Relax and Restore your Health with Massage Therapy
You may have thought of massage as only a feel-good way to indulge or pamper yourself. To the contrary, it can be a powerful tool to help you take charge of your health and well-being, whether you have a specific health condition or are just looking for an outlet to relieve stress.
Health At Last – Costa Mesa, we utilize therapeutic massage in our care plans to reduce muscle tension, improve flexibility, and speed up healing times. It has also been proven to be beneficial for many chronic conditions including low back pain, arthritis, bursitis, fatigue, high blood pressure, diabetes, immunity suppression, infertility, smoking cessation, depression, and more. It is a valued compliment to the chiropractic and rehabilitation programs for many patients or a stand alone service. As many millions will attest, massage also helps relieve the stress and tension of everyday living that can lead to disease and illness.
There are many variations of massage and many of our practitioners utilize multiple techniques to meet the specific needs of our patients. Verbalizing your needs is the best way to get them met, as your massage can be tailored to you. Pregnancy massage is also available with techniques that let our pregnant mom’s relax and be supported in healthy positions utilizing pillows and side-lying positions.
What is massage?
Massage is a general term for pressing, rubbing and manipulating your skin, muscles, tendons and ligaments. Massage therapists typically use their hands and fingers for massage but may also use their forearms, and elbows. Massage may range from light stroking to deep pressure techniques.
There are many different types of massage, including these common types:
- Swedish massage – This is a gentle form of massage that uses long strokes, kneading, deep circular movements, vibration and tapping to help relax and energize you.
- Deep-tissue massage – This massage technique uses slower, more forceful strokes to target the deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue, commonly to help with muscle damage from injuries.
- Sports massage – This is similar to Swedish massage but is geared toward people involved in sport activities to help prevent or treat injuries.
- Trigger point massage – This massage focuses on trigger points, or sensitive areas of tight muscle fibers that can form in your muscles after injuries or overuse.
Massage is generally considered part of complementary and alternative medicine. It’s increasingly being offered along with standard treatment for a wide range of medical conditions and situations.
According to the Mayo Clinic information research studies have found massage helpful for:
- Stress relief
- Managing anxiety and depression
- Blood pressure control
- Infant growth
- Sports-related injuries
- Boosting immunity
- Cancer treatment
Beyond the benefits for specific conditions or diseases, some people enjoy massage because it often involves caring, comfort, a sense of empowerment and creates a deeper connection with their bodies.
What you can expect during a massage
You don’t need any special preparation for massage. Before a massage therapy session starts, your massage therapist should ask you about any symptoms, your medical history and what you’re hoping to get out of massage. Your massage therapist should explain the kind of massage and techniques he or she will use.
In a typical massage therapy session, you undress or wear loosefitting clothing. Undress only to the point that you’re comfortable. You generally lie on a table and cover yourself with a sheet and blanket if needed. Your massage therapist will evaluate you through touch to locate painful or tense areas and to determine how much pressure to apply.
If you want, your massage therapist may use oil or lotion to reduce friction on your skin. Tell your massage therapist if you might be allergic to any ingredients.
Our massage sessions typically last from 30 to 90 minutes, depending on the type of massage and how much time you have. No matter what kind of massage you choose, you should feel calm and relaxed during and after your massage. Pain that’s more significant than momentary discomfort could indicate that something’s wrong. If a massage therapist is pushing too hard, ask for lighter pressure. Occasionally you may have a sensitive spot in a muscle that feels like a knot. It’s likely to be uncomfortable while your massage therapist works it out. But if it becomes painful, speak up.
Risks of massage
Massage is generally safe as long as it’s done by a trained massage therapist. But massage isn’t appropriate for everyone. Discuss massage with your doctor first in cases of:
- Unexplained pain or other symptoms
- Burns or open wounds
- Blood clots
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Severe osteoporosis
|$75: 1 Hour Massage||$45: 1/2 hour massage|
Some forms of massage can leave you feeling a bit sore the next day, but massage shouldn’t be painful or uncomfortable. If any part of your massage doesn’t feel right or is painful, speak up right away. Most serious problems come from too much pressure during massage.