What is massage therapy?
Massage therapy is the manipulation of soft tissues of the body including, muscles, connective tissues, tendons, ligaments and joints. Massage Therapy is a clinically-oriented healthcare option that helps alleviate the discomfort associated with everyday and occupational stresses, muscular over-use and many chronic pain conditions.
How does massage therapy help relieve pain?
Researchers have found that proper massage can initiate a series of molecular events and muscles that help reverse discomfort. Massage dampens the activity of proteins known as inflammatory cytokines, which cause inflammation and pain. It also increases levels of proteins that signal the muscles to produce more mitochondria, the cell structures that produce energy and help muscles recover from activity.
For most of us, the answer is probably “yes”, since massage is noninvasive and considered very low risk for most people. In addition to physical benefits, certain types of massage have been shown to help psychologically via relaxation and increased production of “feel-good” chemicals that the body naturally produces (endorphins) – helpful for people with both acute back problems and chronic back pain
Benefits of Massage
Massage therapy is becoming more widely accepted in the medical community as a credible treatment for many types of back pain and/or as an adjunct to other medical treatments. Research shows that massage therapy has several potential health benefits for back pain sufferers, including:
Increased blood flow and circulation, which brings needed nutrition to muscles and tissues. This aid in the recovery of muscle soreness from physical activity or soft tissue injury (such as muscle strain).
Decreased tension in the muscles. This muscle relaxation can improve flexibility, reduced pain caused by tight muscles and even improve sleep.
Increased endorphin levels – the “feel-good” chemicals in the brain. This mood enhancer can ease depression and anxiety, which can help reduce pain and speed recovery – particularly important for those suffering from chronic neck or back pain.
Do you have questions about how massage can help you with your back or neck pain?
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