How Does Massage Therapy Work?

Massage therapy improves circulation by bringing oxygen and other nutrients to body tissues.

It relieves muscle tension and pain, increases flexibility and mobility, and helps clear lactic acid and other waste, which reduces pain and stiffness in muscles and joints.

Why Do People Get Massage Therapy?

People get massage therapy for a variety of reasons:
  • Back pain
  • Inflammatory conditions such as arthritis and tendinitis
  • Stress relief and stress-related conditions
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Muscle and related conditions such as spasms, strains and sprains
  • Repetitive strain injury, such as carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Circulatory and respiratory problems
  • Post-injury and post surgical rehabilitation
  • Relaxation

Massage therapy relieves stress. It is believed that it helps the body's stress response by lowering levels of hormones such as cortisol.

Massage therapy also appears to enhance immune function.

What a Typical Massage Therapy Session is Like

A typical massage therapy session is approximately one hour. Your massage will begin with a brief consultation and review of symptoms, medical history, and lifestyle.

You will be asked to undress (many people keep their underwear on) while I am out of the room, and lie face down under a sheet on a padded massage table

I will knock on the door to make sure you are ready. When I enter the room I will then adjust the face rest and pillows to ensure that you are comfortable and properly positioned. Tell me if you are too warm or cold.

I use a light oil or lotion on the skin and begin the massage. 

You are underneath the sheet at all times, only the part of the body being treated at any one time is uncovered.

After the massage, I leave the room so you can get changed.

Take your time getting up. If you sit or stand too quickly you may feel lightheaded or dizzy.

Will Massage Therapy Hurt?

Massage therapy shouldn't hurt. Occasionally there is mild aching when a massage therapist applies pressure over "knots" and other areas of muscle tension. If the pressure is too strong for you, let the me know.

How Will I Feel After a Massage?

Most people feel calm and relaxed after a treatment. Occasionally, people experience mild temporary aching for a day.

Precautions

Massage therapy is not recommended for certain people:

  • People with infectious skin disease, rash, or open wounds
  • Immediately after surgery
  • Immediately after chemotherapy or radiation, unless recommended by your doctor
  • People prone to blood clots. There is a risk of blood clots being dislodged. If you have heart disease, check with your doctor before having a massage
  • Pregnant women should check with their doctor first if they are considering getting a massage.

Massage should not be done directly over bruises, inflamed skin, unhealed wounds, tumors, abdominal hernia, or areas of recent fractures.

Additional Massage Tips

  • Don't eat a heavy meal before the massage.
  • If it's your first time for massage therapy, arrive 10 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment, otherwise, 5 minutes prior is sufficient.