From the Mayo Clinic
Massage: Get in touch with its many health benefits!
What is Massage?
Massage is a general term for pressing, rubbing and manipulating your skin, muscles, tendons and ligaments. Massage therapists typically use their hands and fingers for massage but many also use their forearms, elbows and even feet. Massage may range from light stroking to deep pressure techniques.
Benefits of Massage
Massage is generally considered part of complementary and alternative medicine. It's increasingly being offered along with standard treatment for a wide range of medical conditions and situations.
While more research is needed to confirm the benefits of massage, some studies have found massage helpful for:
- Stress relief
- Managing anxiety and depression
- Blood pressure
- Infant growth
- Sport-related injuries
- Boosting immunity
- Cancer treatment
Beyond the benifits for specific conditions or diseases, some people enjoy massage because it often involves caring, comfort, a sense of empowerment and creating deep connections with their massage therapist.
Despite its benefits, massage isn't meant as a replacement for regular medical care. Let your doctor know you're trying massage and be sure to follow any standard treatment plans you have.
Risks of massage
Massage is generally safe as long as it's done by a trained massage therapist, but massage is not appropriate for everyone. Discuss massage with your doctor first in case of:
- Unexplained pain or other symptoms
- Burns or open wounds
- Blood clots
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Severe osteoporosis
Some forms of massage can leave you feeling a bit sore the next day. But massage shouldn't be painful or uncomfortable. If any part of your massage doesn't feel right or is painful, speak up right away. Most serious problems come from too much pressure during massage.