It’s no secret that massage helps you relax and reduce stress. But did you know that massage therapy can help relieve fibromyalgia, headaches, insomnia, and whiplash? Say goodbye to the days when getting a massage was just a way to pamper yourself and boost your mood. Say hello to a time when physicians, chiropractors, and physical therapists are recommending massage as an effective component for treating all kinds of pain and health conditions.
Here’s a look at how regular massages can alleviate your chronic and acute pain and medical issues and improve your overall health without the use of prescription drugs or surgery—especially when combined with routine chiropractic care.
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Types of Massage
“Massage” is an umbrella term for rubbing, pressing, and manipulating skin, muscles, tendons, and ligaments that move and support your body. Types of massage include:
- Deep Tissue Massage: Your massage therapist will use slow, forceful strokes to target your deep layer of muscle and connective tissue. This type of massage is great for managing pain, breaking down scar tissue, and circulating blood flow.
- Myofascial Massage: This technique focuses on pain stemming from myofascial tissues—the tough membranes that wrap, connect, and support your muscles. Your massage therapist will apply light pressure to any myofascial areas that feel stiff to loosen up those restricted muscles.
- Neuromuscular Massage (Trigger-Point Therapy): Using their fingers, knuckles, or elbows, your massage therapist will apply concentrated pressure to tender and tight muscles and areas where you experience muscle spasms. This type of massage addresses chronic pain, circulation, postural issues, nerve compression, and problems caused by overuse injuries.
- Sports Massage: Geared toward people who are involved in sport activities, a sports massage focuses on areas of the body that are stressed and overused due to repetitive movement. This type of massage helps athletes prepare for an event, reduces recovery time after an event, promotes flexibility, reduces fatigue, improves endurance, and even helps prevent injuries.
- Swedish Massage: This is a gentle massage in which your massage therapist will use long strokes, circular movements, kneading, and tapping to relieve muscle tension and to relax and energize you. Swedish massage is the most common type of massage.
Benefits of Massage
A study published in Annals of Family Medicine in 2014 found that two or three 60-minute therapeutic massages a week for four weeks relieved chronic neck pain better than fewer or shorter massages or no massage at all. But the benefits of this hands-on technique go beyond reducing pain and muscle tension in the neck, back, knees, and other parts of the body. Studies show that massage can be effective for dealing with:
- Digestive disorders
- Frozen shoulder (a side effect of working on a computer all day)
- Headaches, including migraines, cluster headaches, tension headaches, and sinus headaches
- Insomnia related to stress
- Myofascial pain syndrome
- Post-surgical scar tissue
- Radiating pain
- Repetitive stress injuries from sitting or standing for several hours a day
- Sports injuries
- Soft tissue strains or injuries
- Strains and sprains
- Temporomandibular joint and muscle disorder (TMJ)
Many people who use massage to help manage a specific condition or pain also experience improvements in their overall wellness. A study published in Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice showed that people who had four weekly hand massages and did self-massage at home not only reduced pain in their hand and boosted grip strength but also had less anxiety and depression and slept better than people in the control group who didn’t receive hand massages.
Dynamic Duo: Massage and Chiropractic Care
When you combine massage therapy with routine chiropractic care, you will experience even greater and longer lasting benefits than using either treatment on its own. That’s because your body’s muscles and skeletal system are meant to work together.
A chiropractor, unlike a massage therapist who manipulate muscles and soft tissue, adjusts the spine, neck, and other musculoskeletal systems. When the spine is properly aligned, the body is better able to heal itself. Regular chiropractic adjustments can reduce joint restriction and inflammation, increase mobility, improve the function of your nervous system, and reduce pain.
Chiropractic adjustments are more effective—and your pain relief lasts longer—when your muscles are loosened up a bit. That’s why many chiropractors offer massage therapy services at their offices and recommend getting a massage before an adjustment. By realigning your joints, chiropractic adjustments also help the soft tissues manipulated during your massage heal quicker.
By integrating massage therapy with routine chiropractic care, you’ll also experience:
- Improved nervous system’s functioning
- Reduced inflammation in your body
- Increased blood flow and circulation
- Increased flexibility and range of motion
Whether massage is your way to relax and recharge or it’s part of your chiropractic treatment plan, our massage therapy services at All Star Chiropractic will meet your needs and naturally improve your overall health and well-being. Call us today to schedule your next massage.
At All Star Chiropractic, our goal is to help our patients recover from back pain, neck pain, lack of mobility, joint issues, range of motion issues, and more—without the use of prescription drugs. We believe in taking a holistic “whole-body” approach to your health. We don’t want to just temporarily fix your pain—we want to determine and treat the root cause so you live an active and pain-free life.
Call one of our locations today to schedule an appointment, or to learn more about how chiropractic care can help you.