Massage Therapy: Benefits and Important Facts

LEARN THE POWER OF MASSAGE THERAPY AND ITS BENEFITS

When people hear the word “massage” the first thing they think of is “relaxation”. Am I right? Read this post through and you will find out all of the different and amazing benefits of massage therapy – and things you have to know before scheduling one!

Ahhhh… Massages! My wheelhouse! I love to receive messages but I like to give massages even more because when we know the biology, physiology and kinesiology “behind the scenes”, we end up following in love with the “art” of how our bodies respond to massages and how beneficial they can be when done correctly. I can’t even believe that in the U.S. alone, I have been a Medical Massage Practitioner for more than a decade already!

There are different types of massages for different types of ailments and problems – or no ailments and problems at all. My passion, when it comes to massage therapy, has to do with PREVENTION, of course, like everything else that I do. Disease, sickness and injury prevention are what I focus on even when I am giving massages. But of course, I give stress-relieving massages as well, whenever needed.

The majority of my clients tell me that the way I help them let go of their problems and release stress is by making them realize their lives weren’t that bad until they hopped on my table – because they have to “suffer” through the 60 or 90 min massage sessions that I give (medical and deep tissue). Lol.  Yes, those can be painful – but only momentarily. 🙂

Bellow are the main benefits of Massage Therapy that you should know:

  1. Relieves stress and aids relaxation (Don’t take stress lightly. Read about How Stress Can Make You Sick)
  2. Relieves muscle tension and stiffness
  3. Alleviates discomfort during pregnancy
  4. Fosters faster healing of strained muscles and sprained ligaments
  5. Reduces pain and swelling
  6. Reduces formation of excessive scar tissue
  7. Reduces muscle spasms
  8. Provides greater flexibility and range of motion
  9. Enhances athletic performance
  10. Treats injuries caused during sports and/or workouts
  11. Relieves headaches and migraines
  12. Promotes deeper and easier breathing
  13. Reduces blood pressure
  14. Improves circulation of blood and movement of lymph fluids
  15. Strengthens the immune system
  16. Relieves tension-related headaches and effects of eye strain
  17. Enhances the health and nourishment of skin
  18. Improves posture
  19. Treats musculoskeletal problems
  20. Rehabilitation postoperative
  21. Rehabilitation post injury
  22. Reduces anxiety

Do you see how all of those things are so beneficial for the body, mind, and spirit? That’s why massage therapy is a type of alternative medicine. Before Western Medicine, doctors, and pills, all there was to help cure the body was Alternative Medicine: the use of herbs, oils, meditation, massages, Ayurveda, QiGong, and so many other forms of natural healing.

In the ancient healing sanctuaries dedicated to the healing god and thus known as Asklipieia, patients seeking divine cure would be bathed and aromatized (a purgatory ritual to ensure good health and ethical purity). They would then sleep in the sanctuary (incubation), experiencing a divinely-inspired dream, where Asklepios would appear and offer advice. In the morning this would be interpreted by the sanctuary’s priests and the illness would be physically treated.

Massage has been used for over 5,000 years. Now think about it: do you think it would have lasted this long if it weren’t so special, especially in today’s date and age?

When you use your instincts, you use massage techniques without even knowing it.

Let me show you: What is the first thing that you do after hitting a hammer over your thumb? You hold your thumb with your other hand for a while, while it is throbbing, in excruciating pain. Without knowing it, you are using the “compression” technique in massage, that is used to expel blood from a specific body part, getting rid of inflammation and, subsequently, pain.

Isn’t it amazing what our bodies can do when we learn to trust its abilities to heal themselves? I think so!

Things you NEED to know about Massage Therapy

  • Touch stimulates the release of endorphins (the body’s natural painkiller) which is why a hug from a loved one can literally make you feel better.
  • About 98% of motor vehicle injuries are covered by your car insurance when you are not at fault and seek treatment with a Medical Massage Practitioner. It varies from State to State, but the average that your car insurance will give you monetarily for alternative medicine treatments is around $3,500. In some cases, they may give someone $10,000 worth of massages! (read more here). My advice to you is: even when it is not your fault and you feel well after a motor vehicle accident, OPEN A CLAIM AND ASK YOUR INSURANCE FOR MASSAGE MONEY! Sometimes the adrenaline released during the accident doesn’t allow us to feel pain for about a week, and we only start feeling pain associated with the accident when it’s too late to get that much-needed help!
  • When searching for a massage therapist, make sure he/she is Licensed by the State that he/she is giving massages in. In California, for example, people don’t even need to have a license to practice massage (which blows my mind, really – hopefully, the laws have changed by now!). But even if you live in California and you would like to look for a good therapist, you can go to the American Massage Therapy Association website and search for the type of massage that you need, in your State. All therapists on the AMTA website are Licensed and have met the standards of education, training, and experience by the National Certification Board to be NCTM or NCTMB (Nationally Certified in Therapeutic Massage – and Bodywork).
  • NEVER feel guilty about getting massages. To prevent illnesses and diseases, everyone should be getting at least 1 massage/month. That is only 12 hours a year, people!!  Look at massage as an investment towards your health, and not as a way to feel selfish!

During a session of Cupping Massage

After a session of Cupping Massage

If you’d like to know more about Therapeutic Massages and the different massage techniques, please let me know in the comments; I would love to hear from you! Also, let me know how you think massages could help YOU!

I hope that all of you have a very happy and healthy day!

As always, choose to be healthy!

Gabi Brandao
Disease Prevention Advocate, Blogger, Author, Speaker, Certified Holistic Health and Wellness Coach by the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, Board Certified by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners, and Licensed Medical Massage Practitioner by the Virginia Board of Nursing

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