Massage therapy is manual mobilization and release of the soft tissues of the body (muscle, connective tissue, tendons and ligaments) to enhance a person≈s health. It is more often performed with hands and fingers but can also be applied using elbow and forearms.
Massage benefits can include:
- Stress Relief
- Relief of Postoperative Pain
- Relief of Pain Caused By Muscle Tightness
- Headache Pain Relief
- Increased Range of Motion
- Enhance Exercise and Sport Performance
- Promote Relaxation
- Relief from Fibromyalgia
Massage has a long history dating back thousands of years and is referenced in the ancient writing of many cultures including the writing or Hippocrates, the "father of medicine".
- "Swedish massage" is what is accepted by the general public as massage today.
- It consists of several methods; long strokes, lifting and kneading strokes, deep, firm rubbing movements, quick percussive movements or rapid shaking or vibrating movements.
- An oil or lotion is used on bare skin for gliding, but not with the other methods.
- Instruments made of metal, plastic or wood may be used as well as devices that apply vibration to muscles.
- The amount of contact pressure used varies from light touch to heavy pressure depending on the needs of the patient and which tissues are being addressed.
- Methods of massage therapy include:
- Graston Technique uses this steel instruments that are dragged along muscle fibers to break up adhesions.
- Neuromuscular Therapy sometimes uses rubber tipped tools to apply static pressure on trigger points (hypersensitive nodules of contracted muscle fibers) to help them release.
- Emmett technique uses very light finger contact to help with pain and discomfort.
- In conjunction with massage techniques, modalities may be indicated, such as the use of ice packs, moist heat packs or ice massage.