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After a long day at work you rush home, get dinner ready, and begin your bedtime routine just to do it all over again. We understand how you feel, we all have those kinks and knots, anxiety and stress, and just don’t know how to get rid of it.
It is important to make self-care a priority and massages can be a proactive way to keep mental and physical issues in check. We at Modern Surgical Arts have mastered this treatment and know just how to use it to aid in remedying all or some of your problems.
You can visit our offices at any time for a consultation and we’ll help you to select what massage treatment is best for you and the issues you have.
What is Massage Therapy?
This is the manipulation of soft body tissues like muscles, tendons, connective tissue, and ligaments primarily with hands on techniques such as applying fixed or movable pressure to enhance a person’s health and wellbeing.
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What is the purpose of massage therapy?
A massage is usually administered to improve blood flow and fluid in lymph glands, to reduce muscular tension, to affect the nervous system through stimulation or sedation, and to enhance tissue healing.
The benefits of receiving a massage include:
- Reduces muscle stiffness and tension
- Relieves muscle spasms
- An increased joint and limb flexibility
- An increased range of motion
- An increase efficiency of movement
- Relieves points of tension and stress
- Induces relaxation
- Promotes easier breathing
- Relieves headaches caused by tension
- Promotes faster healing of soft tissues
- Reduces injury related pain and swelling
- Reduces the chance of formation of scar tissue
- Enhances the health and nourishment of skin
- Improves posture by changing tension patterns
- Reduces emotional or physical stress and anxiety
- Promotes feelings of well-being
- Increases mental awareness
Massage therapy may also be recommended for its clinical benefits such as improving pulmonary functions, reducing psycho emotional distress, promoting motor development, and enhancing the function of the immune system.
Massage therapy may be recommended for children to assist in relieving conditions such as allergies, anxiety, stress, asthma, bronchitis, joint or limb injuries, sleep problems, sports injuries, eating problems, and circulatory problems.
Getting a massage is basically safe; however, it should not be done if the client suffers severely from one of the following conditions:
- Heart disease
- Kidney failure
- An infectious disease
- Contagious skin conditions
- Infected injuries
- Unhealed fractures
- Has torn ligaments
Preparing for a Massage
Getting a massage requires very little in the way of preparation, generally one should avoid eating directly before a massage. To receive the most benefit from a massage, clients should give their provider accurate health information and report discomfort of any kind.
There are no special recommendations for massage aftercare but a period of rets and quiet activity helps to maintain the benefits from the procedure.
Side effects of Massage Therapy
Massage therapy appears to be void of many serious risks if it performed by a properly trained therapist and if appropriate precautions are followed. However there have been very rare reports of harmful side effects such as blood clots, nerve injury, or bone fracture.
Other side effects of massage therapy may include:
- Allergy to massage
- Sensitivity to massage oils
- Temporary swelling
- Temporary pain
- Temporary discomfort
- Temporary bruising
Cautions to keep in mind regarding massage therapy are:
- Vigorous massages should be avoided by those with bleeding disorders.
- Vigorous massages should be avoided by those taking blood thinning medication.
- Massages should not be done in areas of the body where there are blood clots.
- Massages should not be done in areas of the body where there are weakened bones.
- Although massage therapy is generally safe cancer patients should consult their oncologist before getting a massage that involves intense pressure.
- Pregnant women should consult their health care provider before getting a massage.
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Types of Massage
There are multiple different types of massages that focus on different parts of the body and different healing approaches. During a massage. the therapist will apply gentle or strong pressure to the muscles and joints of the body to ease pain and tension. Below you will learn about the different types of massage and which type may be right for you.
- Swedish Massage
A Swedish massage is a gentle type of full body massage that is ideal for people who are new to massage, have a lot of tension, managing minor pain, and are sensitive to touch.
It can help to release muscle knots and is a good choice if you want to opt for fully relaxing during a massage; for this treatment your clothes will be removed (underwear optional) and you will be covered with a sheet while lying on a massage table. The massage therapist will move the sheet to uncover areas that they actively working on.
They will use a combination of kneading, long strokes in the direction of the heart, deep circular motions, vibration and tapping, and passive joint movement techniques.
A Swedish massage will last for 60-90 minutes.
- Hot Stone Massage
Hot stone massage is best for people who experience muscle pain and tension. It is similar to a Swedish massage except for the fact that it uses heated stones in lieu of or in addition to their hands. It eases muscle tension, improves blood flow, alleviates pain, promotes relaxation, and relieves stress.
During a hot stone massage, heated stones are placed on different areas around the body. At times cold stones are also used. For this treatment your clothes will be removed (underwear optional) and you will be covered with a sheet. The massage is usually 90 minutes long.
- Aromatherapy Massage
Aromatherapy massages are best for those people who want to have an emotional healing component added to their massage. This type of massage can help to boost your mood, reduce stress and anxiety, relieve pain, and relieve symptoms of depression.
Aromatherapy combines soft gentle pressure with the usage of essential oils. Your massage therapist will usually decide which oils to use and they are diluted before being applied to the skin. You will be given a full body massage while inhaling oils through a diffuser and absorbing them through your skin. The massage usually lasts 60-90 minutes.
- Deep Tissue Massage
A Deep Tissue Massage uses more pressure than a Swedish Massage. It is usually a good option if you have a chronic muscle problem like soreness, injury, tight muscles, muscle pains, and anxiety.
During this massage your therapist will use slow strokes and deep finger pressure to relieve tension from the deepest layers of muscle and connective tissues. The massage usually lasts 60-90 minutes.
- Sports Massage
A Sports Massage is a good option if you have a repetitive injury to a muscle as you may from playing a sport. A Sports Massage is also good for increasing flexibility and performance as well as relieving pain, anxiety, and muscle tension.
This type of massage may be done as a full body massage or the massage therapist may focus on specific parts of the body that need more attention. Deep pressure is alternated with soothing strokes depending on your specific needs.
A Sports Massage can be done clothed or naked, but if the latter is preferred be sure it is thin and allows the therapist access to your muscles. The treatment usually lasts 60-90 minutes.
- Trigger Point Massage
These are best suited for those clients who have chronic pains, injuries, or a specific condition. Areas known as trigger points can sometimes suffer from tightness in the muscles and this can cause pain in other parts of the body. This massage reduces pain by focusing on relieving the trigger points.
Trigger Point Massages use broad, flowing strokes and movements combined with deep pressure. The massage will include your entire body but the therapist will focus on those areas that require relief. Clothing is optional for this massage and it usually lasts got 60-90 minutes.
This is best for those individuals who are seeking to relax and restore their energy levels. It is also a good choice if you are uncomfortable being touched on your entire body.
Reflexology uses gentle to firm degrees of pressure on different pressure points of the feet, hands, and ears. Loose, comfortable clothing that allows access to the legs are recommended for this massage. A reflexology massage usually lasts anywhere from 30-60 minutes.
- Shiatsu Massage
This is a Japanese form of massage that is best for those people who want to relieve stress, pain, and tension. It also promotes emotional and physical calm and relaxation, relieves anxiety and depression, and reduces muscle tension.
A Shiatsu Massage works on the whole body but the therapist may focus on areas that need extra attention. Throughout the course of the massage they will use their hands, palms, and thumbs to exert pressure and massage certain parts of the body. This massage can be done fully clothed and usually takes 60-90 minutes.
- Thai Massage
The Thai Massage is best for those people who want a more active massage. It can help with improving flexibility, circulation, and energy levels.
It works the entire body using a sequence of movements that are similar to yogic stretching and the client is stretched and twisted into different positions. Loose comfortable clothing can be worn during the massage and it usually takes 60-90 minutes.
- Prenatal Massage
A Prenatal Massage is a safe way for women to receive a massage during pregnancy. It can assist in relieving pregnancy body aches, reducing stress, and easing muscle tension. You can opt for this massage at any time during your pregnancy but many facilities do not offer it in the first trimester due to the high risk for miscarriages during that period.
It uses mild pressure similar to that of the Swedish Massage and the therapist focuses on areas such as the hips, legs, and lower back. You can be fully or partly undressed for the massage and it usually lasts 45-60 minutes.
- Couples Massage
This is done with a friend or partner in the same room and provides all the benefits of a regular massage. You are usually given the option of the type of massage you would like to receive.
- Chair Massage
This is best for those people who want to opt for a quick massage. It focuses on the neck, shoulders, and back and also helps to relieve stress and promote relaxation. During the massage clients remain clothed and sit in a specially designed chair. The massage usually lasts 10-30 minutes.
Our experts here at Modern Surgical Arts are extremely experienced and are more than ready to help you fulfill all of your massage needs!