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Medical: Is massage right for you?

By Holly Myers, Certified Massage Therapist

Have you ever considered getting a massage, but youíre not sure if itís right for you? The truth is everyone from athlete to grandma can benefit from massage.

What is massage?
Massage is an ancient form of wellness and healing, dating back thousands of years involving the manipulation of the soft tissues of the body. Massage takes many forms known as modalities and each modality has a specific effect on the body.

Swedish massage improves circulation and promotes relaxation. Deep tissue releases tension in the deepest muscles of the body.
Myofascial release encourages the connective tissue of the body to return to itís naturally pliable state.
Therapeutic or Medical massage incorporates all of these modalities and their benefits. These are but a few of the many massage modalities.

What are the benefits of massage?
Massage has a broad range of benefits including:

  • Decrease stress
  • Bolster immune function
  • Relieve pain
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Increase circulation
  • Improve posture
  • Increase mobility
  • Alleviates insomnia
  • Relieve pain from arthritis
  • Improves skin condition
  • Alleviates the discomfort of pregnancy
  • Fosters faster healing of soft tissue after injury

The list of benefits is almost endless and effects a broad range of conditions.

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Who can benefit from massage?
Athletes can specifically reap the benefits of massage in several ways. A pre-event massage is performed just prior to the event (within an hour of starting) and will help to loosen muscles and reduce the likelihood of injury. A pre-event massage can also ease performance anxiety and stress. Regular massage can also improve athletic performance by keeping muscles loose and reducing pain to insure the athlete has the stamina and the energy to train on regular basis.

Seniors who receive massage on a regular basis have decreased pain, improved posture and increased mobility. A general sense of well-being is restored through massage, as well as, a renewed feeling of vitality. Arthritis pain and stiffness are alleviated with massage.

Children and teenagers can also benefit from massage. Some studies have indicated that massage reduces anxiety, relieves the agitation associated with Attention Deficit Disorder, and improves behavioral problems and school performance.

Sufferers of carpal tunnel can get some relief of the pain, stiffness, loss of strength and numbness associated with the syndrome.
The list goes on and on, much too numerous to list in this limited space.

Massage is not just a luxury for the rich. Massage can restore lost vigor and ease of movement and should be part of everyoneís wellness plan. Massage should be considered a necessity for good health. Our health is always worth the investment.

Holly Myers is a Certified Massage Therapist in Hanover, Pennsylvania.

Visit her Holly Myers Therapeutic Massage website.

therepeutic massage

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