Massage therapy is a process by which a masseuse applies pressure to manipulate the muscles and connective tissues, stimulating them to relax and release built-up toxins. Though it is an ancient therapy, massage was long considered more of a luxury than a component of healthy living for many years in the U.S. Fortunately, patient education and awareness have led to resurgence in the demand for massage therapy not only for relaxation, but for its health and wellness benefits too.
The most well-known and common form of massage therapy is Swedish Massage; however there are more than 100 more types of massage that are used in the U.S. and around the world. For thousands of years, massage therapy has been used to relieve ailments and improve overall wellbeing. It remains popular today, with more than 18 million American adults getting one or more massages every year.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who can benefit from massage therapy?
Nearly everyone can benefit from massage. It is used to help rehabilitate injuries and relieve chronic pain, as well as to reduce stress, anxiety and depression. Even for physically and mentally healthy individuals, massage therapy is good for relieving muscle tension and improving overall wellbeing.
What should I expect during a massage session?
Your experience will vary depending on the type of massage you choose. However, most people getting a massage will choose a Swedish or deep-tissue massage, which usually lasts between a half hour and 90 minutes. During a traditional massage, you will be asked to lie down on a padded table – usually face down. Your masseuse will begin kneading or applying pressure to your targeted treatment areas, moving in fluid motions over the skin. This pressure can range from slight to intense depending on your needs and preferences.
How often should I get massages?
Massage is a non-invasive therapy that promotes wellness. You may choose to get a massage every few months, weeks or even every few days without adverse effects. Speak with your masseuse if you have specific treatment goals, and work out a schedule that he or she recommends accordingly.