What is Massage Therapy
Massage is a general term for pressing, rubbing and manipulating your skin, muscles, tendons and ligaments. Massage may range from light stroking to deep pressure. There are many different types of massage, including these common types:
- Medical massage. Medical Massage is result oriented and the treatment is specifically directed to resolve conditions that have been diagnosed and prescribed by a Physician. The therapist may use a variety of modalities or procedures during the treatment, but will focus the Medical Massage treatment only on the areas of the body related to the diagnosis and prescription.
- Deep massage. This massage technique uses slower, more-forceful strokes to target the deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue, commonly to help with muscle damage from injuries.
- Sports massage. Three specific principles are vital to understanding what type of sports massage to apply to an athlete at any given time. I call these principles the “when, what and why” of sports massage: Timing, Technique and Intent.
Timing refers to when the massage is given: pre-event or post-event; during recovery; during a maintenance period; or when an athlete suffers an injury that requires rehabilitation. Technique refers to what application you utilize, and can include a number of different techniques: effleurage; friction; pettrisage; vibration; shaking; compression; broadening strokes; direct pressure; cross-fiber friction; range of motion; and stretching. Intent refers to your reason(s) for treatment: as warm-up; to increase blood flow; stimulate neurological pathways; aid recovery from exertion; increase flexibility; improve strength; or improve posture..
- Trigger point massage. This massage focuses on areas of tight muscle fibers that can form in your muscles after injuries or overuse.
- Prenatal massage. Therapeutic massage has been used for centuries to improve overall health, reduce stress, and relieve muscle tension. Massage and pregnancy has often received ambivalent responses from the health community regarding the safety and purpose of massage during pregnancy. Modern investigation and research is proving that prenatal massage therapy can be a very instrumental ingredient in women’s prenatal care and should be given careful consideration.
What Are The Benefits of Massage Therapy?
Massage is generally considered part of complementary and alternative medicine. It’s increasingly being offered along with standard treatment for a wide range of medical conditions and situations. Studies of the benefits of massage demonstrate that it is an effective treatment for reducing stress, pain and muscle tension. While more research is needed to confirm the benefits of massage, some studies have found massage may also be helpful for:
- Digestive disorders
- Insomnia related to stress
- Myofascial pain syndrome
- Soft tissue strains or injuries
- Sports injuries
- Temporomandibular joint pain
Meet Massage Therapist Emily Petty
Louisville native, Emily Petty, has had an immense desire to help people for as long as she can remember, and loving the comfort and relief that massage brings, she has wanted to become a massage therapist for almost as long. She loves squid and octopi and finds incredible joy in educating her clients on how their muscles work and enabling them to move and live more efficiently.