Massage therapy is used to help improve a health condition or increase wellness. It is associated with manipulating the soft tissues of the body. Massage therapy has been used in most cultures throughout human history, and was one of the first interventions that people relied on to relieve pain.

People use massage for various health-related purposes, such as relieving pain, helping to heal sports injuries, lowering stress levels, enhancing relaxation, decreasing anxiety and depression, and improving general wellness. Studies show that massage therapy is an effective way to treat pain, and patients that use massage therapy report to notice multiple benefits in addition to the ones they are focusing on.

patient getting massage therapy on back

What are the different types of massage?

Massage therapy includes many techniques. The most commonly heard type of massage therapy in Western countries is called a Swedish massage; it is a light massage with techniques used to relax the entire body. Other types include sports massage, clinical massage to achieve certain goals such as eliminating muscle spasms, geriatric massage, prenatal massage, and so many more.

Does massage therapy help pain?

Massage therapy has been used for many types of pain management, including lower back pain, neck and shoulder pain, pain from osteoarthritis, and even headaches. It relieves pain by relaxing muscle tissues and reducing muscles contractions and spasms that leave patients feeling sore.

What happens during a massage?

Massages may be performed on the whole body, or just a specific region. The massage therapist will have the patient lay down on a massage table, and use special methods to work the tissues on areas such as the arms, legs, hands and feet, or neck and back. Massages are usually scheduled as a 30 to 60 minute appointment. It is important to find a trained professional when getting a massage because failure to properly administer techniques can result in injury. A licensed massage therapist will not only do proper job, but be able to educate the patient on ways to improve their injury or problem area.

Why do chiropractors recommend massage therapy?

Chiropractic massage allows for medical procedures to be performed together with a massage session. This increases treatment benefits as patients receive multiple types of care during one appointment. Chiropractic massage is designed to treat the body as a whole while solely focusing on health and wellness. Providers may use a massage table or chair, or a spinal decompression machine in addition to hand techniques such a gliding, kneading muscles, and alternating hand force and pressure.
Prior to massage therapy, a chiropractor and massage therapist will do a complete physical exam and discuss the right means of treatment with the patient. The chiropractor needs to gain knowledge of the patient’s spinal health and physical well being and relate it to the care that may be given by the therapist.

How do chiropractic adjustments relate to massage therapy?

Many patients enjoy having a massage after a chiropractic adjustment. In fact, it is common for facilities to offer them together. Be sure to contact your chiropractor to see what may be available when seeking chiropractic care. Options may differ based on the chiropractic office and the patient’s needs.

How often should you get a massage?

At the consultation, the massage therapist will discuss with the patient what their focus areas are. Depending on the reason for the massage, the severity of the pain, and whether additional treatment is being used, a massage may be recommended as often as once a week to as little as once a month until symptoms subside.