Massage for Physical Pain

 

 

What does it mean to have chronic pain?

The National Institutes for Health defines chronic pain as any pain that lasts for more than 12 weeks, though it can persist much, much longer. Like acute pain, it may stem from an injury, but chronic pain continues long past the normal healing time for the initial injury.

Another cause of chronic pain may be an illness or a condition, such as fibromyalgia or endometriosis. In some people’s cases, no known cause exists.

Chronic pain sufferers may experience additional challenging health problems, including:

  • Fatigue
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Decreased appetite
  • Mood changes

Chronic pain often creates a vicious cycle, where the pain causes sleep disturbances, which result in mood swings, which creates fatigue, which makes pain harder to bear. And on and on….

Many people struggling to manage chronic pain find that holistic health remedies like massage help alleviate their symptoms. One of the benefits of Shiatsu massage therapy is that it can be effective in treating chronic pain.

What Are the Benefits of Massage?
  • Stress Relief. Deep tissue massage is a great stress reliever. …
  • Reduces Pain. …
  • Lowers Blood Pressure and Heart Rate. …
  • Breaks Up Scar Tissue & Makes Movement Easier. …
  • Reduces Arthritis Symptoms. …
  • Rehabilitates Injured Muscles. …
  • Helps With Labor and Delivery.
Do massages make you live longer?
That’s according to the Mayo Clinic, which cites the effectiveness of massage as a treatment for reducing stress, pain, and muscle tension. The reduction of stress is an essential element of longevity based on the research of Blue Zones, areas in the world whose residents have the longest life expectancies.

While massage has typically been considered alternative medicine, doctors are increasingly prescribing it as part of standard treatment for many different medical conditions.

That’s according to the Mayo Clinic, which cites the effectiveness of massage as a treatment for reducing stress, pain, and muscle tension. The reduction of stress is an essential element of longevity based on the research of Blue Zones, areas in the world whose residents have the longest life expectancies. In these regions around the world, people share nine common lifestyle habits: Physical activity, a sense of belonging, eating a mostly plant-based diet, never overeating, putting family first, enjoying a glass of wine or two per day, having a purpose in life, have faith, unwind from stress and spend time with others who practice similar habits.

“We have so much stress worked up in our bodies — you can’t stay on top of it by just getting a massage every once in a while,” said Karen Taylor, owner of Simply Massage, with locations in Vail, Avon, Breckenridge and Glenwood Springs. “Continually working on the body gives it more of a chance to stay in shape.”

Here are some of the benefits that regular massages can have on overall health, wellness, and longevity.

Focus and mental clarity

Research published in the International Journal of Neuroscience shows that massage therapy increases serotonin and dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that helps control the brain’s reward and pleasure centers, while serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps relay messages from one area of the brain to another — influencing mood, sexual desire and function, appetite, sleep, memory, and learning. Massage therapy also decreases the stress hormone cortisol.

“Massages are excellent for clearing the mind and turning off that fight or flight response,”  “It helps cleanse those emotions.”

Recent studies have shown that massage stimulates activity in the left side of the brain, which is the side that is most active when a person is pleased, happy, or excited. The right side of the brain, in contrast, is often activated when an individual is sad, stressed, or depressed. When feeling happy and motivated, individuals are more capable of producing their best work, as opposed to when they are sad and discouraged.

Tight neck and shoulder muscles often limit the circulation to the brain, which consequently does not support memory or concentration. Also, when massage relaxes tense muscles, it eases stress, which also benefits thinking and efficient work. Positive emotions typically are related to better thinking and memory, whereas negative emotions are associated with pessimistic thinking and less concentration.

Stress relief and relaxation

Massage can stimulate activity in the left side of the brain, which is associated with pleasure, happiness, and excitement. For occupational stress — the main cause of stress for most Americans — massage therapy has been proven to reduce stress and promote mental health, according to research published by the National Institutes of Health.

 

Why does massaging help with pain?
A massage aims to reduce pain by increasing healing and disturbing the pain signals sent to the brain. During a massage, the skin and fingers create friction. Friction encourages blood flow to increase. Oxygen and nutrients are carried within the blood flow.
What are the physical benefits of massage?
  • Reducing stress and increasing relaxation.
  • Reducing pain and muscle soreness and tension.
  • Improving circulation, energy, and alertness.
  • Lowering heart rate and blood pressure.
  • Improving immune function.

Should you get a massage if you are in pain?

Many people seek massage therapy for pain after an injury, but this should only be done in certain circumstances and with specific methods. Massages help with the healing process as well as relieve pain. This is especially true for acute soft tissue injuries.
How long do massage benefits last?
On average, the benefits of massage can last up to a month or as little as 1 day. On average, most people notice the benefits for about a week. This is one of the reasons it’s recommended that you get a massage on a regular basis.
What should I do after the massage?
  • Schedule smartly. …
  • Pump down the volume. …
  • Watch your diet. …
  • Stay hydrated. …
  • Dress the part. …
  • Invest in regular massage. …
  • Avoid strenuous activity. …
  • Extend your “me” time.

What you should not do after a massage?
  • Not Drinking Enough Water. After massage therapy, decreasing your water intake after the massage therapy is not ideal. …
  • Take A Shower Immediately. …
  • Taking Hot Shower. …
  • Eating A Large Meal. …
  • Drinking Coffee. …
  • Drinking Alcohol. …
  • Doing Strenuous Exercise or Activities. …
  • Stressing Yourself Out.
What is the best massage for nerve pain?
What’s the best type of massage for sciatica?
  • Deep tissue massage. Deep tissue massage is an aggressive form of massage that uses slow strokes and deep finger pressure to release tension from your muscles and connective tissues. …
  • Swedish massage. …
  • Neuromuscular massage. …
  • Myofascial release. …
  • Hot stone massage.
Should you massage nerve pain?
In cases of nerve damage, massage therapy can be useful to relieve symptoms and improve the overall health of a patient. If you are experiencing a tingling sensation, numbness, or pain in some areas of your body, massage therapy may be able to alleviate these symptoms.
Does massage help nerve regeneration?
A massage helps to reduce effects of injury by relieving compression of nerves an encouraging repair of damaged nervous tissues to increase. Relief of compressed nerves and healing of damaged nervous tissues reduces negative sensations such as pins and needles and numbness to improve sensation.
Should I shower after a massage?
Whether you receive an oil massage, aromatherapy, or reflexology, the answer is to not shower before a massage or after. Leave a few hour buffer period before doing so. When in the shower or a bath, the surface of the skin has increased blood circulation, which after a massage can lead to surface congestion.
Why you should drink water after a massage?
It’s beneficial to drink water after your massage because as the massage therapist manipulates your muscles, substances are released. Drinking water post-massage helps the body flush out any accumulated materials that were released during the massage.
How often should you get a body massage?

For more of a general tuneup, or for stress relief, every 4-6 weeks is the average time frame. Ultimately, “It depends on your needs, and that could even be one or twice per year.” Another factor to consider is how often you are using your body. I personally get 1 1/2 hrs of deep painful massage every week to keep me going.
Can massage make inflammation worse?
Massage is like exercise: It forces blood into your muscles, bringing nutrients and removing toxins. This process can temporarily increase inflammation (the healing response) to areas that the body feels need attention. This inflammation can bring discomfort.
When should you not get a massage?
  • Fever. Anytime you have a fever, whether, from a cold, the flu, or some other infection, you should not get a massage. …
  • Contagious Diseases. …
  • Blood Clots. …
  • Pregnancy. …
  • Kidney Conditions or Liver Conditions. …
  • Cancer. …
  • Inflammation. …
  • Uncontrolled Hypertension.
What are the benefits of a deep tissue massage?
  • Stress Relief. Deep tissue massage is a great stress reliever. …
  • Reduces Pain. …
  • Lowers Blood Pressure and Heart Rate. …
  • Breaks Up Scar Tissue & Makes Movement Easier. …
  • Reduces Arthritis Symptoms. …
  • Rehabilitates Injured Muscles. …
  • Helps With Labor and Delivery.
Is massage good for you every day?
You can benefit from massage sessions once every week or two to keep your muscles, joints, and tissues pliable and in good shape. If you are in extreme chronic pain or have a special issue to address, you might need to come weekly (or even twice a week) until you feel better.
Is too much massage harmful?
Well, if you’re asking yourself “is too much massage harmful,” you probably have great health insurance or use self-massage techniques and tools. And the answer is yes, it can be. Massage is more than just feeling good: it triggers chemical change, blood circulation, and movement of lymph fluid, among other things. So, know your body’s needs.
Is it better to get a massage in the morning or evening?
To get maximum benefits from your massage, schedule your massage when you are less busy. For instance, you can go for your massage in the morning before reporting to work, during your lunch break, or in the evening, whichever works for you.
What can a massage therapist tell about you?
A therapist can tell whether you stretch or exercise and what type of activities you participate in based on the length of your muscles or tensions you may have in certain areas. Whether you drink enough water. Dry skin and underlying tissue are indicators of lack of hydration.
Is a 90-minute massage too long?
If you need your full body massaged such as your back, arms, legs, neck, and feet then a 90-minute massage is highly recommended. Massage therapists can only tackle so many areas of the body in a one-hour.
Are massages necessary?
Promotes Muscle Relaxation: The purpose of massage therapy is to target the source of the body’s pain via eliminating tense muscles, increasing flexibility, and providing relaxation to the affected muscles as well as the body as a whole.
Why do they hit you after a massage?
It’s normal to feel sore after a massage. The technique carries blood and nutrients to your muscles while eliminating toxins. After stimulating muscles that you may not usually use, you might experience delayed onset muscle soreness. This is a physical response to the inflammation as your body heals.
What conditions does massage treat?
Massage can reduce pain and anxiety for people with chronic illnesses, such as cancer, and reduce the physiological burden of stress. It can help treat conditions including stress-related tension, cancer-related fatigue, sleep disorders, high blood pressure, diabetes, low back pain, and depression, just to name a few.
What are the side effects of massage?
  • Lingering Pain. Due to the pressurized techniques used in a deep tissue massage, some people have suffered from some version of pain during and/or after their therapy session. …
  • Headaches/Migraines. …
  • Fatigue or Sleepiness. …
  • Inflammation. …
  • Nausea.
What does massage do to muscles?
Massage therapy relaxes muscle tissue, which reduces painful contractions and spasms. Massage can also reduce nerve compression. To understand this, consider that when muscles are contracted, they sometimes compress the nerves around them.
Can massage replace exercise?
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – The aches and pains people suffer after working out more than usual can be relieved just as well by exercise as by massage, according to a new study.
What happens to the body after a massage?
It’s normal to feel sore after a massage. The technique carries blood and nutrients to your muscles while eliminating toxins. After stimulating muscles that you may not usually use, you might experience delayed onset muscle soreness. This is a physical response to the inflammation as your body heals.
Can massages damage nerves?
Done right, a massage can help everything from stress and migraines to serious illnesses like Parkinson’s and Sickle Cell Anemia. But bad massage can actually injure nerves and cause muscle spasms and inflammation.
Are deep tissue massages healthy?
Deep tissue massage reduces stress and tension, which impacts blood pressure. Massage has positive impacts on systolic, diastolic, and arterial blood pressure. Massage can also increase the production of serotonin, which promotes good feelings and happiness.
What happens to your body during a deep tissue massage?
It involves applying sustained pressure using slow, deep strokes to target the inner layers of your muscles and connective tissues. This helps to break up scar tissue that forms following an injury and reduce tension in muscle and tissue.
Did you know the facts about massage therapy?
Fun Facts About Massage
  • One hour of massage equates to 7-8 hours of sleep on the body.
  • There are approximately 5 million touch receptors in our skin – 3,000 in a fingertip.
  • Muscles are made up of bundles from about 5 in the eyelid to about 200 in the buttock muscles.
Why am I so tired the day after a massage?
Sleepiness: After the massage, you may feel tired or fatigued. This may be the case because of muscle relaxation or release of stress after the massage. This effect should not last longer than the day of treatment. A headache: It is not uncommon for clients to experience headaches after a deep tissue massage.
Is stretching better than a massage?
WHICH IS BETTER? Long term, Stretch & Recovery will offer more benefits than massage. Massages offer relatively temporary relief because your muscles get a temporary break-up of tension.
Should you walk after a massage?
Immediately following your treatment, it is a good idea to go for a walk, preferably without a bag or carrying anything, to help improve movement and flow in the body and keep the muscles from tightening. If walking seems like too much work post-massage, doing some gentle stretching is another good option.
Do massaging muscles make them smaller?
Many people — both athletes and health & wellness professionals – have seen massage as an integral part of the training process. Massage soothes inflammation, increases blood flow and reduces muscle tightness after a workout.
Why do muscles pop during the massage?
Muscle adhesions feel like a snap, crackle, pop when your therapist works on them. But it is the fascia or lining around your muscles that balls up from repetitive movements. The heat from friction and pressure your massage therapist applies allows the fascia to contract back into place.
Should you relax after a massage?
After a massage, you should try prolonging the feeling of calmness. Rest, read a book, Netflix and chill, do anything that relaxes you physically and mentally. It’s best to book a massage for a day when you know you’ll be home for a good 4-6 hours.
Is massage good for arthritis?
Massage therapy can help with inflammatory types of arthritis as well. A case study published in Massage Today found that regular massage helped alleviate pain and swelling from rheumatoid arthritis and also helped improved joint function, sleep quality, and daytime energy levels.
more info at:

Therapeutic Deep Tissue, Swedish Massage, Sports Massage Therapy in Santa Barbara, Goleta, Ca.

 

*Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider.
Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition.
The information provided is for educational purposes only and is not intended as a diagnosis, treatment, or prescription of any kind. The decision to use, or not to use, any information is the sole responsibility of the reader. These statements are not expressions of legal opinion relative to the scope of practice, medical diagnosis, or medical advice, nor do they represent an endorsement of any product, company, or specific massage therapy technique, modality, or approach. All trademarks, registered trademarks, brand names, registered brand names, logos, and company logos referenced in this post are the property of their owners.