What Is Massage Therapy and How Does It Work?

Massage techniques use different types of physical contact to heal the body. Different techniques include the use of hands, elbows, fingers, forearms, or even a specific device. Massage therapy uses the art of soft tissue manipulation to ease stress and/or pain in order to help clients heal. A massage performed by a licensed therapist uses soft tissue manipulation to ease stress and tension while supporting overall wellness. There are different types of massage therapy and each one offers certain benefits to patients.

What Are Different Types of Massage Therapy?

Different types of massage offer benefits based on the techniques and targeted areas of the body. A Swedish massage is ideal for relaxation because it targets the entire body. Other types of massage include trigger point massage for chronic pain sufferers and lymphatic massage to help with the flow of lymph fluids. Massage is also used to help patients with injuries. Trained therapists use particular types of massage to target injured areas and provide relief and healing, including:
  • Deep tissue massage
  • Trigger point massage
  • Myofascial release
A trained massage therapist determines which type of tissue manipulation is best based on the type and location of the injury.

How Does Massage Therapy Work?

Massage relaxes tight muscles, which help relieve tension and pain. Patients find it reduces stress and anxiety by providing a sense of calmness. While receiving a massage, the therapist applies pressure while rubbing on muscles, ligaments, tendons, and connective tissues. This helps improve circulation while pumping more oxygen and nutrients through the body. Massage allows for rehabilitation and healing by making the injured area more flexible and speeding up recovery.
  • Deep tissue massage gets into muscles and tendons to release tightness and allow injuries to heal.
  • Sports massage is like deep tissue, but it targets a specific area.
  • Trigger point massages focus on a tight area of spasm by applying direct pressure and increasing blood flow.
  • Myofascial massage is used when therapists knead the target area and allow it to move more freely.

Who Can Benefit From Massage?

Massage is an excellent way to improve overall health and wellness. People suffering from chronic pain and other common conditions benefit from massage therapy. Those suffering from certain injuries can heal faster and get back to normal routines with good therapy. Massage can increase serotonin levels that boost mood, which can also help speed recovery from an injury.

How to Find a Licensed Massage Therapist

A licensed massage therapist goes over the patient’s medical history before beginning a session. This means a patient gets a massage that focuses on specific conditions or injuries. Patients can ask their primary care physicians for the names of licensed therapists in their area. Physicians can also point patients to a massage therapist with specialized training or techniques based on the patient’s health concerns. Massage therapists help patients with a variety of illnesses and injuries reduce pain and heal. You find a local therapist in your area to get a massage and determine if it helps your specific health issue.