Some of the general benefits of massage therapy may include:
- Physical relaxation
- Improved circulation and waste elimination
- Relief for tight muscles (knots) and other aches and pains
- Release of nerve compression (carpel tunnel, sciatica)
- Greater flexibility and range of motion
- Enhanced energy and vitality
What specific conditions can massage therapy help?
Massage therapy may help the body in many ways. Massage can relax muscle tissue, which may lead to decreased nerve compression, increased joint space, and range of motion. This may lead to reduced pain and improved function.
Massage therapy may also improve circulation, which enhances the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to muscle cells and helps remove waste products. These circulatory effects of massage may have value in the treatment of some inflammatory conditions, such as arthritis or edema (an excessive accumulation of fluid in body tissues, which may be reduced using manual lymph drainage).
Massage therapy is also thought to induce a relaxation response, which lowers the heart rate, respiratory rate, and blood pressure; boosts the immune system; and generally decreases the physical effects of stress.
These effects suggest that massage may be helpful for a wide range of conditions including:
Decreases pain and increases functioning in these conditions:
- Carpal tunnel
- Tension headaches
- Tendon and muscle tears
- Thoracic outlet syndrome
- Varicose veins
- Pregnancy-related back pain and other discomfort
- Myofascial pain
- Sore or overused muscles (prevents and treats)
- Muscle injury (offers rehabilitation)