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Saturday, March 23, 2013

HEALING BENEFITS OF MASSAGE



     Many have massages because a massage feels good and induces the participant into a soothing state of relaxation.  These are two very good reasons to have a massage.  One other very good reason to have a massage is that massage can heal injured or damaged muscles and release incorrect muscle holding patterns.  In essence, massage can be a wonderful tool to stop pain and help the body heal.

     Many clients come to me with various injuries and over time, those injuries show marked improvements.  One common injury or issue is a frozen shoulder.  Shoulder pain and injury can be debilitating and cause those suffering with decreased range of motion so intense that it effects even small, daily routine movements such as showering and brushing one’s hair.  Massage can relieve shoulder holding patterns and give clients huge relief in as few as three to four sessions.

     Your shoulder holds a ball and socket joint in which three bones come into play – the large bone in the upper arm or humerus, the shoulder blade or scapula and the clavicle or collarbone.  The top of the humerus fits into a socket (called a ball and socket joint) in the shoulder blade.  These bones and the joint are surrounded by connective tissue.  Synovial fluid moistens the shoulder joint capsule and helps move the joint in many planes.  The connective tissue or muscle around this area is often referred to as the rotator cuff area.  Four major muscles make up the rotator cuff and are called the SITS group of muscles, short for Supraspinatus, Infraspinatus, Teres Minor, and Subscapularis. 

     During the “freezing” time, the shoulder loses range of motion and is in constant pain.  This stage can last a few weeks to several months.  When the shoulder becomes completely frozen, the pain sometimes subsides but the range of motion is drastically limited.  This stage can last several months as well.  To “thaw” the shoulder, many things can be done and having regular massage to target this area is one very important key to relaxing the shoulder and removing “adhesions” or scarred muscle tissue that can form and impede range of motion. 

     A well-trained massage therapist can have a client perform or help the client perform some simple movements to gauge range of motion and locate the area of the shoulder that is experiencing the most limited range of motion.  Over time, the therapist will work to broaden the muscles in the shoulder and passively stretch muscles to help the client increase range of motion.  There are simple exercises the client may also try at home to help quicken the recovery time.  Many clients who engage in massage therapy on a weekly basis with a knowledgeable therapist are able to regain full range of motion in a few months.  For severe cases, the massage therapist may also recommend physical therapy or chiropractic care to help expedite recovery.

     Another common muscle issue is neck inflammation or neck pain.  Many people suffer unnecessarily from neck pain when it could be resolved by a competent massage therapist. A person’s spine consists of 24 vertebrae.  Of these vertebrae, seven are located in the neck area and are called cervical vertebrae.  The cervical vertebrae are the most mobile vertebrae in the body and because of this, are often susceptible to injury.  This area of the spine and head region is also surrounded by many, many muscles.  Many injuries can happen in this area and if not addressed can cause great pain.

     A highly-skilled massage therapist can quickly locate the area of pain in a client’s neck by performing some passive movements and asking questions of the client.  Then, the therapist will begin slowly assessing the neck area by feeling for muscle bunches or adhesions and working to broaden or release areas of tense muscles.  Over time, muscles will begin to relax and adhesions will break up which will reduce pain.  There are also simple exercises clients can perform to stretch neck muscles and promote healing.

     There are many injuries that can be helped successfully by massage therapy.  Shoulder and neck injuries are just two types of injuries that can be helped by massage therapy.  Others are foot, ankle and leg conditions, knee and thigh conditions, hip and pelvic conditions, lumbar and thoracic conditions, and elbow, forearm, wrist and hand conditions.

     Generally, most muscle and joint issues can be positively helped by massage therapy.  Before committing to a massage therapy schedule, ask your therapist these questions:


  1. Have you been trained in therapeutic and rehabilitative massage?
  2. How will you assess my injury? (The therapist should be able to do this without causing the client great pain.)
  3. How will we know that I am making progress?
  4. How often do I need to come for therapy?
  5. Are there exercises that I can do to help my body heal more quickly?

Massage can positively help people manage pain and injury.  Massage is proven to help reduce stress and promote healing.  What are you waiting for?  Book an appointment today!



The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely our own and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Always consult your doctor before making any dietary or exercise changes. We are not medical professionals.


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