Remedial massage is used to locate and repair damaged areas of the body and speed up the body’s own healing processes. The pressure applied can either be strong and deep or gentle and shallow, depending on the problem.
Problems with the muscles can trigger or radiate pain to other parts of the body. Remedial massage aims to trace the original reason for the pain, tackling both the cause of the problem and the symptoms.
The therapist will use a number of different techniques to locate and repair damaged areas of the body. They will deeply penetrate muscles associated with the problem. They might also stretch different parts of the body.
Remedial massage can:
The therapist will aim to balance the length, tone and tension of muscles and tendons, which restores the correct position of the bones, increases blood flow and helps heal injuries. Easing and stabilising the muscles can improve problems such as headaches, abdominal pain, low back pain and sciatic pain.
Some health problems that are often treated with remedial massage include sporting and dance injuries, muscle cramps, whiplash, muscular atrophy, fibrositis, spondylitis, arthritis and frozen shoulder.
Additionally, massage and other forms of touch, such as a hug or embrace, have been shown through numerous studies to increase the neurotransmitter and hormone of oxytocin. Oxytocin is known as the “love hormone.” It increases feelings of bonding and belonging, a sense of stability and trust, and enhances our sociability. Research has shown that this hormone can relieve social anxiety, depression and stress, while increasing empathy, generosity, self-esteem, and optimism.
One study published in the International Journal of Neuroscience found that massage recipients measure a 28% averaged increase of serotonin and a 31% averaged increase in of dopamine in the bloodstream, following massage therapy. Serotonin helps to regulate mood, appetite and digestion. Synthesized in the brain and intestines, it is theorized that low serotonin levels contribute to depression and anxiety. Its close relative, dopamine, is associated with the reward centers of the brain. Low dopamine levels are associated with lack of motivation, low energy and the inability to focus, all symptoms linked to depression. The increased levels of these neurotransmitters produced by massage can regulate, even elevate your mood, energy, motivation and mental focus, all improving your emotional state.
Chiropractic focuses on the hard tissue of the body (vertebrae and joints of the spine) while massage focuses on the soft tissues (muscles) of the body. By targeting both the hard and soft tissues, a faster and more overall complete recovery is achieved.
Massages work well with chiropractic because of the relaxation factor. After a massage, a chiropractic patient is more relaxed and less anxious. This allows the chiropractor to better adjust the joints and spine. Relaxed muscles also won’t pull the joints back out of alignment due to the release of muscle tension.
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