“I hate massage,”… said no one ever. However, the average person mostly likely views massage as something you do on a special occasion at a spa. Massage can definitely be this type of treatment, but it can also be a vital part of rehabilitation when done by a registered massage therapist.
The type of massage most commonly done in a spa setting is a Swedish massage. This type of therapy is general, relaxing and usually a full-body treatment using light touch.
In comparison, a therapeutic massage enhances the body’s natural restorative function and is usually specific to an area or condition. A therapeutic massage is usually moderate to strong and is used to release tension, relax muscles and increase blood and lymphatic circulation.
Massage be incorporated into many rehabilitation programmes. Let’s use a condition common to most people as an example: low back pain. The initial point of contact for most people with low back pain is their medical doctor. Aside from special situations, most medical doctors will refer a person with low back pain to physical therapy (physiotherapy) or chiropractic care. The physical therapist (physiotherapist) will treat movement dysfunction by releasing tight muscles and strengthening weak muscles and the chiropractor will realign spinal segments.
The patient might feel much better, but unless irritating factors such as lifestyle stressors are addressed, the same issue may recur somewhere down the line. This is where a registered massage therapist can be an invaluable service. A monthly therapeutic massage can help maintain the gains made after a primary rehabilitation stint. Long-term maintenance of muscle length and positive postural changes can be achieved by working with a registered massage therapist.
To find out more about how to achieve your rehabilitation goals, contact a healthcare professional at Align Wellness Studio.
Kristina Maxwell is a doctor of physiotherapy at Align, a wellness studio with an integrated approach to physical rehabilitative treatments and preventative care.