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Massage Therapy Pocket Guide

WHAT IS MASSAGE THERAPY?

Massage therapy is a healing practice that is thousands of years old. It is the manual administration of pressure to the body’s soft tissue including muscles, tendons, ligaments and connective tissue. Massage therapy is typically performed to loosen and relax tissue, but can also be performed to treat serious health issues, like chronic pain.

HOW DOES MASSAGE THERAPY WORK?

Massage therapy works on your body’s relaxation and mechanical responses:

  • Relaxation Response—During a massage, changes in your parasympathetic nervous system occur; Your breathing and heart rate slow, your muscles begin to relax and your blood pressure decreases; Serotonin is released, increasing positive mood and thoughts
  • Mechanical Response—Massage increases circulation (lymph and blood) and relaxes tissue; Improved circulation can decrease swelling and inflammation in soft tissue; As muscle tissues relax, muscle contractions and spasms are decreased; An increase in circulation and relaxation of muscle tissue decrease pain


Topics: Anxiety | Back Pain | Blood Pressure | Chronic Pain | Complementary Medicine | Depression | Fatigue | Headaches | Hypertension | Inflammation | Integrative Health | Pain | Pain Management | Palliative Care | Post-traumatic stress disorder/PTSD | Relaxation | Stress | Stress Management

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