Massage therapy involves the manipulation of soft tissues, primarily muscles, to promote relaxation and improve health. It is generally considered a complementary therapy. In addition to its physical benefits, massage can improve mental health.
A number of studies have demonstrated that massage is an effective method for relieving chronic pain and stress. Other studies have shown that it helps people recover from injuries, such as sports injuries. Some research has also shown that massage can alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety. Moreover, it is a popular choice among alternative medicine practitioners.
However, there are many things to consider when deciding whether to receive a massage. First, you should discuss your health conditions with your doctor. He or she may be able to advise you on the best type of massage for your condition. You should also tell the therapist about your health risks. For instance, you should not drink or take any drugs or alcohol before receiving a massage. Likewise, you should not have high fevers or infectious diseases.
Several health benefits of massage include relaxation, increased blood circulation, and reduction in pain and anxiety. The practice also increases serotonin and dopamine, two natural neurotransmitters that have an effect on your mood and sense of well being. If you have a low immune system, you can also benefit from massage.
There is a growing trend toward more holistic approaches to health. During the 1960s, massage became less popular, but it has since made a comeback. Many of the techniques involved in the practice are still based on traditional practices. These include using the forearms, elbows, and knees to apply pressure to the affected areas.
Massage therapy has been found to reduce the symptoms of fibromyalgia, a chronic illness that causes pain, fatigue, and joint pain. Studies have also found that it can improve pulmonary function in young asthma patients. Additionally, it can help relieve insomnia associated with menopause.
While there is some research evidence to support the benefits of massage, the pace of research is slowed by the lack of interest in massage by mainstream medical experts. It is important to note, however, that there are certain conditions that can be contraindicated. People with osteoporosis, unhealed fractures, thrombosis, pulmonary disorders, infectious diseases, and advanced heart disease should not receive massage.
Depending on your needs, you can opt for Swedish or deep tissue massage. Deep tissue massage is a more intense version of Swedish, but it uses a softer touch. Generally, it focuses on releasing tension and knots in the deeper layers of the muscle. This type of massage is recommended for injured or overworked muscles.
Pregnant women should also avoid massage. Despite its positive effects, it is a form of alternative medicine that should not be a substitute for a medical care provider.
If you are interested in learning more about massage, visit the Office of the Professions’ website for a list of programs. Most programs meet the state board’s education requirements for licensing. Programs are offered in daytime, evening, and Saturday classes.