Massages leave you feeling relaxed, with a clear mind, and free of stress. While you would expect a massage to “feel” good, massage therapy is much more than a “feeling.” It has been successful in treating stress, anxiety, and pain; and now, more than ever, its healing effects are studied and employed throughout the medical, mental health, and sports disciplines.
What is massage therapy?
Webster defines massage as “a soothing treatment of the body done by rubbing, kneading, or tapping by the hand or an instrument.” Massage techniques may also be applied by elbows, knees, forearms, or feet with the main purpose of relieving pain or stress.
People of any age suffering from both acute and chronic conditions may benefit from massage therapy. It is used in the treatment of illness, injury, and disability and has proven beneficial in such conditions as:
- Mental health: anxiety, depression, stress, and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Back, leg, and neck pain; muscle tension and spasms; and strains and sprains
- Sports injuries
- Inflammatory conditions such as: arthritis, bursitis, and fibromyalgia
- Cardiovascular, oncology, stroke, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson’s disease
- Breathing conditions such as asthma and emphysema
- Headaches, insomnia, and gastrointestinal disorders
- Pregnancy and labor support
When performed by a trained massage therapist, massage therapy can result in:
- Increased relaxation
- Reduced stress
- Increased energy levels
- Lower blood pressure
- Reduced or eliminated pain
- Improved circulation
- Improved joint mobility
- Reduced muscular tension
- Better posture
- Stronger immune system
How does massage therapy work?
Various theories exist about how massage therapy affects the body. One theory—the “gate control theory”- suggests that the stimulation provided by massage helps to block pain signals sent to the brain. Other theories support that certain chemicals in the body, like serotonin or endorphins, are released as a result of massage stimulation; or that massage causes mechanical changes in the body that are beneficial. Since the exact science behind why and how massage therapy works is still unclear, more studies are needed to test the different theories.
Are there different types of massage therapy?
There are several different types of massage therapy such as: Swedish, sports, deep tissue, and chair massage, as well as hand and foot massage known as reflexology. Swedish massage involves the therapist using long strokes in combination with kneading, deep circular movements, tapping, and vibration. Sports massage therapists use Swedish massage techniques specifically adapted to the needs of the athlete. Deep tissue and trigger point massage focus on myofascial trigger points—painful muscle “knots” that when pressed can cause symptom relief in other areas of the body.
Where can I find massage therapy in York, PA?
Harmonic Balance Chiropractic in York, PA, offers massage therapy through Hands On Relief Massage. If you’re ready to experience relief from stress, pain, or a serious medical condition, contact us today to learn more about our massage therapist and start “feeling” better now!
Do you have questions about the benefits of Massage Therapy? Contact us and we can help!