Like most other health care modalities, massage therapy is most beneficial if it is used to prevent injury. There are too many people out there that wait until an injury happens before they will seek out any type of treatment. The most common problems I see in my line of work is pain in the neck and shoulders due to poor posture while sitting at a desk, tendonitis in the wrists, and low back and sciatic pain. All of these issues can be avoided if regular massage was being performed.
Injuries are most common in muscles that don’t get regular exercise, which is why pain while sitting at a desk for 8 to 10 hours a day is so common. Muscles will become tight and can potentially cause headaches, tendonitis, and sciatic pain. Muscles are meant to move. I often have to remind my clients to take breaks when they can, go for a walk at lunch, or stretch when they can. Regular massage can help as well, and I usually recommend getting one every two weeks depending on the pain levels.
Massage therapy works to increase circulation in the muscles as well as decease pain and tension. Different techniques and pressures are used depending on the severity. Not only does massage provide the tools to decrease pain but is also allows some much needed alone time. I find that some of my clients use massage both for the therapeutic aspects and for the chance to relax and shut life out for a while.
People that come in for regular massage tend to sleep better, and when the body gets the rest it needs it tends to heal quicker as well. Massage relaxes both the mind and body and I find that the best nights sleeps I have had are after massage therapy appointments.
Children of all ages also benefit greatly from massage. With children, depending on the size I usually like to start off with a 30 minute treatment. It is great for hyperactivity, restlessness, sleep problems, and helps with growing pains. In some clinics parents are taught basic massage techniques so they can massage their own children at home. This is a fantastic way for them to bond with their children through the power of touch.
I usually recommend starting off with a 60 minute massage to see how the body responds and figure out from there what it is the body needs. Some people can be sensitive to pressure and may only need a half an hour, while some benefit most from 90 minutes. Everyone is different, and each treatment should be tailored to that client’s specific need. Also, there are different types of massage treatment that can be used depending on the client’s condition: hot stone massage, pregnancy massage, reflexology and sports massage.
People of any age can benefit from massage therapy as long as it is provided by someone that has been professionally trained. I encourage all of my client to look into their personal benefit plan to see if they are covered for massage therapy, and if they are to take advantage of it. Massage therapy can be used for both therapeutic and relaxation purposes find a massage therapist in your area and treat yourself today.