For many people, going out for a massage is just the thing when you need a way to relax or get the kinks out of their muscles. However, there’s more to massages than relieving stress and muscle tension. Massage therapy is a great remedy for a multitude of issues, physical and mental. If you’ve been on the fence about getting a massage yourself, it might interest you to know that massage therapy in Guelph has more to offer than just helping you feel better.
Benefits of Massage Therapy
Getting a massage offers a wide range of benefits, both physical and mental. Massage therapy is a common treatment for all kinds of ailments, from muscle tension to anxiety. If you’re the athletic type, for example, you may have received massage therapy to deal with sports injuries and speed up your recovery.
Some of the most noticeable benefits of massage therapy include:
- Reduced stress
Massages are typically used to destress and relax. Getting a massage releases endorphins through the body, which makes you feel relaxed and energized. As a side effect of destressing, massage therapy is also an effective treatment for stress-related conditions like anxiety and depression.
- Improved circulation
A massage is meant to relax and loosen the muscles and tendons. While working the kinks out helps you feel better physically and mentally, it also has the effect of improving blood flow throughout the body. Increased blood flow is associated with a number of positive effects throughout the body, including reduced pain and fatigue.
- Improved flexibility
Massage doesn’t stop at your muscles, it also addresses your joints. Massage therapy also loosens and relaxes the joints and muscles. This is particularly visible in sports therapy, where part of the purpose is to help patients regain their flexibility and range of motion so they can return to playing.
- Better sleep
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One symptom of mental issues like depression is that your sleep tends to suffer as well. Massage is a great answer to the problem of sleep deprivation. Sleeping with loose muscles promotes easier and more restful sleep, allowing you to feel better in the morning and maintain your improved mood. Speaking of improved mood, being able to relax also aids in helping you fall asleep and improving your sleep quality.
- Reduced pain and swelling
Massage therapy is a great option for long-running muscle problems like lower back pain and chronic stiffness. A professional therapist has the expertise to locate the source of the pain and provide treatment to address it. Massage therapy is also a good way to reduce inflammation, especially if you’ve just undergone surgery. Muscle pain and swelling tend to go hand-in-hand. Massage therapy addresses both issues, making rehabilitation much easier.
One helpful thing to remember is that the benefits of massage therapy tend to last for days, maybe weeks afterward. It’s worth considering including more massages into your schedule to benefit more consistently and help yourself feel more at ease through your normal life.
Types of Massage Therapy
Keep in mind that there are different types of massage therapy, each with its own features and benefits. These various types of massage are called modalities, and each one is designed to target a specific area to give you tailored results. It’s worth weighing your options to find out which one might suit you best. Here’s a short list of different massage types to help you find the right one.
Aromatherapy works by integrating essential oils like lavender or peppermint into the massage. Essential oils are often used to alleviate symptoms of anxiety, making aromatherapy a good choice for promoting relaxation. Depending on which oils your massage therapist chooses, your experience may invigorate or energize you. Therapists typically consult patients to find out which essential oils would give you your desired results. For example, cypress is typically used for muscle pain, while tea tree supports the immune system.
- Deep Tissue
Deep tissue massage focuses on relieving severe muscle pressure. By using finger pressure, therapists can reach and massage the deep layers and fascia where muscles tend to get tight and knotted. Typically, they target the neck, shoulders, back, and legs. This modality works well for musculoskeletal disorders, chronic pain, and postural problems. Consider looking out for a chiropractor in Ajax who can offer this kind of massage and address any chronic back pain and stiffness. Take care not to confuse deep tissue massage with deep pressure massage. In contrast to deep tissue, deep pressure massage targets the whole body, not just the deep muscles.
- Hot Stone
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Hot stone massage consists of using small heated stones to massage and relax sore muscles. The appropriate amount of heat relaxes and soothes muscles just like applying pressure. However, using heat allows therapists to reach deep into the body without necessarily applying pressure. Hot stone sessions typically complement regular massage therapy and often don’t exclusively feature the use of stones.
- Swedish Massage
Swedish massage is one of the most common types of massage therapy. If you’ve experienced massage therapy before, the Swedish massage was likely the treatment you were given. The primary goal of Swedish massage is to relax the entire body. It works by using stroking, kneading, and friction to loosen tension in the muscles and improve blood flow throughout the body.
- Sports Massage
Sports massage is typically designed with athletes in mind. Athletes push their bodies hard, and it helps to have a modality with their needs in mind. Sports massages can offer ample relief before and after athletic events. Massages can relieve performance-related pains, promote flexibility, and even prevent potential injuries. In case of sports-related injuries, massage therapy also goes a long way toward speeding recovery. Therapists can offer massage therapy that relieves pain, reduces swelling, maintains flexibility, and speeds recovery. With a little help from massages, athletes can get some support dealing with injuries and getting back on their feet in the name of helping them get back to exercising sooner.
Massage therapy isn’t just for helping you feel better; it’s also a great way to keep the body healthy. There are a variety of health benefits you can enjoy from regular massages, and there are as wide a range of modalities available to suit your needs. Keep an eye out for massage therapy in Kitchener who can offer some assistance with your aches and pains. It may turn out to be just what you need to keep yourself in tip-top condition.