What is Massage Therapy?
Massage therapy is the manipulation of soft tissue (muscles, tendons and ligaments) to enhance a patient’s health, wellness and overall comfort. It dates back thousands of years to ancient Chinese culture, and has remained in the forefront of non-invasive tissue treatment since its creation.
There are dozens of different variations of massage therapy, which are also often called modalities. Patients may begin massage for therapy for a number of different reasons, some of which include:
- Reduce pain
- Reduce stress/anxiety
- Rehabilitate injury
- Relax muscles
- Work towards better overall health
What Does Massage Therapy Treat?
Massage therapy offers itself as an effective treatment for acute and chronic conditions, including:
- Cancer-related fatigue
- Chronic painful illnesses
- Headaches and migraines
- High blood pressure
- Low back pain
- Sleep disorders
- Stress-related pain/tension
What are the Different Types of Massage Therapies?
Deep Tissue Massage
Not unlike the Swedish massage, deep tissue massage uses long gliding motions to relax muscles throughout the entire body. The central difference lies in the pressure applied through these motions.
Deep tissue massage therapy focuses on applying pressure to deeper layers under the skin than a standard massage to treat pain in the muscles, tendons, ligaments and fascia.
This modality is known to reduce stress hormone levels and heart rate, while boosting mood and relaxation by triggering the release of oxytocin and serotonin.
Sports Massage Therapy
Sports massage therapy encompasses athletes of all levels and sports. Whether someone is a professional athlete, or a weekend jogger, sports massage is geared toward people who use repetitive and often aggressive movements in their activities.
Aspects of sports massage therapy are gaining popularity as useful components in a balanced training regimen. Sports massage therapy can be used as a means to enhance pre-event preparation and reduce recovery time for maximum performance during training or after an event.
Sports massage therapy is primarily used for athletes, and focuses on muscle areas that can commonly become aggravated after time.
Perhaps the most commonly known modality, Swedish massage utilizes the method of relaxing the entire body. This is accomplished by rubbing the muscles with long gliding strokes in the direction of blood returning to the heart. But Swedish massage therapy goes beyond relaxation.
Swedish massage is exceptionally beneficial for increasing the level of oxygen in the blood, decreasing muscle toxins, improving circulation and flexibility while easing tension.
Trigger Point Therapy
A trigger point is a tight area within muscle tissue that causes pain in other parts of the body. A trigger point in the back, for example, may produce pain in the neck. The neck, now acting as a satellite trigger point, may then cause pain in the head. The pain may be sharp and intense or a dull ache.
Trigger point massage therapy is specifically designed to alleviate the source of the pain through cycles of isolated pressure and release. In this type of massage for trigger point therapy, the recipient actively participates through deep breathing as well as identifying the exact location and intensity of the discomfort.
This form of massage therapy can often greatly decrease pain after just a single treatment, although sometimes more are necessary. The primary benefit is to release constricted areas in the muscles to alleviate pain.
How Can I Determine Which Modality Best Suits My Massage Needs?
A good starting point in deciding which type of massage therapy you would like to pursue is to determine where your pain might be stemming from, and what initially caused that pain. For instance, if someone hyperextends an ankle while jogging, sports massage therapy could be the right option.
While starting by figuring out the source of your pain is a great start in seeking the proper massage therapy, it is crucial to see a specialist in order to further investigate and make an educated assessment on what therapy modality will be best for treating your pain.
At the Spinal Rehabilitation and Wellness Center in Dumont, our certified massage therapists incorporate a vast array of massage therapy techniques to give our patients individualized care based on their needs. We understand that when it comes to massage therapy, each patient is different in what type of treatment they need and how their treatment is applied. Knowing that there are so many variables, we take our time to ensure that we are treating each patient efficiently and effectively.
The benefits of choosing our massage therapy are endless. Patients feel relaxed, at ease and experience pain relief for some time following treatment.
Book your massage therapy appointment with Spinal Rehabilitation and Wellness Center, located in Dumont, New Jersey, today by calling 201-384-3300.