What Is Massage Therapy?
Massage therapy is a holistic practice that uses manipulation of the body’s soft tissues to promote health and healing. Many medical professionals consider it an integral component of integrative medicine.
Massage involves the therapist lubricating the skin with a special massage oil and performing various strokes that warm and work muscle tissue. This release of adhesions, or knots of muscle tissue, promotes relaxation and eases muscle tension.
Some therapists specialize in particular types of massage, such as Swedish or deep tissue. Both types are effective at breaking up chronic patterns of muscular tension.
Regular massages may improve circulation in your body’s soft tissues. This encourages better blood and lymph flow to nourish and cleanse cells effectively.
Your muscles begin to relax as your breathing and heart rate slow down, decreasing blood pressure and stress hormones. Additionally, this process creates a deep sensation of relaxation which may reduce anxiety levels and enhance sleep quality.
Massage has a powerful relaxing effect that many people with chronic pain or fibromyalgia experience. According to naturopathic doctor Mary Loncar, licensed massage therapist and licensed naturopathic doctor, it also helps reduce the intensity of autoimmune conditions like asthma or diabetes by improving your body’s balance between stress and inflammatory processes.
Massage therapy is also a viable option for those undergoing cancer treatment. Studies have demonstrated that it can reduce pain from chemotherapy treatments and increase patient satisfaction levels.