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8109 Cooper Creek Blvd
University Park, FL 34201

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Massage 101

Massage 101

Massage therapy addresses a variety of health conditions, the most prevalent being stress-related tension. It has been proven beneficial in treating cancer-related fatigue, sleep disorders, high blood pressure, diabetes, low back pain, immunity suppression, spinal cord injury, autism, post-operative care, age-related disorders, infertility, eating disorders, smoking cessation and depression, just to name a few. Here’s why:

Massage offers a drug-free, non-invasive and humanistic approach based on the body’s natural ability to heal itself. There are many physiological effects, such as:

  • Increasing circulation, allowing the body to pump more oxygen and nutrients into tissues and vital organs.
  • Stimulating the lymph system, the body’s natural defense, against toxic invaders. For example, in breast cancer patients, massage has been shown to increase the cells that fight cancer.
  • Relaxing and softening injured and overused muscles.
  • Reducing spasms and cramping.
  • Increasing joint flexibility.
  • Reducing recovery time for strenuous workouts and eliminating subsequent pains of the athlete at any level.
  • Releasing endorphins, the body’s natural painkiller. For this reason, massage is being incorporated into treatment for chronic illness, injury and recovery from surgery to control and relieve pain.
  • Reducing post-operative adhesions and edema, as well as reducing and realigning scar tissue after healing has occurred.
  • Improving range of motion and decreasing discomfort for patients with low back pain.
  • Relieving pain for migraine sufferers and decreasing the need for medication.
  • Contributing to shorter labor and reduced tearing for expectant mothers, as well as lessening the need for medication, minimizing depression and anxiety and shortening hospital stays.

It is important to note that there are some conditions for which massage is not recommended, and in some cases the practitioner may need doctor’s permission before providing services.

For example, massage is contraindicated in people with:

  • Certain forms of cancer
  • Phlebitis
  • Some cardiac problems
  • Some skin conditions
  • Infectious diseases

Be aware that it has taken years to get your body to its present state. It will take more than one massage session to correct the problem(s). We invite you to take a real look at what has and is causing the problem(s). Next, what are you doing on a daily basis to correct the problem(s) and what is your maintenance plan. Be sure to share these steps with your massage therapist.

Perhaps you see your massage therapist bi-weekly. In that one session with your massage therapist, you are hoping to get maximum relief and for 2-3 days or longer you feel great. Then the stress starts to creep back in, and gradually you feel the tension building and the discomfort becoming more acute. This is why it is so important to understand what is causing your discomfort. It empowers you to be able to take steps to stop the stress before it becomes problematic and helps your massage therapist’s work be more effective. It is to your advantage to have done your homework concerning what your needs are before your massage session, so the expectations are clear to both you and your therapist.

Good communication is very important. Before the session, let your massage therapist know what your needs are and what you expect to accomplish. During the massage session, report any discomfort, whether it is from the massage technique or anything else -- room temperature, music volume, lighting, etc. Feel free to give feedback on the amount of pressure, speed of movement, etc. And if anything happens during the massage that seems improper or harmful, don’t be afraid to discuss any apprehensions or concerns with your massage therapist.

Your massage therapist is a professional dedicated to do his or her best to help you feel at ease. Deep breathing helps to relax the body. People often stop breathing when they feel anxious or a sensitive area is massaged. If this is happening, remind yourself breathe. Tightening up during the massage is counterproductive. Let your massage therapist know if this happens. They can adjust the massage technique or help you relax. If your thoughts race, try to quiet your mind by following the hands of the massage therapist. Focus on how the touch feels. Some people like to talk during a massage session, while others remain silent. In general the massage therapist will follow your lead.

If you would like to speak to your massage therapist, please feel free to contact them by email at or phone at (941) 366-1168. We are here to answer any questions or concerns you may have.

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