Massage therapy is a form of treatment that involves manipulation of the muscles and soft tissues of the body. Massage is performed with the hands, fingers, forearm, elbows or feet. Massage therapy can help people relax, relieve stress and pain, rehabilitate sports injuries, deal with anxiety and depression and help overall general health and wellness.
There are many different forms of massage therapy and some of the more common include:
Massage therapists practice in a variety of settings such as private offices, studios, hospitals, nursing homes, and sports and fitness centers. Some massage therapists may also travel to patient’s homes or workplaces to provide massage services.
Massage therapists will ask questions about symptoms, previous medical history, and the desired results from the massage. To locate the painful or tense areas and to find out how much pressure to apply your massage therapist may also perform an evaluation through touch.
Massage therapy can last for 1 hour or longer and is usually performed on a massage table lying down or while you are seated in a massage chair. For massage therapy the patient must either be undressed (covered with sheet except the area being massaged) or should wear loose fitting clothes. Your massage therapist may use massage oils, lotions or creams to reduce friction on your skin.
Possible side effects associated with massage therapy include temporary pain or discomfort, bruising, swelling, and a sensitivity or allergy to massage oils.
The following cautions should be considered before undergoing massage therapy: