Massage can benefit anyone at any stage in his or her life, even starting before birth! Massage has many benefits, including stress reduction, mood improvement, pain reduction, decreasing headaches, reducing stress related diseases, improved sleep, reduction of crying in infants and improved bonding between parent and child.
Prenatal massage is performed by massage therapists who have undergone additional training for mom-to-be’s specific needs. This specialized massage helps relieve many of the common symptoms of pregnancy including muscle aches, backaches, headaches, leg cramps, and sciatica. Massage also helps to stabilize hormone levels which aids in relief of anxiety and depression and soothes the nervous system to aid in sleep. Prenatal massage benefits baby too by an increase in blood circulation that brings more oxygen and nutrients and increases immunity.
Infant massage is a powerful tool to care for your child. A parent or caregiver typically performs this after attending a short class. These massages will typically only last ten to fifteen minutes. These short sessions can help infants to sleep better, helps with gas and colic, and stimulates all of the physiological systems. Massage has also shown to improve circulation, immune function, and neurological function.
Children and teenagers
Children and teenagers also benefit from massage. These, like infant massages, can be done at home with a parent, providing a unique chance to bond with your child or many licensed massage therapists will also see children. Children receive the same benefits from massage as infants do, along with balancing hormones to reduce anxiety and reduce asthma symptoms. If you want your child to been seen by a professional massage therapist, be prepared to sign a “Consent to Treat” form and possibly stay with them. Younger children benefit more from a shorter 30 min massage while teenagers could enjoy an hour massage.
A sports massage often involves a fast-paced massage and stretching. These massages can be tailored to be used as a pre-workout warm up or used post-workout to reduce soreness and increase flexibility. Many athletes also enjoy and benefit from a deep tissue massage. Deep Tissue massage applies a heavier pressure in order to massage the deeper muscles and layers of tissue. With either of these massages, it is possible to feel a bit sore afterward. With that in mind, you’ll want to schedule a massage about three to five days before an event. If you can schedule it on a rest day, do so.
Both sports massage and deep tissue massages improve athletic performance, reduces pain, prevent injury, and encourages focus. The increased and enhanced blood circulation from a massage helps to relieve muscle tension, build muscles, reduce soreness and make for a faster recovery. Like prenatal massage, a Sports massage therapist receives additional training. If you’re looking for a sports massage specifically, give the therapist a call and make sure they are comfortable performing that style of massage.
This is probably one of the most common reasons people get massages. When your body is under stress, it releases stress hormones. These hormonse cause symptoms like tight muscles, which can lead to headaches and chronic pain. Less commonly know is that stress also contributes to obesity, heart disease, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, depression, gastrointestinal problems, asthma, accelerated aging and premature death! After just a fifteen-minute massage, studies have shown that cortisol levels dropped, blood pressure was reduced and moods were improved. A full body hour massage has even greater effects resulting in fewer headaches, less overall pain and an increase in well being and reducing stress helps manage any future stresses better. Basically, a massage will keep you slim, happy and living longer! Or help get you there, at least.
While massage definitely does not cure cancer, in many cases, it has been shown to reduce the side effects of cancer treatments. Many patients who received massage reported that they felt more whole, had a more positive view of their body, felt more relaxed and felt more hope. Physically, studies state that massage can reduce fatigue, nausea, pain, anxiety and depression and increase sleep, quality of life, range of motion and mental clarity. Often there is concern that massage will cause a cancer to metastasize. The highest risk correlation probably occurs with firm direct contact or other strong stimuli applied on or near a tumor, with greatest concern arising if the tumor is close to the skin surface. However, this risk is generally viewed as quite low. And this risk is greatly offset by the likelihood that should cells be released by such means, their odds of survival are still extremely slim. Please consult with you doctor before receiving any massage treatment and find a therapist who is willing to work with your doctor as part of your health care team.
You’re never too old to get a massage! Just as individual preferences vary with massage in earlier years, so it goes for the golden years. Some people prefer light touch and others like heavy pressure. As always, the patient dictates the amount of pressure. In addition to the many great benefits of massage already seen, the elderly community can benefit by receiving deeper breathing, lower blood pressure, reduction of joint pain and swelling, stimulation or the bowels and reduction of feelings of isolation.
When you go to get a massage, remember, you are in control and Massage Therapists are body workers, not mind readers. I always tell my new clients massage should feel good. Deep tissue work will not feel as relaxing as a Swedish massage, but neither should get beyond the feeling of “hurts so good.” If you’re holding your breath or tensing your muscles, the work is too deep and this would be a good time to ask your therapist to reduce the pressure. Likewise, if the pressure is too light, let your therapist know you would like deeper work. Sometimes the amount of pressure you like changes from one part of the body to another or from one day to the next. Always let your therapist know if something doesn’t feel right. I promise, we appreciate it!
From before the first breath to the last breath, massage can be of benefit for everyone and has so many more benefits than just make your muscles feel good.
We think that we have some of Longmont’s Best Massage therapists! Give us a Call at 303-776-6767 or send an email to get your massage set up today! You Deserve it!