When we think of relaxation, a massage is often one of the first things that comes to mind. Benefits of undergoing massage therapy can include stress reduction, pain relief, and often an overall sense of rejuvenation. However, massages are no longer just reserved for a spa retreat or a once in a blue moon indulgence. This therapy is now being used in conjunction with chiropractic care to provide patients with the best and most accurate results from a chiropractic adjustment.
How Does Massage Work with Chiropractic Care?
Massage therapy relaxes the body and puts it at ease. Opting for massage therapy before a chiropractic adjustment can help reduce the stiffness of the body and enable the adjustment to be more effective. A relaxed body allows the chiropractor to effectively perform the treatment because there is less resistance in the patient’s muscles and joints. The adjustment is therefore easier to perform, and more accurate.
Benefits of Massage Therapy
Massage helps increase blood flow, which allows to it to circulate properly through all parts of your body. When your blood is circulating properly, your body functions better. The pressure from a massage actually moves blood through congested areas, and brings much needed, oxygen rich blood to damaged, tense muscles. The application and release of pressure also flushes lactic acid from the muscles, helps filter out wastes, and aids in lowering blood pressure.
After an injury or vigorous exercise, which can often have the same effects on your body, tiny tears can occur within the muscle fibers. Inflammation is the body’s immune response to repair the damaged cells. Massage therapy reduces the production of cytokines that are responsible for inflammation as well as stimulating glucose production into energy, which speeds up the healing process. Popping an NSAID such as an aspirin or Aleve for temporary relief can actually stunt the healing process, while massage therapy works simultaneously to do both.
The body becomes more relaxed after a massage session, which allows a chiropractor to perform more thorough and effective adjustments. Stressed, overworked, or tensed up muscles can tighten around joints that need to be addressed during a chiropractic adjustment. Massage relieves pressure and tension, reduces pain, and provides easier access to your joints for a more accurate adjustment.
Increased Range of Motion
Patients experience better mobility after massage because it promotes increased flexibility. Massages aren’t just for muscles. Connective tissues, tendons, ligaments, and joints can also affect your flexibility and range of motion. Pain relief alone will allow greater movement as well.
Patients can achieve faster recovery when they receive multiple forms of effective treatment. The benefits of massage therapy and chiropractic care combined are significant, and patients recover faster and feel more energized in their daily lives. A massage without an alignment afterwards may only provide temporary relief if the cause of your pain or discomfort is due to a spinal issue, and an adjustment without prior massage therapy may make it more difficult for your chiropractor and may not provide the optimum possible results.
Different Types of Massages
- Swedish Massage – the most common and well known full body massage. It’s ideal for those new to massage therapy or those that are sensitive to touch, and great for muscle knots. A combination of kneading, circular motions, vibrations, and other various movements are usually used.
- Hot Stone Massage – this massage is similar to the Swedish massage but also incorporates the use of hot stones. The masseuse can either use the stones in lieu of hands or place them on the body. The heat aids in easing muscle tension, pain relief, and improved blood circulation.
- Deep Tissue Massage – this massage is used to reach the deepest layers of your muscles and connective tissues. People experiencing chronic muscle pain or anxiety usually opt for the deep tissue. Slow strokes and deep finger pressure are common routines.
- Aromatherapy Massage – for those looking for an emotional reaction to the massage as well as a physical one. Essential oils known to affect mood are usually used to massage the body. Lavender, eucalyptus, and chamomile are common scents used for their calming and relaxing effects.
- Sports Massage – these massages are used to treat a sport or activity related injury. These are ideal if you have a repetitive muscle injury or to increase performance and flexibility to avoid potential new injuries.
- Trigger Point Massage – trigger point massages focus on specific areas of the body that are exhibiting pain and tightness. Pressure is applied to the trigger points to help relieve pain and tension throughout the body.
- Reflexology – uses gentle to firm pressure on different pressure points of the body such as your feet, hands, and ears. They are most often used for relaxation and to restore energy levels.
- Prenatal Massage – prenatal massages are a great option for pain relief for expecting mothers. Using mild pressure, therapists focus on the lower back, hips, thighs, and legs. Most professionals do not recommend them in the first trimester to avoid miscarriage, but it’s a great option for pain relief in the later months.
A relaxed, fresh palette is the best way to go into your chiropractic appointment. Massage therapy not only perfcetly preps the body for your next adjustment, it also provides much needed relaxation and ease for the mind as well. When body and mind are in sync, optimal results will usually follow. Contact Momentum Medical today to schedule your next appointment on your road to wellness.