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Massage is the Message


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Massage therapy can mean different things to different people: an hour of pampering at the spa, a 15-minute in-chair massage at the office, or a therapeutic session to assist recovery from a traumatic injury.

Massage therapy is the assessment and treatment, through manipulation of the soft tissues and joints of the body, of injuries and muscle tension. It can help prevent injuries, maintain physical well-being, rehabilitate acute or chronic injury, and relieve pain.

You may find massage therapy in different settings, the most common of which is a therapeutic or wellness clinic. Here you can discuss the goals of your treatment, whether general relaxation or rehabilitation for specific injuries, with a registered massage therapist.

What to Expect

When you arrive for an appointment, the therapist will have you fill out a health history questionnaire to review any health problems that may need addressing. The therapist will review any symptoms you may be having and suggest a course of treatment. You may ask any question you have about the treatment at any time.

After the therapist has reviewed the treatment with you, and you have consented to the treatment plan, you'll be left alone in the room for a few moments to undress to your comfort level and to get onto the massage table between the sheets. In many wellness clinics, there will be relaxing background music playing and soft lighting to create a relaxing atmosphere.

When you are ready, the therapist will return to the room and ensure you are comfortable on the table. Each area of the body that is to be worked on will be undraped appropriately, allowing access to the tissue. During treatment the therapist may move or support the arms, legs, or head to facilitate the massage. Try to relax, let go, and allow the therapist to do all the work; be limp as a rag doll.

Only the body part that is being worked on will be uncovered, and your modesty is always maintained. Always let the therapist know if anything is uncomfortable or irritating, or if there is too much or too little pressure being applied.

On completion of the treatment, the therapist will leave the room to allow you to get dressed. Together you will discuss what the therapist's findings were and any self-care you may be able to do in order to prolong the beneficial effects of the massage and to prevent the reoccurrence of muscle tension.

The Benefits of Massage

Massage therapy has been practised for thousands of years. In 400 BC, Hippocrates discussed "gently rubbing" a dislocated shoulder to help with healing.

The effects of massage are both psychological and physiological in nature and work on all the systems of the body: circulatory, respiratory, lymphatic, musculoskeletal, and immune. Some benefits may include

  • increased range of motion
  • decreased stress levels
  • decreased scar tissue and adhesions
  • removal of metabolic waste from the tissue
  • increased white blood-cell activity
  • decreased pain
  • increased speed in the healing of injuries.

Regular massage therapy, whether for relaxation or recovery from injury, is a perfect adjunct to a healthy lifestyle.



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