Pain can affect the quality of life and hence it is important to know the reason behind it and simultaneously look for a treatment. Various effective pain relief medications are available in the market today.
But consuming them regularly may lead to serious side effects on our health. Massage therapy is an efficient and safe way of countering pain. This type of therapy is effective for lower back pain relief, neck pain, joint stiffness etc.
Back massages were only considered as an indulgence for pain relief till a few years back. But today we can understand the therapeutic benefits from various studies and research on different methods and effects of massage. A session of massage therapy can help to relax stiffness in joints and muscles. Along with various other health benefits, it can also relieve anxiety and stress. Massage therapy helps shut the pain gates and stimulates the competing nerve fibers in our body. People suffering from various chronic pains are actively turning towards massage therapy for pain relief.
Massage therapy and pain relief
Various researches have indicated that massage therapies can reduce and help manage pain in various parts of our body. Massage therapy can help with both immediate pain relief as well as long-term pain relief. A study published by Complementary Therapies in Clinical practice suggested that hand pain reduces and overall grip enhances in subjects after the sessions. They followed a 4-week massage schedule with follow up massage sessions at home. After the massage sessions, patients reported lower levels of stress and anxiety and elevated mood.
Chronic neck pains, postoperative pain, headaches, neck, leg and back pain in case of pregnant women etc, show a considerable reaction to regular massage therapies. The therapy sessions are generally scheduled for 2 to three sessions a week. Although the frequency of sessions can vary based on the need, the above frequency was effective during this study.
A study at Flagstaff medical center in Arizona involved patients undergoing massage therapies for pain relief. The study concluded that massage therapy, when embedded in acute care settings, creates a positive ground for patients to heal. It also helps relieve the pain of physical as well as psychological conditions. The subjects had better sleep patterns, faster recovery, and significantly low pain levels than before.
The type and intensity of the problem to treat determine the varying degree of pressure used during the massage therapies. For example, certain people require deep tissue massage which is a little painful by itself. Varying levels of pressure recommendations are based on a patient’s willingness. Lighter massages tend to have a more relaxing effect and are more beneficial. In fact, certain conditions such as chronic fatigue syndrome require only such light and soft touch massage.
In the case of chronic pain, massage therapy is extremely beneficial. It helps in the release of serotonin which is our body’s natural mechanism to protect us against pain. Common syndromes such as arthritis and fibromyalgia can be treated with massage therapies which show significant positive results. Apart from reducing pain in the sites, massage therapy enhances the quality of sleep and elevates mood. These two by-products are a positive influence for treating these conditions.
Massage therapy can
- Reduce the inflammation. This occurs around joints causing discomfort during motion. It can also help reduce swelling around the nerves.
- It improves the blood circulation in the sites to enable a faster healing process. Furthermore, it lubricates the joints and improves delivery of necessary nutrients and oxygens required by the tissues.
- It also develops the levels of circulating hormones in our body and helps us develop more tolerance to pain.
Other Benefits of massage therapy
- It helps you relax: Stress has become an integral part of our everyday lives. Some hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline get released when stressed. This makes the heart beat faster and the blood pressure to rise. This will eventually cause the muscles to feel stiff and tight. A calm massage helps relax the muscles and enhance the concentration and build back your strength. Massages are quite effective for acute stressful situations. But prolonged conditions will need more therapy or treatment. Massage therapy, when combined with these treatments, can produce great results.
- It can help you have better sleep: Massage therapies are capable of improving sleep and decreasing fatigue. Massages with essential oils can relax your muscles and fight insomnia. Alternatively having an essential oil diffuser in your bedroom can further enhance your relaxation.
Points to keep in mind:
- Intensity and frequency of massage vary for different conditions and patients. Certain people have said to benefit from even 1 or 2, 30- minute session a week. Few others required longer sessions and higher frequency for pain relief.
- Vitamin D helps in improving your body’s natural mechanism for pain relief. Sun exposure, cheese, egg yolk, fatty fish are some natural sources of vitamin D for better results.
- Remember the massage on inflamed skin or during infections could spread the infection. Hence diagnosing the situation through a professional before choosing a massage therapy.
Massage therapy may not be a hundred percent effective solution for all situations. If regular sessions do not help with the problem you must consult your doctor. They can suggest alternatives or a combination of therapies for better results.
Author: Jessica Smith is an avid reader who enjoys getting lost in the world of books. Holding on to her passion for fitness, She Believes that a healthy diet is a key to healthy living. Visit Hxbenefit for more healthy diet related information.