The Many Benefits of Massage

The obvious benefits of massage are relaxation and to provide relief for sore muscles.   A massage can be for relaxation or therapeutic or both.  The difference between a relaxation and therapeutic massage is the type of stroke and pressure applied.  A relaxation massage often means using a lighter pressure and long broad strokes.  A therapeutic massage usually incorporates a deeper pressure and the use of several techniques in a specific problem area.  Besides providing relief for sore muscles and promoting relaxation, massage also:

  • Moves lymph
  • Reduces stress
  • Limits scar formation
  • Increases joint mobility
  • Can stimulate the body systems to perform at peak (as in pre-game sports massage)
  • Stimulates the release of serotonin which promotes a feeling of ‘well-being’ and boosts the immune system
  • Slows the heart rate
  • Relaxes muscles, relieves muscle spasm
  • Flushes muscles of built up waste products
  • Relieves aches and pains
  • Increases range of motion
  • Increases circulation which causes an increase of nutrient supply to cells

A few of the common ailments that respond to massage:

  • Tendonitis and Bursitis
  • Whiplash
  • Sciatica
  • Edema
  • Muscle strains, sprains and spasm
  • Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMJD)
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Headaches
  • Neck pain
  • Low back aches, strains and pain
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Stress

Massage is beneficial for people of any age and encouraged not only as relief for a specific problem but also as a preventative maintenance.  Visiting your massage therapist once a month is a healthy maintenance schedule that will enhance your quality of life.

Alberta Health Care does not cover the cost of massage therapy.  As massage is gaining popularity, many health plans include massage therapy (check with your employer for requirements and benefit details).  Your massage therapist will provide you with a receipt each visit, if your employer does not include this benefit, then massage therapy treatments can be used as a medical expense on your income tax.