One of the reasons many of us turn to massage therapy is to heal and help manage pain, including chronic pain such as arthritis and fibromyalgia. According to the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA), the effectiveness of massage lies in a simple and direct strategy: working from the external, outer mechanisms of pain to the primary, root cause.
From backaches and shoulder pain to leg cramps and muscle spasms, massage can help. We turned to our own C.G. Funk, Licensed Massage Therapist and Vice President of Industry Relations and Product Development for Massage Envy, to give us the scoop.
Many aches and pains are due to poor posture. With a consistent program of massage therapy, the painful points in muscles are loosened and relaxed, joints have greater freedom, and pressure points are relieved. This allows the body to position itself in a healthy and natural posture, therefore avoiding the movements and positions developed over time as a reaction to the pain.
Massage therapy flushes lactic acid from the muscles and improves the circulation of the lymph fluid that carries metabolic waste away from muscles and internal organs, resulting in lower blood pressure and improved body function.
By working on muscles, connective tissue, tendons, ligaments, and joints, massage can stimulate the production and retention of our bodies’ natural lubricants between the connective tissue fibers, making stretching and movement easier, and keeping the body flexible.
Especially when nursing an injury back to full strength, increasing circulation and relaxing muscles helps the body pump more oxygen and nutrients into tissues and vital organs. This allows the rehabilitating areas to become more flexible and heal at an accelerated rate.