Swedish massage is the most common type of massage therapy, typically involving long smooth techniques, kneading, and circular movements on superficial layers of muscle. It can be very gentle and relaxing. If you’ve never had massage before, this is a good one to try first.
How Does Massage Therapy Work?
Massage therapy improves circulation to the area being worked. This increases supply of oxygen and other nutrients to the tissues promoting healing and relieving discomfort.
Massage also increases muscle flexibility and mobility, and helps clear lactic acid and inflammation, which all helps to reduce pain and stiffness in muscles and joints.
Why Do People Get Massage Therapy?
People get massage therapy for relaxation or for a variety of health conditions:
Inflammatory conditions such as arthritis and tendinitis
Stress relief and stress-related conditions
Headaches and migraines
Muscle and related conditions such as spasms, strains and sprains
Repetitive strain injury, such as carpal tunnel syndrome
Circulatory and respiratory problems
Post-injury and post surgical rehabilitation
Massage therapy relieves stress. It is thought to help the body's stress response by lowering levels of hormones such as cortisol.
Massage therapy also appears to enhance immune function.
Will Massage Therapy Hurt?
Massage therapy shouldn't involve a lot of pain, though occasionally there is tolerable discomfort especially when the massage therapist applies pressure over areas of muscle tension. If the pressure is too strong for you, let the massage therapist know, communication is key to a therapeutic massage.
How Will I Feel After a Massage?
Most people feel calm and relaxed after a massage. Occasionally, people experience mild aching for a day. If you experience significant pain after a massage you should contact your practitioner for advise, it is likely that they have used too much pressure and this is something you would want to address for future appointments.
Massage therapy is not recommended for certain people:
People with infectious skin disease, rash, or open wounds
Immediately after surgery
Immediately after chemotherapy or radiation, unless recommended by your doctor
People prone to blood clots. There is a risk of blood clots being dislodged. If you have heart disease, check with your doctor before having a massage
Pregnant women should check with their doctor first if they are considering getting a massage. Massage in pregnant women should be done by massage therapists who are certified in pregnancy massage.
Massage should not be done directly over bruises, inflamed skin, unhealed wounds, tumors, abdominal hernia, or areas of recent fractures.
Additional Massage Tips
Don't eat a heavy meal before the massage.
If it's your first time visiting the clinic, arrive about 10 minutes early to complete the necessary forms.