If you have experienced chronic pain in your neck, shoulders, or back, you understand the all-consuming effect. Many Americans suffer from chronic pain and discomfort and a large majority have found relief through chiropractic care, which is a drug-free, non-invasive treatment that involves the adjustment of the spine and other joints to improve alignment, strength, and mobility. Not only do chiropractic adjustments provide pain relief, they often help patients feel better in general, and more relaxed.
Since stress is a major contributor to the tightened muscles and inflammation that can throw the musculoskeletal system out of balance, it is a good idea to find ways to reduce stress and enhance relaxation between your chiropractic appointments. One way is to do this is to receive regular massage therapy treatments.
What is Massage Therapy?
Massage is an ancient healing tradition that originated in Greek, Egyptian, Chinese and Indian cultures. The therapeutic properties of massage have been used since time immemorial to treat a variety of ailments. Massage therapy is a form of manual therapy that includes holding, moving, and applying pressure to the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and fascia. This term is used to describe a variety of techniques – used in the East and the West – that vary in the manner in which touch, pressure, and the intensity of the treatment is applied.
Benefits of Massage
There are many benefits of massage, but one of the main reasons people see a massage therapist is to enjoy the deep physical relaxation, relief from muscle tension, and mental calm the treatment provides. When we are relaxed, there is a release of endorphins – those wonderful brain chemicals that produce healing and feelings of well-being. The levels of stress hormones, such as adrenalin, cortisol, and norepinephrine, are also reduced. Why is it important to reduce stress hormones? Because consistently high levels of these hormones can cause inflammation which can in turn cause or worsen musculoskeletal issues and other health conditions.
How Massage Complements Chiropractic Care
In addition to relaxation and the reduction of stress hormones, there are several other physical and psychological benefits of massage that complement chiropractic care such as:
- Reduced Muscle Tension – Muscle tension can cause joints and vertebrae to go out of alignment. Anything that helps reduce this tension is usually a good thing – especially when treating conditions such as muscle soreness, joint stiffness, headaches, irritated or inflamed nerves – even sciatica.
- Improved Circulation – When our circulation is good, we have a higher level of mobility and flexibility in our muscles and joints. This is important for treating conditions such as arthritis.
- Stimulation of the Lymphatic System – The lymphatic system is a very important network of tissues and organs that help rid the body of toxins, waste, and other unwanted materials. It transports lymph, a fluid containing infection-fighting white blood cells, throughout the body to ward off infection and disease.
- Improved Recovery from an Illness or Injury – Similar to chiropractic care, massage therapy stimulates the body’s own natural healing ability so that recovery from an illness or injury takes less time, reducing the need for medications.
- Decreased Anxiety and Depression – The connection between anxiety or depression and various health disorders has been well documented. Massage therapy is a natural, drug-free treatment for both conditions, therefore is very compatible with chiropractic care.
Our approach to your healing and well-being is holistic, so we go over any stress and lifestyle factors that may be affecting your health. Depending on these factors and your specific condition, we may recommend the type of massage therapy that would be most beneficial for you, whether before, after, or between appointments.