What is massage therapy?
Massage therapy is done by a professional licensed physical therapist in order to relieve tension, restore flexibility and improve comfort. The idea is to naturally loosen tension so that muscle groups can relax, strengthen and recover if need be.
Your massage therapist will know what type of massage and frequency is best for your situation. Regardless of your specific injury, you’re sure to benefit both physically and emotionally.
What are some common types of massage?
There are several types of massages used during therapy that may be right for you, depending on your injury. Here are a few of the most commons ones, as defined by Strength and Conditioning Journal:
- Effleurage – a gliding motion over the skin
- Petrissage – a kneading motion with specific tissues
- Tapotement – repeated, quick hand strikes
- Friction – short deep rubbing near tissues
- Vibration – a shaking motion
Each type has a different effect on the body. Your massage therapist will know the best types and combinations to use for your injury.
- Soothe pain
First of all, massage therapy is great for pain relief. During your session, your muscles will be soothed and relaxed. By staying fluid and flexible, they will also feel less painful and strained. Studies show massage therapy is ideal for decreasing stiffness. Since tension and stiffness can exacerbate the injury, this will help you keep your injury recovery on the right path.
- Promote blood circulation
Massage also promotes good blood circulation, which is valuable when recovering from an injury. The touch of massage is shown to increase tissue temperature, which encourages blood flow to that area. Because blood carries nutrients throughout the body, healthy blood circulation is critical for injury recovery.
In addition, blood circulation is linked to loosening muscle cramps and spasms. Depending on your injury, this is important for making sure you stay fluid and don’t regress during recovery.
- Break up scar tissue
Another key benefit of massage therapy is that it can help break up scar tissue. When you have an injury, your body heals much as a scab does. The body regenerates the injured area and these tissues accumulate. Massage therapy can boost recovery by breaking up scar tissue with certain techniques so that your muscles continue healing.
Moreover, massage therapy techniques can help with tissue regeneration. By warming and touching specific muscles, the regeneration process will be stimulated. This is especially advantageous for trying to speed up your recovery time.
- Enhance motion and flexibility
If you’re looking to recover from an injury and prevent a future one, massage therapy can support new motion and flexibility in your body, according to a chiropractic massage therapy expert in Anchorage. Techniques that enhance the range of motion can both reduce inflammation and make your body more flexible. This can be beneficial for strengthening neighboring muscle groups or preparing your body to stay flexible when facing a potential injury-producing situation.
- Reduce stress and anxiety
Massage therapy has also been shown to have positive psychological effects on patients. Getting injured involves a lot of stress and anxiety for anybody, but especially for an athlete or those with seriously reduced motion. Oftentimes, this anxiety is connected to recovering as quickly as possible or having feelings of uncertainty about the future.
Fortunately, massage therapy is linked to relaxation, stress alleviation and mood boosting.For those struggling to stay stress-free during injury recovery, massage therapy can also be good for your emotional health.
In general, there’s no shortcut for recovering from an injury. But you can take certain steps to put yourself in a position to potentially recover faster. Depending on your injury, massage therapy can be customized to relieve pain, increase blood circulation, break up scar tissue, enhance a range of motion and reduce stress.
Talk to a chiropractic massage therapist near you. By receiving the right massage therapy, you can increase the likelihood of a quick recovery so that you’ll be back at the gym in no time.
is a graduate of the University of Nevada where he earned his bachelor of science degree before moving on to complete his doctorate from Western States Chiropractic College. He founded Better Health Chiropractic & Physical Rehab in Alaska in 1998. He became passionate about being in the chiropractic field after his own experiences with hurried, unprofessional healthcare providers. The goal for Dr. Wells is to treat his patients with care and compassion while providing them with a better quality of life through his professional treatment.