Massage for Pain Relief and Stress Reduction
Massage is a very effective technique for relieving pain. How does it work? There are number of ways massage may help in relieving pain:
1. Massage confuses the body’s pain signals.
Rubbing may interfere with pain signals’ pathways to your brain, a process called the “gate control theory.” Pain impulses run toward the spinal cord and then up the cord and into the brain. It’s only when they reach the brain that these impulses, are perceived as pain. When you rub, it sends other impulses along the same nerves. When all these impulses try to reach the brain through nerves, the nerves get clogged like a highway during morning rush hour. The result? Most of them won’t reach the brain. And if the pain signals does not reach the brain, you won’t feel pain. Thus, massage works by ‘closing the gate’ that pain impulses have to pass through.
2. Massage also calls up the body’s natural painkillers.
It stimulates the release of endorphins, the morphine-like substances that the body manufactures, into the brain and nervous system.
3. Massage provides deep relaxation.
It relieves muscle tension, spasm, and stiffness. All of these contribute to pain. Experts suggest that tense muscles are usually deprived of oxygen, because the tightness reduces blood circulation to the area. Massage improves blood circulation, bringing with it what the muscle needs-oxygen and other forms of nourishment. The muscle then relaxes, and pain decreases.
4. Massage relieves mental stress.
Massage provides therapeutic value that helps a person in pain. Research shows that even touch lasting for less than 1 second has the ability to make people feel better. Obviously, an hour-long touch provided by massage has to make you feel good! In today’s society and high paced world, there is more stress and anxiety than ever before. In fact, almost 40 million Americans suffer from some form of anxiety. And many studies show that increased stress levels can be linked to higher levels of histamines in the body. Regular massages can decrease stress hormones like cortisol and histamines, while significantly reducing the anxiety that we feel daily.
5. Massage relieves muscle tension.
The most common reason that people seek out a massage therapist is because of muscle aches and pains. And during allergy season it can be even worse because every cough or sneeze puts added tension on the muscles, leading to more achiness. When the massage therapist starts alleviating the muscle tension, the sinuses will open up and drain, helping to alleviate allergy symptoms.
6. Massage improves circulation.
Massage can increase circulation for many hours and even days after receiving the treatment. Massage facilitates circulation because the pressure created actually moves blood through congested areas. The release of the pressure also causes freshly oxygenated blood to rush into the area being treated. The squeezing and pulling actions also flush lactic acid out of the tissues, thus improving the circulation of blood and lymphatic fluid.
7. Massage improves your immune system.
Studies show that people who receive regular massage also have increased numbers of lymphocytes in their bodies. Lymphocytes are white blood cells and they are major players in the body’s defense system. With increased lymphocytes, there is less chance that your body will be unable to handle an allergic attack.
8. Massage Helps with Insomnia
Sleep studies have shown a strong correlation between weekly massage and fewer bouts of insomnia. This is because massage relaxes the body and decreases stress, which leads to improved sleep.
MASSAGE THERAPY PALM HARBOR
Click here for a list of conditions we can effectively treat with massage therapy and other traditional chinese medicine practices.
Common Styles of Massage Therapy
Massage therapy is defined by Merriam Webster as the: manipulation of tissues (as by rubbing, kneading, or tapping) with the hand or an instrument for therapeutic purposes.
In the West, basic training for massage therapists is in Swedish massage, which combines a variety of techniques such as effleurage (gliding strokes), petrissage (kneading), friction, and tapotement (light percussion). Other massage modalities, typically learned through continuing education instructors, may encompass some, most, or all of the basic techniques, or draw on other skill sets.
Below are different styles of massage therapy and how they work with the body:
Ashiatsu is a bodywork form that applies therapeutic pressure (through clothing) to promote health and well being. Although “Ashiatsu” literally means foot (ashi) pressure (atsu) in Japanese, ashiatsu techniques also make use of knees, elbows, palms, and fingers where necessary and appropriate.
Performed with the client fully clothed in a chair designed for complete relaxation. The Ultimate L III Massage Chair really is the world’s best massage chair available today. It is a multi-purpose chair designed from the ground up to cover your entire body. Reclines to true zero gravity at a 165 degree angle.
Craniosacral therapy (CST) is a form of bodywork or alternative therapy that uses gentle touch to palpate the synarthrodial joints of the cranium (skull). This type of massage therapy is great for people suffering from migraines, headaches, jaw pain, neck pain, sciatica, insomnia, scoliosis.
People use cupping therapy for many purposes: Reduce Pain, Relaxation, Boosts Skin Health, Improves Digestion, Helps Respiratory Issues. Using glass cups to create a vacuum in order to increase warmth and circulation. Cupping can be very effective for relieving pain in Fibromyalgia sufferers.
Deep Tissue Massage
A category of massage therapy set apart from other modalities and used to treat specific skeletal and muscular disorders and complaints. It may employ both a dedicated set of techniques that are intended to achieve a measure of relief and/or a slow, deep penetration of the deeper layers using standard massage strokes.
Massage combined with assisted stretching geared toward the athlete’s sport (or sports) of choice, focuses on the muscle groups that are most associated and stressed after working out. Each session is targeted to meet the unique needs of the client based upon his or her physical activity. The client often remains clothed.
Thai Yoga massage
A system of massage and assisted stretching developed in Thailand and influenced by traditional medicine systems of India, China, & Southeast Asia. Often performed on the floor with the client dressed in comfortable clothes that allow for movement. Thai Yoga Massage is a 2500 year old bodywork therapy concentrating on yoga postures, while palming and thumbing along the body’s energy lines.
Trigger Point Therapy
Discovered and mapped by Dr. Janet Travell, TPT involves deactivating trigger points in muscles that refer pain to other areas of the body. Trigger point massage therapy is specifically designed to alleviate the source of the pain through cycles of isolated pressure and release. Trigger points are involuntary tight tender spots in a contracted muscle. This creates pain and dysfunction within the muscle.
A hands-on body treatment that uses Chinese Taoist & martial arts principles in an effort to bring the 8 principles of traditional Chinese medicine into balance. The practitioner may brush, knead, roll/press, and rub the areas between each of the joints, known as the 8 gates, to open the body’s defensive chi and get the energy moving in the meridians and the muscles.