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Therapeutic massage is one of the best, most non-invasive, and enjoyable forms of health, fitness, and general wellness therapy available today. In fact, for the small minority that have tried therapeutic massage and have truly experienced its health and healing benefits, it usually becomes their first course of treatment for a variety of wellness needs, complaints, and objectives. That is because human touch is probably the only form of therapy that can positively affect all of the body’s systems simultaneously without any unpleasant side-effects. So, why don’t more people use therapeutic massage as part of their overall program of health and wellness? One reason is the perception that massage is only for stress relief or athletes. Another reason is the shear number of choices one is faced with when trying to find a therapist.  3D printing pen

What is Therapeutic Massage?

Therapeutic massage involves the manipulation of the soft tissue structures of the body to prevent and alleviate pain, discomfort, muscle spasm, and stress; and, to promote health and wellness. AMTA defines massage therapy as a profession in which the practitioner applies manual techniques, and may apply adjunctive therapies, with the intention of positively affecting the health and well-being of the client.

Massage therapy improves functioning of the circulatory, lymphatic, muscular, skeletal, and nervous systems and may improve the rate at which the body recovers from injury and illness. Massage involves holding, causing movement of soft tissue, and/or applying pressure to the body. It comes in many forms, including:

Swedish — a gentle, relaxing massage;
Pressure point therapy — for certain conditions for injuries; and
Sports massage —focuses on muscle groups relevant to the particular sport.

Key Benefits

People find that therapeutic massage can help with a wide range of medical conditions, including:

  • Allergies
  • Anxiety and stress
  • Arthritis (osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis)
  • Asthma and bronchitis
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Chronic and temporary pain
  • Circulatory problems
  • Depression
  • Digestive disorders, including spastic colon, constipation and diarrhea
  • Headache, especially when due to muscle tension
  • Insomnia
  • Myofascial pain (a condition of the tissue connecting the muscles)
  • Reduced range of motion
  • Sinusitis
  • Sports injuries, including pulled or strained muscles and sprained ligaments
  • Temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ)

Although massage therapy does not increase muscle strength, it can stimulate weak, inactive muscles and, thus, partially compensate for the lack of exercise and inactivity resulting from illness or injury. It also can hasten and lead to a more complete recovery from exercise or injury.

Therapeutic massage may not be recommended in some cases, such as in people with:

  • inflammation of the veins (phlebitis)
  • infectious diseases
  • certain forms of cancer
  • some skin conditions
  • some cardiac problems
  • diabetes
If you have one of these or some other diagnosed medical condition, always check with your doctor before seeking a massage.

 

AMTA DEFINITION OF MASSAGE THERAPY 

MASSAGE THERAPY is a profession in which the practitioner applies manual techniques, and may apply adjunctive therapies, with the intention of positively affecting the health and well-being of the client.

MASSAGE is manual soft tissue manipulation, and includes holding, causing movement, and/or applying pressure to the body.

THERAPY is a series of actions aimed at achieving or increasing health and wellness.

MANUAL means by use of hand or body.

©1999, American Massage Therapy Association

 

 

                                                                                                    

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Last modified: January 25, 2002