Should you try getting a massage?
So often we think getting a massage as an extravagance or something we treat ourselves to on special occasions. But massage therapy can be more than an indulgence. Whether you are recovering from an injury, need ongoing maintenance for chronic pain or simply having a stressful month, massage therapy can help improve your overall wellness.
“Massage therapy decreases cortisol levels, and elicits the relaxation response,” says Tammy Collar, a licensed massage therapist at the Aurora Medical Center in Oshkosh, Wis. “It also increases blood and lymph circulation as well as relaxation and normalization of the soft tissue releasing nerves and deeper connective tissues.”
All sorts of people now look to massage therapy to help what ails them.
“Many patients try therapy as a way to overcome an injury or recover from surgery. Patients also see us as part of their personal wellness regimen to keep stress and soreness, pain and muscle tension under control,” Collar says. “And, we have a great deal of regular patients that see us for chronic pain and related conditions including fibromyalgia and migraines.”
Check with your doctor to see if massage therapy might be right for you. The American Massage Therapy Association gives 25 reasons why it might be a good idea, including stress relief and reducing muscle tension. Here’s the full list.
While massage therapy can help many people, there are reasons to be wary sometimes.
“Patients with uncontrolled blood pressure, thrombocytopenia or a current DVT are not good candidates for massage therapy,” Collar says. “If you are experiencing a communicable disease you should also refrain from therapy until healed.”
About the Author
Amy Eiduke, health enews contributor, is a public affairs manager at Advocate Aurora Health. She has nearly 20 years of communications, marketing and foundation experience and has worked with a variety of industries including real estate, insurance and consulting. She likes to spend her time volunteering with Special Spaces creating dream bedrooms for children with cancer.