Getting massaged and pampered at a spa can soothe and relax your body, mind, and soul. But therapeutic massage is more than just a break from your hectic life; it’s actually a clinical treatment that addresses several medical issues.
At Peninsula RSI Chiropractic Wellness Center in Redwood City, California, Dr. Dana Robinson uses massage therapy to treat her patients who suffer from fibromyalgia, arthritis, sports injuries, back and neck pain, headaches, and repetitive stress injuries. The reason massage therapy is so effective is that it triggers your body to heal itself. Here’s more about what massage therapy can do.
If you suffer from chronic pain, massage therapy can offer significant relief by relaxing tight muscles, releasing tension in joints and tendons, alleviating anxiety and stress (which exacerbate pain), and even by altering the way your nerves send pain messages to your brain.
Lower blood pressure
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, can lead to heart disease and heart attack. Poor diet, a sedentary lifestyle, being overweight, age, genetics, certain medical conditions, and stress and anxiety can all lead to high blood pressure. Massage therapy has been shown to significantly reduce diastolic and systolic blood pressure in hypertensive patients.
Optimization of the lymphatic system
Your lymph system removes toxins and waste from your tissues. When your lymph nodes become infected or are compromised, these waste byproducts can build up and cause inflammation and pain.
Massage therapy releases your tight muscles so they can facilitate proper lymphatic drainage. If you have fibromyalgia, lymphedema, arthritis, insomnia, or other conditions linked to a sluggish lymphatic system, massage therapy may help.
You need about 6-7 hours of sleep to help you ward off certain serious health conditions, but there are many obstacles standing between you and a full night of shut-eye. Massage therapy reduces stress, inflammation, and pain, removing some of those obstacles so you can get quality rest.
Massage therapy may be able to help you fight off disease and infection. When you undergo a therapeutic massage, it stimulates your body to increase its production of T cells and B cells, the key players in immunity. Here’s how it works: T cells make a hormone that allows B cells to turn into antibodies; T cells also produce specialized cytotoxic T cells, which destroy antigens on contact.
Improves circulation and lowers heart rate
By relaxing muscles and releasing tension, your vascular system works more efficiently and your heart doesn’t have to work as hard to pump blood through your body. Lowering your heart rate preserves the heart muscle and helps you avoid heart-related medical concerns.
Whether you suffer from tension headaches or migraines, massage therapy can relieve them. Tension headaches, in particular, are responsive to the relaxing properties of massage, as it releases tight muscles that result from tech neck (constantly bending to look at electronic devices), stress, sitting for long periods of time, and poor posture — all tension headache inducers. But studies show that some migraine sufferers also find relief from massage therapy, reporting fewer headaches, less pain, and better sleep.
When your muscles are tight, you tend to lose the ability to reach, bend, stretch, and otherwise go about your daily routine. This, in turn, limits your activity and exacerbates your inactivity. Massage therapy has been shown to increase range of motion by increasing tissue recovery, dilating your arteries, reducing fatigue, and decreasing pain.
What kind of massage therapy do I need?
Dr. Robinson evaluates your symptoms and discusses your health history and pain levels before recommending massage therapy. If she determines you may benefit from it, there are three main types that specifically target your symptoms: Swedish massage, deep tissue massage, and sports massage. Each type focuses on a different issue and brings about different results.
If you’re suffering from pain, headaches, insomnia, stiffness, weak immunity, or arthritis, call us or request an appointment online today to get started on the most relaxing medical treatment you’ll ever experience.