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Why Massage Therapy?

Why Massage Therapy

By: Terri Cuthill, MT, MOT, Alberta College of Massage Therapy Academic Advisor

Some people think of massage therapy as a treat, something they do to spoil themselves. Others seek massage simply because they feel, if they are paying into their benefits, they may as well use them. These are good reasons to see a massage therapist, but massage offers so much more than relaxation and stress reduction.

Massage therapy can be an essential part of one’s health care regimen. In the same way that one sees a dentist to clean teeth or a chiropractor to realign bones, a massage therapist should be sought for muscle issues, skin and connective tissue health. When a stressful or traumatic situation is encountered, it can show up physically on the body as tension in the muscles. When poor posture is maintained for an extended period, the body adapts to the new position, causing more tension.

People seeking to promote tissue healing after injury or medical procedures benefit significantly from Massage Therapy. Certain types of massage, particularly manual lymph drainage, can help move swelling from the affected area while enhancing nutrition and oxygen supply to the recovering tissue.

Massage therapy can improve the prognosis of certain health conditions. Nerve impingements caused by tight muscles can be alleviated following a treatment to decrease the muscle tension. Headaches radiating from muscle trigger points can completely resolve after the application of specific massage techniques. Though not all conditions experience a curative effect from massage therapy, the effect of techniques is still noted. Diabetics, for example, may experience a delayed drop in their blood sugar levels following a treatment and should be prepared for that.

Massage is much more than just a caring touch. It can affect all aspects of the body. In order to provide a safe treatment, it is important for the massage therapist to know the client’s health conditions, medications, previous surgeries and/or injuries. Massage Therapy training takes two years to gain knowledge on how the body works and understand different health conditions. Therapists continue their education by taking courses in modalities rounding out their overall knowledge. Learning how to perform massage techniques is part of their education but knowing when it is appropriate and safe to apply these techniques is the most crucial aspect.

It doesn’t matter who you are or what you do. Getting treatment from a Massage Therapist can be an important part of your overall physical health.

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