Depression & Stress – Massage therapy stimulates the release of serotonin, dopamine and nor epinephrine, the body’s natural chemicals that supress depression, which are depleted when a person is under severe stress or in grief. Massage provides relaxation, which immediately lowers the production of the stress hormone, cortisol. Research has shown persons with depression, bi-polar disorder, schizophrenia and post-traumatic stress disorder, respond very well to the benefits of massage.
Geriatric Massage – Geriatric massage is a form of massage designed to meet the specific needs of the elderly population. It involves the use of hands to manipulate the soft tissues of the body to improve blood circulation, relieve pain and increase range of motion. Active or passive movement of the joints may also be part of geriatric massage.
Massage for the Terminally Ill – Massage for the terminally ill is a form of bodywork that is geared toward helping patients with terminal illnesses. Massage for the terminally ill produces effective results including reduction of anxiety, insomnia, musculoskeletal pain, spasms and stiffness. Also helpful in reducing feelings related to isolation and can enhance overall self-esteem. Massage for the terminally ill is an overall, beneficial therapy in treating symptoms related to terminal illness.
Oncology & Cancer Patients – Oncology massage refers to massage tailored to the needs of individuals with cancer. This specialized practice requires therapists to be fully educated in, and pay close attention to, the physical, emotional and psychological needs of clients in all stages of cancer: diagnosis, treatment, recovery, survivor or terminal. Training in oncology massage covers appropriate bodywork modalities for cancer clients, including precautions for radiation, chemotherapy, surgery and covers physiology and pathology.
Lymphatic Drainage for Breast Cancer – Lymphatic Drainage Massage is a gentle manual treatment which improves the activity of the lymph vessels in the breasts. This re-routes the lymph flow around the blocked areas (caused by damage or removal of the lymph nodes) into more centrally located lymph vessels. In addition to removing stagnant lymph from the breasts and replacing it with revitalized and fresh lymph fluid, this form of massage can increase range of motion by reducing scar tissue. Lymph Drainage can increase the flow of lymph by as much as 20 times.
Diabetic Massage – Massage can increase circulation, thereby encouraging the efficient transport of oxygen and nutrients throughout the body, improved circulation, which in turn, improves the cell’s insulin uptake. Massage works directly with muscles and connective tissues, helping to facilitate greater mobility in the body. This is especially important for the diabetic because elevated blood sugars cause a thickening of connective tissue, which affects mobility and elasticity of the myofascial system. This can be noted in general levels of stiffness in muscles, tendons and ligaments as well as decreased range of motion in the joints. Stress hormones also contribute to chemical changes in the connective tissue, causing a stickiness between the layers of fascia. Massage therapy can significantly counter this effect. Range of motion, stretching and regular exercise are also important to help encourage flexibility and health of the myofascial system.
Massage for the Obese – Obese people are strong and have normal flexibility, but may have trouble reaching their full range of motion unassisted. Large people benefit from mobility work for their joints and muscles. Many obese people suffer from sleep apnea, asthma and other breathing problems. Massage for obese people helps by reducing chronic pain, inflammation and swelling. It also improves mobility and circulation, reduces physical and emotional stress and improves sleep.
Amputee Massage – In addition to the regular benefits of massage therapy (relaxation, decreased anxiety and stress, increased circulation, decreased muscle stiffness) an amputee has specific needs to be addressed. Every amputee is unique in his or her history and particular symptoms, depending on a variety of factors. Age, health status, cause of amputation and current stage of rehabilitation plays a role in each patient. Massage therapy can help with the effects of phantom pain, residual limb pain, hypersensitivity, scar tissue and swelling.
Cerebral Palsy – Massage therapy can bring relaxation and structural improvement to those suffering from this neurological disorder. In addition to the physical benefits of increasing muscle length and reducing muscle tension, massage can also help in a neurological capacity by triggering a response from the brain through nerve pathways.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) – For COPD patients, a massage can strengthen respiratory muscles, reduce heart rate, increase oxygen saturation in blood, decrease shortness of breath and improve pulmonary functions. Respiratory drainage is encouraged through cupping tapotement and vibration.
Stroke Patients – Stroke patients who receive regular massages experience a significantly higher quality of life and an improvement in general hygiene and mobility. Massage is also believed to reduce the need for certain medications, in particular for pain depression. In addition to general relaxation, massage can also help to increase circulation to areas in the body that have been affected by a stroke.
A soothing massage can help you unwind, but that’s not all. Explore the possible benefits of massage and what to expect.
Massage is no longer available only through luxury spas and upscale health clubs. Today, massage therapy is offered in businesses, clinics, hospitals and even airports.
If you’ve never tried massage, learn about its possible health benefits and what to expect during a massage therapy session.