People suffering from chronic pain or recovering from an injury can turn to the power of touch as an alternative form of treatment. Massage therapy is one way to increase circulation to tense, strained muscles and other soft tissue. Behind this treatment is the belief that improved circulation and relaxation lead to better health and well-being.
Healing Through Touch
Massage therapy can be used to increase blood flow, relax muscles, relieve stress, and revitalize the body. The method of massage that’s used depends on the goal: It may include vigorous kneading and rubbing, or it may be a more subtle, gentle touch, such as light tapping.
Massage therapy may be performed using a wide range of techniques. The type of massage depends on the massage therapist’s training as well as the patient’s personal preference. Here are some common types of massage therapy:
- Swedish massage: Long strokes and kneading motions to relax muscles
- Sports massage: Various techniques to enhance athletic performance and aid recovery after exertion
- Asian massage: Pressure applied to targeted points to enhance the body’s own healing energy
Whether discomfort arises from simple, daily tasks or following physical activity, massage therapy may provide a boost in circulation as well as pain relief and the feeling of relaxation and restoration. Other benefits may include improved joint motion, lymphatic drainage, increased energy, and reduced stress.
If you are experiencing chronic aches and pains, speak with your physician about treatment options that may work best for you.
*Source: American Massage Therapy Association, www.amtamassage.org
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