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Therapeutic Massage

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Involves the manipulation of the soft tissues of the body to prevent and alleviate pain,
muscle spasm, and stress;
and, to promote health and wellness.


    



Introduction
Definition
Types of Massage
Benefits of therapeutic massage
Precautions v.s Contra-Indications
Who Can Benefit From Clinical Massage Therapy?
Massage for Pain Control


Introduction:

Massage may be the oldest and simplest form of medical care. Egyptian tomb paintings show people being massaged.
In Eastern cultures, massage has been practiced continually since ancient times.  It was one of the principal method of
relieving pain for Greek and Roman physicians.  "The Physician Must Be Experienced In Many Things," wrote Hippocrates,
the father of Western medicine, in the 5th century B. C., "but assuredly in rubbing.. . for rubbing can bind a joint that is too loose, and loosen a joint that is too rigid."

Massage lost some of its value and prestige with the unsavory image created by "massage parlors."
This image is fading as awareness of the value and therapeutic properties of massage grows.

Definition:

Therapeutic massage  "a manual soft tissue manipulation that includes holding, causing movement, and/or
applying pressure to the body."
Touch is the core ingredient of massage therapy and also combines science and art. Practitioners use their sense of touch to determine the right amount of pressure to apply to each person and locate areas of tension and other soft-tissue problems.
Touch also conveys a sense of caring, an important component in the healing relationship.

When muscles are overworked, waste products such as lactic acid can accumulate in the muscle, causing soreness,
stiffness, and even muscle spasm.
Massage improves circulation, which increases blood flow, bringing fresh oxygen to body tissues.
This can assist the elimination of waste products, speed healing after injury, and enhance recovery from disease.
Therapeutic massage can be used to promote general well-being and enhance self-esteem, while boosting the circulatory
and immune systems to benefit blood pressure, circulation, muscle tone, digestion, and skin tone.

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 comes in many forms, including:  Swedish a gentle, relaxing massage;
Pressure point therapy for certain conditions or injuries; and
Sports massage which focuses on muscle groups relevant to the particular sport.

The basic goal of massage therapy is to help the body heal itself and to increase health and well-being.


Types of Massage:

Relaxation Massage:
A smooth, flowing style that promotes general relaxation, improves circulation and range of movement,
and relieves muscular tension.

Remedial Massage:
Helps to restore function to injured "soft tissues" (muscles, tendons and ligaments). It may involve the use of a range of
other physical treatments to assist  recovery. In addition, it may be recomended to perform some activities at home
to assist the process of recovery.

Sports Massage:
Combines different massage techniques to enhance sports performance and recuperation.

Aromatherapy Massage:
Combining the therapeutic properties of essential oils with specific massage techniques to
promote health and well-being.

Benefits of therapeutic massage: 

Relieves physical problems associated with repetitive tasks 
Helps balance the effects of stress in our lives thus reducing tension headaches, anxiety level and restores a
calm mind and feeling of well-being. 
It also helps  to avoid stress related disease and dysfunction by: 
Triggers the Relaxation Response 
 Relaxes tense muscles 
 Reduces anxiety level 
 Normalizes blocked energy flow 
 Improves immune system functioning 
 Restores a calm mind and feeling of well-being 
 
Massage therapy is very beneficial to those who have special challenges such as a serious, debilitating injury,
a stroke, a neuromuscular disease, or fibromyalgia to name a few.


Precautions v.s Contra-Indications

Certain medical conditions require the use of caution, particularly in the case of cardiovascular conditions and heart disease, especially in cases of thrombosis, phlebitis, and oedema.

Never apply pressure under or over varicose veins. Never massage directly over infected skin, for example
where there are warts, herpes, or boils, or where there is inflammation, unexplained lumps, bruises and open cuts.
Massage on the abdomen is best avoided during the first three months of pregnancy when the risk of miscarriage is highest.

The causes of acute back pain should first be diagnosed before receiving massage treatment.
Swellings, fractures, skin infections, or bruises should not be massaged.

Who Can Benefit From Clinical Massage Therapy?

  •  Any chronic muscle or joint pain.
  •  A known condition of referred pain, such as "when my neck gets tense I get a headache. "
  •  Any recurring symptoms that seem to accompany or are precipitated by muscle lightness.
  •  Tight muscles that are limiting the mobility of a joint.
  •  Chronically fatigued muscles.
  •  Low energy level, especially when accompanied by muscle aches and pains.
  •  A recent muscle injury that generates pain or dysfunction in areas not seemingly involved in the injury
  •  Any visceral dysfunction that tests negative for conventional causes.
  •  Muscle pain that recurs in an area with no apparent new cause.
  •  A tendency for pain to spread to other muscles whenever a simple strain or injury occurs

Ttherapeutic massage can help with a wide range of medical conditions, including: 
  •  Allergies
  •  Anxiety
  •  Arthritis (both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis)
  •  Asthma and bronchitis
  •  Carpal tunnel syndrome
  •  Chronic and acute pain
  •  Circulatory problems
  •  Depression
  •  Digestive disorders, including spastic colon, constipation and diarrhea
  •  Headache, especially when due to muscle tension
  •  Gastrointestinal disorders (including spastic colon, colic and constipation)
  •  Headache
  •  Immune function disorders
  •  Insomnia
  •  Myofascial pain (a condition of the tissue connecting the muscles)
  •  Premature infants
  •  Reduced range of motion
  •  Sinusitis
  •  Sports injuries (including pulled or strained muscles and sprained ligaments)
  •  Stress
  •  Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction

Massage for Pain Control

Massage is a very effective technique for controlling pain. How does it work?
  • Massage confuses the body's pain signals.
Rubbing may interfere with pain signals' pathways to your brain, a process called the "gate control theory,"
according to experts. Pain impulses run toward the spinal cord and then up the cord and into the brain.
It's only when they reach the brain that these impulses, are perceived as pain.
When you rub, it sends other impulses along the same nerves. When all these impulses try to reach the brain through nerves,
the nerves get clogged.  The result? Most of them won't reach the brain. And if the pain signals does not reach the brain,
you won't feel pain. Thus massage works by 'closing the gate' that pain impulses have to pass through.
  • Massage also calls up the body's natural painkillers.
It stimulates the release of endorphins, the morphine-like substances that the body manufactures,
into the brain and nervous system.

  • Massage provides deep relaxation
It relieves muscle tension, spasm, and stiffness. All of these contribute to pain.
Tense muscles are usually deprived of oxygen, because the tightness reduces blood circulation to the area.
Massage improves blood circulation, bringing with it what the muscle needs-oxygen and other forms of nourishment.
The muscle then relaxes, and pain decreases.

  • Massage relieves mental stress and anxiety.
Massage is providing the benefit by the therapeutic value of touching that helps a person in pain.
Research shows that even touch lasting for less than 1 second has the ability to make people feel better.
Obviously, an hour-long touch provided by massage has to make you feel good!

What Types of Pain Can Massage Help?

Massage can help any pain originating from muscle tension: example - head, back, neck, and
shoulder pain are all can benefit from massage. Releasing tightness and tension in muscles is the most obvious effect.
Massage also is beneficial for relieving pain associated with arthritis, injuries, or even recent surgery.



To discuss your situation in more detail:
Contact Dr. Comas
tel: (416) 515-8493
e-mail: Dr-Comas@NaturalMedicineSolutions.com

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