Four Conditions Massage Can Help Improve That You May Not Know About
Jan 28, 2014
Stress, headaches and neck or back pain are all pretty common ailments for which people turn to massage to experience mental and physical relief. But beyond these common conditions, massage also can play a big part in remedying many other daily ailments and injuries that you may have never thought of.
Take a look at the following four types of conditions that massage can help treat that may not be so commonly known, and you may gain a new appreciation for how massage can positively affect the health and wellness of your mind and body.
Surgery can certainly take a toll on your body, both during the actual procedure as well as throughout the recovery process. Bonnie Vaniea, massage therapist at Elements Wilsonville, suggests getting a massage as soon after a surgery as possible, dependent on your doctor’s approval. Doing so can speed up recovery times and help prevent later pain that may not have anything to do with the actual incisions and procedures during the surgery,
“People don’t think about how beneficial getting a massage is after surgery that focuses on range of motion and relaxing the muscles involved during the procedure,” says Vaniea. “In surgery, they are cutting through your tissues and those tissues need help healing.”
In the instance of knee surgery, it’s important to get your quadriceps, hamstrings, thigh muscles and lower leg muscles all worked on by a massage therapist after the procedure because all of those muscles cross the knee and attach within the kneecap area. When you have surgery some of those muscles can get injured -– surgeons cut through some and the ones they don’t cut compensate for the ones that were. Using soft tissue movements, stretching and working on the muscles around the joints, massage therapists can help complement your recovery strategy so you’re back to what you love doing in no time.
There are so many over-the-counter medicines that people use to help with the pain caused from digestive issues. But usually these medicines just mask the pain, rather than treat the problem. For most people, they think their digestive issues are something they will have to learn to live with and they can’t do anything to relieve the pain. But massage can be an effective remedy for many of the common digestive problems that Americans suffer from on a daily basis.
A lot of the most common digestive conditions such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), constipation and indigestion involve cramping, bloating and stomach pain. Getting abdominal massage can help get your digestive system moving and flowing in a non-invasive and non-medical approach.
“Usually when I do abdominal massage on people, they love it. And it’s not something that they would have thought to do on their own because it can be a taboo area in most people’s minds,” says Vaniea. “I’ve worked with a couple of people on abdominal issues and over time the amount of improvement they’ve experienced has been amazing. I’ve gotten them from the state of always being in pain to now they get days of relief after they get a massage and they don’t have to take any pills any more.”
Body Image Issues
Body image can be a sensitive issue and not something that a lot of people are comfortable talking about. But, men and women struggle on a daily basis with feeling comfortable with their bodies, liking how they look and being content with their physical appearance.
Research has shown that receiving healthy therapeutic touch like massage can help you become more accepting about how you look and let go of the negative feelings you may have about yourself, says Vaniea.
“When I’m giving a massage, I’m not judging how you look,” explains Vaniea. “I’m touching your body in a positive way and I’m not judging you so it can help people get past their negative feelings and help them feel better about themselves. Massage can really help people accept themselves.”
Staying Connected with Society
Even though in today’s society you can be connected with thousands of people across the country and the world through social media and technology, you can still feel isolated and alone if you lack face-to-face, verbal communication. This can be especially true with elderly people who may be partially homebound and don’t get out into the community as often as they used to.
Vaniea believes that the one-on-one attention that massage therapists give to their clients can help people stay connected and feel accepted by society.
“Massage can help people who may be isolated feel accepted by society because it gives them an outlet to socialize and have conversations with people,” says Vaniea. “For example, a lot of elderly like to talk, but may feel like no one has time for them. Massage is good for them because they have my undivided attention during their session. Verbal communication is a powerful thing.”
Whether you suffer from some of the conditions that massage is most commonly known for such as headaches, neck pains and back pains, or you can relate more to the conditions discussed above, regular massage is a great remedy for establishing and maintaining overall health and wellness. And, as Vaniea notes, you don’t have to be injured or hurt to get a massage. Better yet, get a massage before you get hurt for injury prevention and just overall enjoyment.
“Just because you aren’t hurt doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a massage,” explains Vaniea. “Some of the best massages you can get are when you’re not hurt because then you can just focus on fully enjoying it.”