We all know that a massage feels great, but professional massage therapy can do so much more than that. Professional massage therapy, which is also offered in many Denver chiropractic offices, offers a range of often unexpected health benefits, including pain reduction, improved blood circulation, reduced muscle tension, and even better mental health.
But if you’ve never received massage therapy, you may be unsure as to how this whole process actually works. And perhaps more importantly: does it even work? In this blog, we’re taking a closer look at massage therapy to learn what it is, which benefits it can offer, and how exactly it works to treat injuries, ailments, and provide relief for other conditions.
Denver Integrated Spine Center is committed to tackling each step of your recovery. Proudly serving patients throughout the Denver area, our multi-disciplinary injury recovery center can get you back to the active and healthy lifestyle you love. Our full team of chiropractors, massage therapists, and healthcare professionals are here to speed up and improve your recovery and boost your overall wellness.
Our evidence-based treatments can address a wide range of different injuries, including back pain, headaches and migraines, neck pain and stiffness, joint issues, and recovery from car accidents and sports-related injuries. At Denver Integrated Spine Center, our entire chiropractic office is committed to your recovery.
What is Massage Therapy?
According to the Mayo Clinic, massage therapy is a manual form of therapy that works to manipulate the soft tissues in your body. When performed by a licensed massage therapist, this type of therapy offers a range of health benefits, including quick pain relief, reduced stress and anxiety, and even improved mobility.
With varying degrees of specific pressure and movements, massage therapy can work to treat problems concerning your muscles, tendons, ligaments, connective tissues, and even your skin. While massage therapy may not have always been viewed as a legitimate form of healthcare and therapy, recent data and studies show that this can be an effective type of care.
Ample evidence now reveals the health benefits associated with massage therapy. What’s key, however, is that you receive the massage from a licensed therapist. Sure, a friend or family member can give you a massage to help you feel more relaxed, but to truly tap into the range of health benefits, you’ll want to work with a safe, certified professional.
Massage therapists understand the specific techniques and moves needed to unlock the full benefits. They also have the experience and awareness enabling them to work with many different types of patients. Depending on the specific needs of the patient, they can tailor the program to suit their needs so that they get the recovery they deserve.
What are the Different Types of Massage Therapy?
When you’re looking for the best chiropractor in Colorado, you should inquire as to whether or not they also offer massage therapy. Many first-time patients are surprised to learn that there are, in fact, many different types of massage therapy. It’s important to know which type of massage you’re receiving as each has its specific uses and advantages. For example, while a Swedish massage may be ideal for those new to massage therapy as it is a gentle approach, a deep tissue massage applies sustained pressure to make even more of an impact.
Some of the most common types of massage therapy include:
- Swedish massage: a gentle full-body massage that works well for people new to massage therapy or if you’re very sensitive to touch. A Swedish massage is ideal for a patient experiencing a lot of tightness and muscle tension as the specific movements here work to release this tension.
- Deep tissue massage: as the name implies, this form of massage therapy applies more pressure to effectively target the inner layers of muscle and connective tissue. Ideal for those recovering from a car crash in Denver or sports-related injury, a deep tissue massage can break up scar tissue and promote natural healing. Deep tissue massage is ideal for patients with chronic pain, limited mobility, or muscle tension.
- Athletic recovery massage: this type of massage combines benefits from a traditional sports massage and a deep tissue massage to help athletes recover from an injury and even boost their future performance. Athletic recovery massage is ideal for individuals who exercise frequently or participate in sports. It can help with overall muscle soreness and fatigue as well.
How Does Massage Therapy Work?
It’s truly amazing the impact that a touch can make. Massage therapy causes physiological changes throughout your body, and as some studies suggest, your mind and wellbeing, too. Essentially, massage therapy works via two specific responses: the relaxation response and the mechanical response
The relaxation response is the state where, as you’d expect it, your body begins to slow down and relax. Here, your heart rate and breathing will gradually slow down, your blood pressure decreases, and your muscles begin to relax. As some studies suggest, this initial phase that can be brought on by massage therapy can also increase the level of serotonin in your body, the “happy chemical” as it’s often coined. The relaxation response can have a range of positive effects for your physical and mental health. Some of these include reduced levels of stress, which can lower your risk of health issues like hypertension, digestive disorders, fatigue, anxiety, and even insomnia.
Then there are the mechanical responses. The physical manipulation of a massage has two major physical effects on the body: improving blood circulation and allowing the soft tissue (muscles, tendons, ligaments, etc.) to relax and normalize. Massage therapy is able to improve circulation by encouraging the body to release chemicals as part of the relaxation response. With improved circulation, your body can more effectively deliver oxygen and other nutrients to your brain and other organs.
Additionally, massage therapy works to relax your muscle tissue. This can reduce painful contractions and spasms and allow your muscles to release tension. When your muscles are tense and contracted, they tend to compress nearby nerves. When this tension eases, studies suggest that they can more efficiently receive oxygen and nutrients to function properly.
What are the Benefits of Massage Therapy?
Massages certainly feel good, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what massage therapy can offer. So many patients opt for this type of care because there are so many health benefits for both your body and mind.
Some of the top benefits of massage therapy include:
- Reduced stress and better relaxation.
- Pain reduction.
- Easing of muscle soreness and tension.
- Improved blood circulation.
- Lowered heart rate and blood pressure.
- Improved nervous system functioning.
- Calmer state of mind.
Conclusion – How Does Massage Therapy Work?
Massage therapy is a holistic, safe, and non-invasive type of therapy that can effectively treat a range of health issues. Often used in tandem with other types of therapy, such as chiropractic care, a professional massage can relieve pain, improve mobility, boost your immune system, and even improve your mental health.
If you’re interested in the benefits of massage therapy, you’ve come to the right place. Denver Integrated Spine Center (DISC) is one of Denver’s leading full-service chiropractic care centers. Our entire team of healthcare professionals is dedicated to your needs and recovery. When you work with us, we’ll help you every step of the way. If you’re recovering from an injury, car accident, or experiencing chronic pain or joint stiffness, Denver Integrated Spine Center can help.
Contact us today to schedule your initial consultation. Our Denver chiropractic office specializes in personalized care using evidence-based treatment techniques to help you recover from injury, relieve pain, and get you back to the lifestyle you love.