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What is Massage Therapy?

Massage is one of the oldest healing arts. Its application dates back over 3,000 years from cultures world-wide. Even Hippocrates wrote papers recommending the use of rubbing and friction for joint and circulatory problems. Today, massage therapy is utilized as part of physical rehabilitation programs, as well as for treatment of many chronic conditions. As many millions of people will attest, massage helps relieve the stress and tension of everyday living that can lead to disease and illness.

How Does Massage Therapy Work?

MT improves circulation by bringing oxygen and other nutrients to body tissues. It relieves muscle tension and pain, increases flexibility and mobility, and helps clear lactic acid and other waste, which reduces pain and stiffness in muscles and joints.

Why Do People Get Massage Therapy?

People get MT for relaxation or for a variety of health conditions such as: back pain, inflammatory conditions such as arthritis and tendinitis, stress relief and stress-related conditions, headaches/ migraines, muscle issues such as spasms, strains and sprains, repetitive strain injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome, circulatory and respiratory problems, and post-injury/surgical rehabilitation. MT relieves stress. It is thought to help the body's stress response by lowering levels of hormones such as cortisol. Massage therapy also appears to enhance immune function.

What To Expect:

A typical massage therapy session is between 30 and 90 minutes. Your massage will begin with a brief consultation and review of symptoms, medical history, and lifestyle. You will be asked to undress in private (underwear is kept on) and lie face down under a sheet on a padded massage table. When you are ready the massage therapist re-enters the room to begin your massage session. Let the massage therapist know if you are not comfortable or are too warm or cold. The massage therapist uses a light oil or lotion on the skin and begins the massage. A full body massage usually begins on the back and then moves down to the legs. You will then be asked to turn over so you are face up. The massage continues on your arms, legs, neck, and abdomen. You are underneath the sheet at all times, and in North America, only the part of the body being treated at any one time is uncovered. After the massage, the massage therapist leaves the room so you can get changed. Take your time getting up. If you sit or stand too quickly you may feel lightheaded or dizzy.

Will Massage Therapy Hurt?

Massage therapy shouldn't hurt. Occasionally there is mild aching when the massage therapist applies pressure over "knots" and other areas of muscle tension. If the pressure is too strong for you, let the massage therapist know.

How Will I Feel After a Massage?

Most people feel calm and relaxed after a treatment. Occasionally, people experience mild temporary aching for a day.

Precautions:Massage therapy is not recommended for certain people:

  • People with infectious skin disease, rash, or open wounds
  • Immediately after surgery
  • Immediately after chemotherapy or radiation, unless recommended by your doctor
  • People prone to blood clots. There is a risk of blood clots being dislodged. If you have heart disease, check with your doctor before having a massage
  • Pregnant women should check with their doctor first if they are considering getting a massage. Massage in pregnant women should be done by massage therapists who are certified in pregnancy massage.

Massage is not done directly over bruises, inflamed skin, unhealed wounds, tumors, abdominal hernia, or areas of recent fractures.

Additional Massage Tips:

  • Don't eat a heavy meal before the massage.
  • If it's your first time here, arrive at least 10 minutes early to complete the necessary forms. Otherwise, arrive 5 minutes early so you can have a few minutes to rest and relax before starting the massage.

Types of Massage Therapy offered:

Swedish Massage Therapy

This is the most common type of massage therapy in the United States. Massage therapists use long smooth strokes, kneading, and circular movements on superficial layers of muscle using massage lotion or oil. Swedish massage therapy is very gentle and relaxing. If you've never had massage before, this is a good one to try first.

Oncology Massage

An oncology massage is a client-specific, customized massage session designed to meet the unique and changing needs of someone in treatment for cancer or with a history of cancer treatment. A safe massage plan generally revolves around the side effects (both short- and long-term) of chemotherapy, radiation and surgery.

Deep Tissue Massage

Deep tissue massage targets the deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue. The massage therapist uses slower strokes or friction techniques across the grain of the muscle. Deep tissue massage is used for chronically tight or painful muscles, repetitive strain, postural problems, or recovery from injury. People often feel sore for one to two days after deep tissue massage.

Pre-natal Massage

Also called pregnancy massage, pre-natal massage is becoming increasingly popular with expectant mothers. Massage therapists who are certified in pregnancy massage know the proper way to position and support the woman's body during the massage session, and how to modify techniques based on individual needs and where you are in your pregnancy. Pregnancy massage is used to reduce stress, decrease swelling, relieve aches and pains, and reduce anxiety and depression.

Trigger Point Massage Therapy

A trigger point is a tight area within muscle tissue that causes pain in other parts of the body. Trigger point massage therapy alleviates the source of the pain through cycles of isolated pressure and release. During a typical session, the recipient actively participates through deep breathing as well as identifying the exact location and intensity of the discomfort. The results and benefits of trigger point massage are releasing constricted areas in the muscles thus alleviating pain. You can experience a significant decrease in pain after just one treatment. Receiving massage with trigger point therapy on a regular basis can help naturally manage pain and stress from chronic injuries. 

Aromatherapy Massage Therapy

Aromatherapy massage is massage therapy enhanced with essential oils (highly concentrated plant oils) added to the massage oil or lotion. We use only the highest quality Young Living Oils in our sessions. Essential oils are targeted to positively effecting mood, stress, hormones and physical ailments. 

Hot Stone Massage

This style of massage therapy utilizes traditional Swedish massage techniques with the addition of heated, smooth stones that are placed on specific points on the body to warm and loosen tight muscles and balance energy centers in the body. The therapist also uses stones with massage strokes and applies gentle pressure with them. The combination is both comforting and extremely therapeutic. Hot stone massage is good for people who have muscle tension but prefer a lighter massage technique.

Raindrop Massage Therapy

Raindrop Massage Therapy is a specialized form of massage that utilizes high quality Grade A essential oils that are dropped along the spine, similar to raindrops. The combination of oils and massage techniques promotes not only relaxation, but also overall health and wellness. These oils are reported to decrease back pain and boost the immune system. 'To experience is worth a thousand words'.

Sports Therapy & Youth Sports Massage

Sports massage therapy is geared toward all athletes, from professional competitors to weekend runners, and includes youth sports. The particulars of the sports massage technique are specific to the athlete's sport of choice. Focusing on areas of the body that are overused and stressed from repetitive and often aggressive movements. Often utilized prior to event for peak performance, and post-event for recovery. We also offer a Youth Sports Massage for our younger sports competitors!

All massage therapies at Good Life Acupuncture & Holistic Therapies are customized to an individual's needs. 

Please inform your practitioner if you have any specific health concerns or goals.

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