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WHAT IS MASSAGE THERAPY?

WHAT TO EXPECT

"Massage is often an uniquely personal experience of being touched in a positive, nonsexual, nurturing way. Touch is a basic need that connects us with others, and to ourselves. Massage is a safe place to experience this positive touch and to reconnect with your body and your emotions. During every session you control the direction and pace. If you are not sure what you want, be conservative. Remember, if you are not comfortable and feeling safe then you will be missing the benefits massage offers us."

                                                                                                                                Heather Nicoll

                                                                                                                                Massage & Recovery

 

Massage therapy is the therapeutic manipulation of the body's soft tissues by a specially trained therapist. Research has shown that some of the potential benefits of this therapeutic procedure can be:

    Relaxation     Stress Management      Pain Reduction     Injury Rehabilitation      Improved Flexibility

    Energy Rejuvenation     Enhanced Body Awareness      Increased Circulation      Shift in Postural Habits

    Enhanced Self-Image          and many more.

EXAMPLES:

PHYSICAL:

Increases blood circulation and moves lymph fluids through the body.

Joint flexibility and Range of Motion are increased.

The nervous system is relaxed and stress is reduced.

Muscle spasms and tension are relieved.

Digestion can be improved by increasing the excretion of fluids and waste products.

Speeds recovery from physical exercise by flushing the muscles of lactic acid, thus reducing soreness.

The healing of pulled muscles and sprains are improved, and formation of scar tissue is reduced.

Regular treatments strengthen the immune system and helps prevent disease.

The skin, muscles, tissues, and joints are nourished, and posture is improved.

MENTAL:

A calmer mind is created when mental stress is reduced. The client becomes more aware of his/her own body, which improves the ability to monitor stress signals and respond in an appropriate manner.

The capacity for clearer thinking increases, and a relaxed state of alertness is created.

EMOTIONAL:

Creates a feeling of well being.

Anxiety is reduced, which helps in easing emotional expression.

Can help satisfy the need for a nurturing and caring touch.

Energy flow is increased at all levels.

A sense of being in harmony is created.

THE BENEFITS OF MASSAGE DURING PREGNANCY

During pregnancy, a woman's body undergoes many changes, some of them stressful and uncomfortable. Massage is a perfect way to reduce stress and promote general well-being.

Massage helps mom's body to eliminate waste products through the lymphatic and circulatory systems, which combats fatigue and helps the mother feel more energetic.

By increasing circulation, massage eases the load on mom's heart and helps to keep her blood pressure in check.

Muscular discomforts, such as cramping, tightening, stiffness, tension, and knots, can all be alleviated.

Massage helps carry away the lactic acid and other cellular waste products that build up and cause muscle fatigue.

Massage can help relieve depression or anxiety caused by hormonal changes mom is experiencing.

Massage relieves many of the normal discomforts during pregnancy, such as backaches, a stiff neck, leg cramps, headaches, edema, and sore, swollen ankles and feet.

Massage increases local and general blood circulation, which brings more oxygen and nutrients to the cells of both the mother and fetus. This means greater vitality and less fatigue for mom and better nourishment for her baby. Massage stimulates glandular secretions, which helps stabilize hormone levels.

It relaxes tense muscles and tones loose muscles, and can also increase muscular flexibility. Flexibility will be most helpful during the last trimester and during the birth itself

Massage helps to soothe and relax nervous tension, which helps the mother sleep more easily and more deeply. Incidentally, doctors all agree that a relaxed mother will have a happier, healthier pregnancy and possibly an easier childbirth experience, too.

Massage can be used during the birth to make it easier and more comfortable for mom, and after the birth as well, to help her regain her strength more quickly and ease postpartum stress.

BENEFITS OF SPORTS MASSAGE

*Massage reduces hypertonicity of the muscles, creating improved tone, flexibility and relaxation as well as promoting overall muscle balance.

*Massage enables the athlete to recover more rapidly from injury and also more completely, thus reducing the likelihood of chronic problems and further injury

*Massage reduces muscle soreness, enabling the athlete to train and perform more consistently at a higher level.

*Massage directly benefits the muscular, skeletal, nervous, circulatory, and lymphathic systems.

*Cross fiber massage effectively reduces adhesions and varying degrees of scar tissue formation in the soft tissues. This allows for a true freeing of the tissues, reestablishing full function of a muscle in a contracting and elongation state promoting muscle balance and range of motion.

*Massage reduces pain and promotes relaxation, creating a positive effect physically and mentally.

*Massage reduces edema and speeds circulation.

*Massage reduces cramping and spasm as well as voluntary and involuntary splinting.

*Massage helps enhance body awareness thus assisting the athlete in balanced body awareness and injury prevention.

*Ice massage reduces inflammation and also the extent of cellular and tissue damage caused by traumatic injury and the accompanying hypoxia and edema.

*It also reduces pain.

Once you have scheduled your appointment, here is what you can expect before, during and after massage. When you arrive, your therapist will ask you to fill out a client history form. This will be used to gather the necessary background information for any medical or physical conditions that you are aware of with your body. This is in the best interest of you and your therapist.

After you know what you would like to achieve, and what work will take place, the therapist will explain what draping (covering) will be used. You will normally be covered at all times with the exception of the area being worked on. If you are unsure of anything, please ask! Massage therapists understand we each have our own comfort levels. Since most massage techniques involve lubricating the skin, it is common to be completely undressed, (although you will be draped.) This isn't a requirement by any means, and the therapist will respect your boundries. With this explained, the therapist will leave the room while you undress to your comfort level. You should always inform the therapist what feels good (and safe) and what does not.

When the massage is completed, you may take a while to just lay there and let it all soak in. This is time for yourself enjoy it!

Note your feelings after you leave. You may feel energetic, have greater flexibility, are relaxed, or simply can't stop smiling! Occasionally, however, you might feel listless, sore, or even sad. This is not uncommon either. If this happens, affirm your feelings. Inform your therapist of these feelings, and the two of you can consider taking a different approach in the next massage.


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