching the muscle tissue. Insufficient blood supply to the muscle and consequent muscle cramps in turn leads to the following adverse process:
Because not enough blood reaches the muscle, the muscle does not receive enough oxygen.
Lack of oxygen causes lactic acid to be produced in the muscle.
Lactic acid causes muscle tenderness and pain after physical activity.
After the muscle relaxes from the massage, lactic acid is released from the muscle and gradually enough blood and oxygen reach it.
Neuromuscular massage therapy initially causes pain, but lumbar disc massage pressure gradually reduces muscle cramps. The interaction between the patient and the massage therapist is very important at this stage and the patient should inform the specialist of the excessive or mild pressure, aggravation or relief of pain. The massage therapist also listens carefully to the patient and responds to his words. Changes the amount of pressure. Massage therapy pressure should not be too painful, most patients use the term “good pain” to describe the feeling of pressure.
Expectations after massage therapy
Any pain and tenderness after neuromuscular massage therapy should gradually disappear within 24 to 36 hours. The contracted muscles are significantly relaxed, depending on the amount of pressure, about 4 to 14 days after the massage.
Types of massage therapy
Swedish massage therapy
Swedish massage is a low-speed massage that is known for its physical and mental benefits. Research shows that this type of massage, like exercise or meditation, increases mood-boosting hormones such as serotonin, oxytocin and dopamine. Swedish massage also helps lower cortisol, a stress hormone produced by the adrenal glands.
Massage therapy is a gentle way to relieve stress and anxiety as well as create relaxation.
Thai massage therapy
In Thai massage, also known as Thai yoga, instead of using a massage table, the person is asked to lie on the mat with his clothes on. A trained massager then actively pulls different parts of the body with special techniques. Stretching certain parts is very effective in relieving tension and increasing flexibility.
Research shows that Thai massage can help improve flexibility and reduce the following:
Shiatsu massage therapy
Shiatsu, also known as finger pressure, is a Japanese massage style. The massager uses his fingers to move from point to point in the acupressure points. These points of acupressure are related to specific organs of the body (similar to acupuncture).
According to research, acupressure is useful for relieving nausea, vomiting and pain, and improving sleep.
Tissue deep massage therapy
In deep tissue massage, stronger pressure is used to reach the deeper layers of the muscle and fascia. This type of massage therapy can be useful for relieving chronic pain and cramps.
Deep tissue massage therapy focuses on problem areas such as muscle “knots” or scar tissue. Releasing these areas helps reduce pain and inflammation and improves range of motion. In particular, research has examined the role of deep tissue massage therapy in the treatment of chronic low back pain. The results show that this method is very useful in improving the above chronic pain.
Deep tissue massage therapy
Massage therapy during pregnancy
Musculoskeletal problems are common during pregnancy. As the baby grows, more pressure is put on the lower back and other joints. Prenatal massage puts a safe and gentle pressure on the body. Such pressure can help calm and improve blood circulation.
Although these pains and problems go away over time, massage may soothe a person during pregnancy. Before the first prenatal massage, be sure to consult your doctor and to do it, look for massagers with a valid and certified certificate.
Medical massage therapy
The purpose of medical massage therapy is to provide targeted relief of symptoms for some diagnosed diseases. This treatment focuses on a problem area, such as the back or neck, and does not work all over the body.
Medical massage therapy may be used as an adjunct to the following conditions:
Hot stone massage therapy
Hot stone massage is a practical treatment method in which the specialist places smooth and hot stones on the body. Areas that receive this type of massage therapy include:
Sole of the foot
Hot stones help to relax muscles and increase blood circulation. By further relaxing the muscles, the massager can use less pressure to massage these areas.
Hot stone massage therapy
More research is needed on hot stone massage, but there are promising results that suggest this type of massage may be beneficial for people with kidney disease and on dialysis.
Lymphatic drainage massage therapy
Lymphatic drainage massage therapy is used by a trained massager to stimulate a person’s lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is made up of tissues and organs that help the body excrete fluids and waste products. Stimulation of this system can help improve blood circulation and reduce swelling.
Massagers start the massage with a light touch from the center of the body and move outwards. Studies show that this treatment can be useful for the treatment of people with lymphedema (problem of fluid accumulation in body tissues).
Studies show that foot massage may help to alleviate or improve the following:
You can go to a massager for a foot massage or do this massage yourself.
Exercise massage is a term used specifically to treat and prevent sports injuries. This type of massage is definitely not just for professional athletes!
This massage is done in three stages: before the sporting event, during the event and after. Exercise massage before a sporting event involves warming up the muscles and preparing for the event. Massage is performed during the event to improve flexibility and mobility of muscles and joints for high performance. Post-event massage is also done primarily to cool, relax the muscles and get rid of toxins accumulated in the muscles
Massage Therapy Precautions
Before scheduling an appointment for massage therapy, there are a few things to consider.
If you have an undiagnosed musculoskeletal problem or injury or a chronic illness that you think may be affected by massage, talk to your doctor. Your doctor can recommend a trusted massager.
Note that while massage is generally considered a safe procedure, there have been rare reports of blood clots, nerve damage, and bone fractures associated with this treatment.
Frequently Asked Questions
Massage therapy questions
How often should I have a massage?
Mutual consultation with a masseur can help you create treatment plans tailored to your lifestyle and physical needs. The massage therapist is involved in repairing, rejuvenating and maintaining your health.
Is a massage therapy session enough?
Yes, just one session is enough if you want to experience massage therapy to relax. However, one session may not be enough for a long-term therapeutic effect.
Massage therapy is very useful in both acute and chronic conditions. Especially if it is used as a series of treatment sessions and then continued with maintenance or preventive treatments. Acute conditions are cases that have occurred recently and within a week to a month and can be severe to mild but have a sudden onset. Acute conditions include things like a car accident to a muscle sprain. Chronic conditions last for months or years.
I get bruised easily, can I still use the massage?
You should inform your masseur about this (this is one of the questions you will be asked to answer on your first visit in the health record form). Massage therapy is not recommended for people suffering from hemophilia.
What can you expect from a massage?
In the first session, you will be given a confidential health record form to fill out. The massager evaluates and designs your own treatment plan. Tell your masseur if you have any illness or take any special medicine. To fully understand the applicant’s situation, the masseur listens to individual concerns and needs and other factors related to the situation. Having information about your health history, the massager will design a special treatment program for you to be treated properly. This treatment will help you get back to your normal activities as much as possible.
Expect massage therapy
Do I have to list all my health conditions in my health record form?
It is recommended that you include a detailed picture of your health and the injuries you have seen in your health record form. This will allow your masseur to design the most appropriate and effective treatment plan for you.
Do I have to eat before the massage?
It is recommended not to eat for at least 90 minutes before the massage. Also, only a light meal is recommended before this time.
The body needs time to digest food. This is the same precaution that you take when swimming or exercising. The process of digestion diverts blood flow from the peripheral tissues and concentrates it on the gastrointestinal tract. On the other hand, massage draws blood flow to the target area. Therefore, during the massage, the blood moves away from the gastrointestinal tract, causing poor digestion and possible discomfort.
Do I need to prepare before massage therapy?
Make sure you have Epsom salt (a 2 kg container) at home for hydrotherapy care at home after treatment. If you do not have this salt at home, prepare some for yourself. Magnesium salts, such as Epsom salts, relax muscles and nerves by expelling lactic acids (metabolic wastes) from the body during a hot bath. This bath can multiply the benefits of massage. To enjoy the full effects of the massage, you can schedule at least 30 minutes to relax after your appointment. It is recommended not to eat for at least 90 minutes before the massage therapy.
How long does massage therapy last?
A normal full body massage lasts about an hour. A partial massage session of the neck and shoulders, back or legs and soles of the feet lasts only half an hour. However, 60 to 90 minutes is considered to achieve the desired relaxation. This includes the time it takes to take off and put on your clothes and talk to your masseur about your treatment plan.
Will you feel uncomfortable during the massage therapy?
In general, massage feels good, at least when done on healthy tissue. If you have chronic pain in the area or painful tissue in general, massage can be uncomfortable for a few minutes. The massager can use various techniques to minimize discomfort and create the best feeling in you.