Massage therapy is something that everyone can benefit from – not just stressed-out office workers and performance athletes. Massages are more than just a relaxing way to spend your afternoon, as they offer a huge number of health benefits too.
The Different Kinds of Massage
There are several different kinds of massage, and each one has a different effect on your body. Any kind of massage should leave you feeling relaxed and invigorated, but if you are pursuing the health benefits of massages, then you should choose the kind of treatment you want carefully.
Swedish massages use deep, circular kneading motions and long strokes, helping to relax your muscles and relieve stress. This kind of massage can work well if you frequently suffer from tension headaches.
Deeper massaging treatments are good for rehabilitating muscle damage from injuries and can stimulate blood flow, relieve tension and loosen your muscles. Foam roller treatments use this kind of pressure and are popular with athletes who have nagging injuries or who want to reduce recovery times.
Trigger point treatments focus on specific areas. This kind of treatment may help if you have headaches, moyfascial pain syndrome, temporomandibular joint pain, fibromyalgia, soft tissue injuries or other muscular-skeletal problems.
Who Should Not Try Massages?
In general, massages are a great addition to the Paleo diet and a healthy lifestyle, and they are safe for most people, as long as they are carried out by someone who knows what they are doing. It is not a good idea to have deep tissue massaging performed by someone who is inexperienced, however, and if you are considering foam roller treatments you should start with a soft foam roller or a half-circle one rather than a full cylinder. You can graduate to the bigger, firmer rollers if you find that the softer ones do not provide enough relief.
There are some circumstances under which massages may be contra-indicated. For example, if you suffer from bleeding disorders or take medications to thin your blood, then you should speak to your doctor before trying massages. If you have open wounds, broken bones or burns, wait for them to heal before you have a treatment. In addition, if you suffer from deep vein thrombosis, osteoporosis, thrombocytopenia, you should check with your doctor to confirm that massages will be safe for you.
Women who are in the later stages of pregnancy, and cancer patients, should also use caution when trying new therapies. Swedish massages may be all right, but deep tissue treatments could pose a danger to your health or the health of your child.
Most people feel good after they have a massage, but it is normal to feel a little sore after a treatment. If you experience persistent pain, or you find the treatment itself unpleasant, be sure to inform the person giving you the treatment, and speak to your doctor as well. If used correctly, massages are a great complement to the Paleo diet and can really improve your health and wellbeing.