Massage therapy does more for you than just help you relax and release muscle tension. It is a fundamental component of a holistic health balance and wellness program that rejuvenates the mind, body and soul. It’s time to maximize your lifestyle enjoyment with massage therapy. Salem, Oregon is a place to get our and enjoy life and therapeutic massage helps you do just that.
If you feel as if you are a step slower unable to keep up on weekend hikes, feeling a few extra aches in the back, or simply want to find a way to unwind, consider a wellness program that incorporates therapeutic massage. It’s a simple and enjoyable thing to do that helps the body restore balance, mental clarity and energy.
Chronic Pain and Massage Therapy
Setting up a regular massage as part of a chronic pain treatment plan is a great way to compliment other therapy modalities such as chiropractic manipulations, TENS units and acupuncture treatment. By considering the whole body in the healing process, patients experience faster recovery times, more energy and flexibility.
Many sports injuries occur when there are muscle imbalances leading to strains. Therapeutic massage gets deep into muscle tissue where inflammation, tension and spasms can cause pain or immobility. The relaxation that comes from the massage does more than just reduce stress, it stimulates circulation that brings nutrient-rich blood to the injured area promoting healing.
Tension Headache Treatment
Tension headaches are very common for people under a lot of stress, with poor diets or exercise programs. Even sitting at the computer leads to tension headaches. The tension headache is caused by little contractions in the neck and head area. Through massage therapy, patients are able to get these contractions to stop, releasing the tension and getting relief.
Alleviating Back Pain
A major chronic pain condition is back pain, particularly lower back pain. Tension and imbalances in muscles that connect the back to the hips, such as the quadratus lumborum, are often the underlying cause of chronic back pain. Simple daily activities such as bending over to leash your dog for a walk or picking up a bag of groceries can aggravate back pain.
Therapeutic massage helps stretch muscles, relax them and improve the natural balance of the many muscles connecting the spine to the lower body and extremities. Massage combined with a health and wellness program that helps patients understand the relationship between ergonomics and proper spine and muscle balance leads to a more active lifestyle.
The Benefits of Massage Therapy
Most people go to massage therapists to reduce body tension and provide themselves with a mental checkout from daily stress. Even though it is considered a complimentary service in medical benefits, it is an integral component of wellness plans. As more research is done, more health benefits are discovered for patients receiving regular therapeutic massages.
Massage is a hands-on service that manipulates soft tissue in the body, namely muscles, tendons and ligaments. Relaxing the muscles often yields less anxiety, increases mental clarity and provides higher energy levels. As the muscles are kneaded or manipulated, mobility is restored along with circulation moving oxygen and nutrients throughout the body.
Patients who get regular wellness massages report having an easier time falling asleep and staying asleep through the night. This alone helps alleviate mental fatigue that would otherwise lead to more anxiety and stress.
Lymphatic drainage is a massage therapy modality that is designed to encourage proper toxic drainage from the lymph, removing toxins away from tissues so the body can metabolize it out of its system. This massage modality is a gentle massage unlike deep tissue massage therapy and is known to help patients suffering from fibromyalgia, arthritis and other conditions where inflammation is one of the root causes of chronic pain.
If relaxation, a reduction in chronic pain and increased energy sounds like it would improve a person’s mental health, you are correct. Patients dealing with chronic pain or low energy often express frustration with not being able to do the things they once loved doing. Many can’t even bear the pain of doing simple daily activities and become prematurely dependent on others for help. There is no question that reducing chronic pain and increasing energy improves a person’s quality of life and reduces bouts with depression.
What many people don’t realize is how massage therapy helps with improving a person’s life as part of a wellness plan or self-care routine. Light massage stimulates activity in the amygdala and hypothalamus that regulates neural activity directly involved in attention spans, immune system health and feeling good.
Increased activity often leads to increased muscle tension, minor sprains and spasms. Regular therapeutic massage helps to eliminate lactic acid build up in the muscles, reducing muscle fatigue and spasms. Recovery happens faster between workouts letting patients get back to active living without interruption and ready for the next challenge.
Physical Therapy, Massage and Chiropractic Care
Most people go to the chiropractor when something is wrong with their body; they had an injury, accident or simply feel something out of whack in their back. While your chiropractor is happy to work with you in these scenarios, his overall objective is to help you lead a healthier life in the long-term. This means developing a wellness program that incorporates any required physical therapy, massage, diet and regular spinal manipulations to keep everything working right and reducing the chance of injury.
What Is a Wellness Massage
Holistic health practices use a wellness massage to help their patients achieve and maintain a healthy lifestyle. The goal is to enhance the mind, body and soul with massage modalities that improve circulation thus energy, reduce muscle tension thus improve mobility, and restore muscle-bone balance reducing chronic pain issues.
As with any wellness program, wellness massage therapy has the best results when done regularly over time. A routine of self-care through massage reduces overall anxiety and stress, giving patients a higher quality of life.
Additional Services for Wellness Programs
Acupressure, spa services and skin care are other aspects of a wellness program. Acupressure is similar to chiropractic manipulations in the sense that it is a hands-on modality. It isn’t a manipulation of joints though. Instead is applies pressure to known trigger points in the body to promote circulation.
Spa and skincare programs help rejuvenate skin and while this helps everyone look and feel younger, it also has significant health benefits. Well maintained skin remains hydrated and also helps the body retain necessary water for maximum function.
Massage Therapy and Treatment Plans
Experts say that regular wellness massages are the way to achieve the best health results and prevent chronic pain and injuries. However, “regular” is a loose term; there is no steadfast rule as to how often you need to have a massage to get the health benefits. Instead, your massage therapist, chiropractor or other medical provider will consider your lifestyle and existing medical conditions and define a plan around that.
If you are in a physical therapy program at the moment, recovering from an accident or injury, massage will likely be weekly if not bi-weekly to help the body stimulate its natural healing tendencies. Athletes or those involved in vigorous physical work should consider wellness massages more frequently than those will a more sedentary lifestyle.
Review your existing medical condition, lifestyle and health goals with your massage therapist or chiropractor to set the right schedule for maximum results.
Therapeutic Massage Techniques
Certified massage therapists often have specialties with the types of massage they offer. Some massage therapies are designed more for rehabilitation rather than just relaxation. Talk to your massage therapist, chiropractor or medical provider about the best massage techniques to incorporate into your wellness plan.
Swedish massage is a full-body massage that is gentle and relaxing. If you are ticklish or sensitive to touch, Swedish massage is a great wellness massage modality. It uses long, broad strokes pulling tension out of the muscles and moving circulation towards the heart. Kneading, tapping and gentle passive joint movement are the cornerstone methods used in Swedish massage. This is a good choice to manage minor aches and pains or for overall tension release.
Reflexology is similar to acupressure, where pressure points are targeted to improve circulation. These pressure points are found in the feet, hands and ears. Many holistic health offices offer reflexology with acupuncture to get better results, targeting the pressure points with acupuncture needles. The result is clearing energy channels that cause fatigue, helping improve blood flow and overall health.
Trigger point is a massage modality used in targeted patient areas where chronic pain, injuries or health conditions originate from. For example, tension headaches are greatly helped by trigger point massage therapy, focusing on the areas resulting in the head tension and pain. Even though the focus is on one area and condition, trigger point does incorporate full body massage to clear tension from remote body areas that could be affecting the afflicted area.
Deep Tissue Massage
Deep tissue massage is a good choice for patients experiencing high tension or chronic pain. While many of the massage motions are similar to Swedish, the deep tissue is slower and applies more pressure to get deep into the muscle tissues. Getting deep into the muscles breaks up any scar tissues and restores flexibility to connective tissue and muscles.
Sports massage helps athletes deal with existing injuries and prevent re-injuring problem areas. It addresses muscle imbalances that lead to chronic or repetitive injuries and improves muscle tension distribution and flexibility. The result is improved athletic performance. While sports massage could be done as a full body massage, it often isolates problem areas to alleviate potential performance problems and injuries.
Hot stone massage uses warmed stones strategically positioned on your body. It is perfect to release tension, improve blood flow and alleviate minor aches and pains. Hot stone massage is often combined with Swedish massage techniques for maximum results. The heat from the stones increases relaxation and circulation and is thought to be more effective than Swedish massage alone.
Pregnant women have many aches and pains that creep into their body due to the hormonal changes, weight gain and overall imbalance the baby places on their posture and gait. It is similar to Swedish massage but designed to work around the delicate belly of an expecting mother. A special table is used so the belly sits in a cradle, allowing mom’s spine to find a natural position. Talk to your massage therapist and doctor before getting a prenatal massage, especially if you are in the first trimester or at risk of miscarriage.
Shiatsu is a Japanese massage method that is perfectly aligned with a long-term wellness program. It alleviates tension and helps with minor chronic ailments. Shiatsu uses hands, palms and thumbs rhythmically to give an overall feeling of released tension and relaxation. This is a full body massage, but massage therapists can focus on specific areas of tension if needed.
There may be instances in a comprehensive wellness program that incorporate several massage techniques. These can be used in the same massage session or alternated from session to session. This helps patients maximize all desired health benefits the health and wellness program is designed to achieve. If you are unsure what the best massage therapy option is for you, talk to your massage therapist about what hurts and your overall goals for therapy.
Schedule an Appointment with a Certified Massage Therapist
Finding the right massage therapist is important to achieving your health goals. If you are in Salem or its surrounding areas like South Salem, Dallas, Monmouth or Aumsville, you can find a board certified massage therapist that is integrated into one of the top chiropractic and wellness practices in Oregon, Whitmire Chiropractic and Wellness. You’ll find the right massage and a wealth of resources to getting your life back to its maximum health.
Whitmire Chiropractic and Wellness has years of experience in helping patience in Salem and its surrounding areas with acute injuries and chronic issues. Dr. Whitmire and his staff are dedicated to not just helping you get over an injury and back to help, but to also improve your energy and activity level over the long-term. Call his office to schedule a wellness appointment today.
This is the best experience I have had with a chiropractor. The doctor explained everything he was doing very thoroughly and professionally and helped me to understand why I was experiencing certain aches and pains and how I could alleviate those using massage and stretching techniques on my own. I felt comfortable and safe in this clean and friendly environment and will definitely be back for weekly follow up! I already feel so much better after my first appointment today. Highly recommend Dr. Whitmire and is team at the clinic!