a massage help me?
Common injuries, accidents,
overuse of a muscle, and stress can settle into our muscles and cause many
types of problems. Massage is becoming increasing popular as a therapy that
can help! Massage is a calm therapy for relieving pain and tension. In
combination with other techniques, massage can help us avoid prescription
drugs or surgery.
types of problems will a massage help?
is great for relieving muscle tightness. There are massage techniques for
releasing muscle tension through stretching and kneading the tissues of the
muscle and the layers around it. In addition, there are techniques that
indirectly stimulate your nervous system to help your muscles relax.
is one of the best therapies for stress. Without stress, you'll find that
you have more energy to enjoy life and help to prevent illnesses in the
process. Because it can help relieve stress, massage can also help with
conditions that are associated with anxiety.
- Arm or
leg tingling or pain
muscle stays contracted, it can interfere with the nerves that go to the
arms, legs, hands, or fingers. This interference will typically give a pain
or tingling in that extremity. Massage can help to relax the contracted
muscle and allow the nerves signals to flow freely again.
will my first massage appointment be like?
Howard, your licensed massage
therapist, will begin your appointment by asking you to fill out a Medical
Intake Form that asks general health questions, since there are some
conditions for which massage is not appropriate. Based on your
condition(s), Howard will determine a massage plan specifically for you.
Depending on the massage
technique that is best for you, you may or may not need to undress. For a
full body Swedish Relaxation massage, people usually undress completely or
just wear underwear. Howard will show you to a private room where he will
leave you for a short time so that you can undress and get onto the massage
table. During the massage, you will always remain covered except for the
area being worked on (e.g., one arm, one leg, back, etc.).
The massage will be given on a
sheet-covered padded table that's heated with a heated mattress pad, making
it comfortable. The table is professional quality and stable
(Howard uses an Oakworks®
massage table for house calls, which has been tested to remain stable with
more than 500 lbs.). When you are face-up, Howard will place a cushion
under your knees for low back support and will use an adjustable face rest
for support when you are face-down. The room will
be comfortable and quiet and will have soft music playing to set a relaxing
For most massage techniques,
Howard will use a lubricant, such as light natural oil or lotion, which is
good for your skin and absorbs well. For some types of bodywork, no oil is
A massage session usually
begins with a light pressure to start to calm your nervous system and begin
releasing tension. Gradually, Howard will work more deeply on areas that
require it, but never to a point of much pain, since the benefit of massage
is gone with high levels of pain.
other massage techniques are offered?
Currently, Howard specializes
in the following:
- Deep Tissue/Therapeutic
- Trigger Point Therapy (also
known as Neuromuscular Therapy or NMT)
- Medical Massage
(prescription for massage from a physician)
He also offers the healing
energy technique called Reiki (pronounced RAY-kee).
This technique can be used in a full session (a Reiki session) or can
be added to your massage as needed.
For additional information on
Reiki, go to
The International Center for
Massage Research at University of Miami's Touch Research
Abstracts of massage therapy for many conditions available at:
Touch Research Institute
Carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms are lessened following massage
(from Touch Research Institute) METHOD: The objective of this
study was to determine the effectiveness of massage therapy for relieving
the symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS). Sixteen adults with CTS
symptoms were randomized to a 4-week massage therapy or control group.
Participants in the massage therapy group were taught a self-massage
routine that was done daily at home. They were also massaged once a week by
a therapist. The participants’ diagnosis was based on a nerve
conduction velocity test, the Phalen test, and
the Tinel sign test performed by a physician. The
participants were also given the State Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), the
Profile of Mood States (POMS), a visual analog scale for pain and a test of
grip strength. RESULTS: Participants in the massage therapy group improved
on median peak latency and grip strength. They also experienced lower
levels of perceived pain, anxiety, and depressed mood. The results suggest
that symptoms of CTS might be relieved by a daily regimen of massage
Reiki Reduces Heart Rate, Diastolic Blood Pressure
(from the Institute of Neurological Sciences - Glasgow, Scotland)
Heart rate and diastolic blood pressure decreased
significantly in people who received 30 minutes of reiki,
as compared to a placebo intervention or 30 minutes of rest, according to a
recent study. Autonomic Nervous System Changes During Reiki Treatment: A
Preliminary Study was conducted by staff of the Institute of Neurological
Sciences, South Glasgow University Hospital NHS
Trust, in Glasgow, United Kingdom.
Forty-five healthy subjects, ages 23-59, were randomly
assigned to one of three groups: rest/control, reiki
or placebo. Reiki, a Japanese healing art, is based on the concept of
energy flowing through the practitioner into the recipient.
Researchers evaluated the effect of reiki
on several measures of autonomic nervous system function, such as heart
rate, blood pressure, cardiac vagal tone, cardiac
sensitivity to baroreflex (reflexes activated by
pressure changes in the heart’s blood vessels), and respiratory rate.
All outcome measures were recorded continuously using the NeuroScope system.
Baseline data were recorded for all groups during a 15-minute
rest period. This was followed by the intervention. In the reiki group, subjects received 30 minutes of reiki, which consisted of the practitioner placing his
or her hands over the participant’s body, over the clothes, without
touching the subject.
In the placebo group, a person with no knowledge of reiki imitated the hand movements of the reiki practitioner for 30 minutes. In the rest/control
group, subjects rested for the half-hour intervention period.
This was followed by a 10-minute rest period for subjects in
all groups. Data were recorded throughout the entire study.
Results of the research showed that subjects in both the reiki and placebo groups experienced a significant
reduction in heart rate, increase in cardiac vagal
tone, increase in cardiac sensitivity to baroreflex,
and reduction in respiratory rate.
The increase in [cardiac vagal tone]
signifies an increase in parasympathetic activity and is reflected by the
decrease in [heart rate]. state the
However, only in the reiki group was
diastolic blood pressure significantly reduced. Heart rate was also lower
in the reiki group as compared to both the rest
and placebo groups.
No changes were found in the control group after the baseline
period, indicating that the autonomic activity stabilized during the
initial rest period, state the study’s authors. It is therefore
unlikely that the significant changes in both placebo and reiki groups are due to simply lying down and resting.
As the results of the study indicate that reiki
has some effect on the autonomic nervous system, the authors suggest a
further, larger study on the biological effects of reiki.
Source: Institute of Neurological Sciences, South Glasgow University Hospital NHS Trust, Glasgow, United Kingdom. Authors: Nicola
Mackay; Stig Hansen, Ph.D.; and Oona McFarlane. Originally
published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 2004,
Vol. 10, No. 6, pp. 1077-1081.