Massage For Healing

Injured muscles occur frequently. We’ve all felt the pain of a pulled or strained muscle from strenuous exercise or repetitive motion. They’re also caused by chronic conditions and accidents. Massage therapy is an invaluable resource for healing hurt muscles. Whether relieving pain or preventing future injuries, a wide range of bodywork methods from deep tissue and trigger point to lighter work can effectively mitigate discomfort, speed recovery and improve mobility.

Microscopic tears in muscle fibers initiate the body’s immune reaction, inflammation, resulting in pain, heat, redness, swelling and loss of function. NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) are generally used to reduce inflammation and pain but a new study in the Science of Translational Medicine reveals that suppressing inflammation with drugs may slow healing and create a negative long-term response. Alternatively, massage naturally suppresses inflammation by reducing the production of cytokines, which play a central role in the body’s immune response. The report also shows that massage stimulates mitochondria, the organisms inside the cytoplasm of cells that are essential for cell function and repair, therefore enhancing cell recovery.

Massage therapy increases circulation, detoxification and flexibility. Improved circulation distributes more oxygen and nutrients throughout the body to tissues and vital organs. In combination with waste being more efficiently expelled, injured muscles can heal at accelerated rates and become more flexible. Lack of flexibility is not only linked to soreness, it’s sighted as a cause for future injuries. Specific techniques can even prevent or limit the formation of scars and make old scar tissue more pliable. By increasing flexibility with bodywork and resetting the muscles’ natural limits, muscle injuries can be soothed and prevented.

Bodywork techniques also release tension and encourage muscles to relax. Reduced muscle tension improves mobility. Maximizing healing by relieving chronic tension, massage can prevent injuries caused by stressing muscle groups. Muscles can contract and become compacted, pressing on nerves and causing tingling and pain. Massage can release these spasms and provide relief. Stress, physical and emotional, can avert energy from the cell recovery processes and healing, especially by interfering with proper sleep. Relaxing and releasing stress promotes healthy sleep habits and refocuses resources to cell repair.

There are some muscle injuries for which massage is not always appropriate. Let your massage therapist know your medical history and if you are suffering from any major or minor problems. Be sure to also discuss massage therapy with your primary healthcare doctor for a comprehensive approach to your wellness.

By reducing inflammation, enhancing cell recovery and increasing circulation and relaxation, massage therapy is a natural way to relieve and heal injured muscles. Many bodywork methods effectively relax, hasten recovery, improve mobility and ultimately prevent future injury. Massage is a great way to heal muscle pain and promote optimal function.

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