Massage therapy is the overarching practice of applying several hands-on therapeutic methods. Highly trained massage therapists, chiropractors, and other healthcare professionals engage a client's body tissue and bones using various levels pressure and manual manipulation. Different massage modalities can be used in tandem, or a client and therapist can select one as the primary treatment approach. While the goals that drive each session can vary based on each client's needs, massage therapy is a popular way to ensure proper spinal alignment, promote a healthy central nervous system, stimulate circulation, rehabilitate after an injury, and contribute to overall wellbeing. Many clients report a wide range of benefits from this therapy.
1. Stress and tension relief
One of the most commonly reported positive effects of this therapeutic method is the reduction of physical tension and stress. People who receive regular treatments often notice a decrease in related symptoms. Hands-on therapy may also result in the release of oxytocin, a bonding hormone which can help improve mood.
2. Reduced chronic pain
Many people who receive massage therapy do so to reduce chronic pain. The relief many patients report is likely the combined result of better overall alignment and reduced bodily tension. Treatment can be a drug-free way for clients to manage daily pain symptoms.
3. Improved migraine or TMJ symptoms
TMJ syndrome is a condition that affects the muscles of the jaw and face. More severe cases can be debilitating and painful. Even for people who experience mild to moderate discomfort, massage therapy may be able to provide relief. Controlling the symptoms, particularly headaches and migraines, can drastically improve quality of life. Those who experience migraines that aren’t associated with TMJ syndrome may also find relief from the pain or decreased frequency through targeted ongoing sessions.
4. Joint relief
Because massage therapy focuses on alignment and supporting spinal health, it may help alleviate joint issues when received on a regular basis. While no manual therapy can reverse damage to joints, it can help with pain, alignment, and tension around the affected areas.
5. Better sleep
Many massage therapists report that their clients experience improved sleep over time. Those with chronic insomnia may find this therapy particularly beneficial. Between the pain reduction and decrease in stress and tension, massage therapy can promote relaxation and allow the body to adjust to healthier sleep patterns.