Massage therapy is the hands-on manipulation of soft tissues and muscles of the body to promote good health and optimal body function. After receiving a massage, most people experience overall muscle relaxation, decreased stress levels, increased circulation and flexibility, with an overall feeling of physical, emotional, and spiritual well being. They feel calm and focused.
Here are a few frequently asked questions regarding massage therapy:
What are the physical benefits of massage?
- Helps relieve stress and aids in relaxation
- Helps relieve muscle tension and stiffness
- Fosters faster healing of strained muscles and sprained ligaments
- Reduces muscle spasms
- Helps relieve tension-related headaches and effects of eye-strain
- Improves posture
- Strengthens the immune system
What are the mental benefits of massage?
- Fosters peace of mind and a feeling of well being
- Promotes a relaxed state of mental alertness
- Helps relieve mental stress
- Enhances capacity for calm thinking
- Satisfies need for caring nurturing touch
- Reduces level of anxiety
Massage therapy increases blood supply, oxygen, and nutrition to muscles to recover more quickly from exertion and fatigue (especially useful after a strenuous workout), and helps to relieve the pain and discomfort associated with muscle tension, fractures, sprains, sciatica, and stiff joints.
Massage therapy aids in the relief of muscle spasms and cramping and helps in the prevention of muscular atrophy. It promotes a greater range of motion in joints and keeps ligaments and tendons flexible. It reduces stress, anxiety, and even depression. A massage helps reduce not only physical, but mental stress; it is often recommended as part of a regular program for stress management.
When is massage therapy not recommended?
- Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
- Certain cancer or bone ailments
- Infectious skin disease or infected tissue
- Fever or contagious disease, such as flu or cold
- Pregnancy (consult your physician)
What should be expected at your first appointment?
- The therapist will first talk with you about your general health and reasons for your massage.
- The massage will take place in a private, peaceful, and darkened room, with music playing in the background.
- You can undress to your comfort zone and the therapist will use a drape, uncovering only the area to be massaged. You will be asked to lie on a very comfortable massage table.
- A non-scented, highly absorbent lotion will be used. You can talk with the therapist or close your eyes and relax in silence; this time is yours to choose the best way for you to unwind.
- At the end of the session, the therapist will leave so you are able to dress. Do this at a relaxing pace.
Massage therapists are highly aware that you may feel nervous and shy at first, and take steps to make you feel comfortable and keep you informed during your session.
What are your responsibilities when getting a massage?
- Be honest and accurate with your health history.
- Report discomfort of any kind immediately to the therapist…e.g. music too loud, room is cold, feeling discomfort in muscle.
- Being on time for appointment, and canceling appointment in timely manner if not able to attend. (Call the Health Center Staff 216.397.4349.)