Are you navigating persistent migranes? Can’t shake that stiff neck or shoulder pain? Looking for a way to improve swelling in your ankles, feet and legs?
If you’re navigating chronic health conditions or persistent pain, you might be looking into the benefits of massage therapy.
The good news it that massages have been shown to help people experiencing a variety of chronic health challenges, including massage for oedema, chronic migraines, neck, shoulder and back pain. With targeted treatments, massages can lower cortisol levels (a.k.a. The body’s stress hormone), relieve chronic pain and improve flexibility and mobility.
We’ve pulled together your ultimate guide to massage therapy for chronic pain as well as condition-specific treatment recommendations to help you get the most out of your next session.
Massage to improve flexibility
If you’re wondering, “are massages good for improving flexibility?”, you’re in the right place.
Whether you’re an athlete, a gym goer, or are navigating a chronic health condition that limits your range of motion, massage therapy can be a great way to improve your flexibility.
If you’re looking to relieve tension, boost mobility and enhance your range of motion, you need to have Sports Massage and Thai Massage on your radar.
Sports Massage for improving flexibility
Despite its name, a sports massage isn’t only for athletes or people who regularly work out. A sports massage isn’t exactly a relaxation massage, rather it works by stretching tight muscles and stimulating inactive muscles to improve soft tissue and boost overall well-being.
If you’re looking to improve flexibility and range of motion, then sports massage can be just the thing you’re looking for, particularly if you are an exercise lover, helping to prepare and recover from training or working out.
In fact, research shows that sports massage is beneficial in improving flexibility and delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). Sports massages can also help in boosting heart health, lower blood pressure, support healthy circulation and prevent and treat injuries.
Thai Massage for improving flexibility
Thai massage is a pretty unique massage treatment sometimes called Thai Yoga because your massage therapist uses yoga-like movements and actively stretches and maneuvers your body.
Research shows that following a single session of Thai massage can improve physical fitness and flexibility as it reduces muscle tension and increases blood flow. This type of massage has even been shown to stimulate blood circulation which improves balance and range of motion in the foot.
Massage for Oedema
Do you ever encounter swelling in the ankles, feet and legs? This could be caused by Odemea, which is a condition linked to a build-up of fluid in the body. Typically, you’re more likely to encounter odemea if you sit or stand in the same position for long periods of time, are eating a diet that’s high in salt or you’re navigating pregnancy.
Let’s take a look at some massages that can help people support and treat oedema as well as the most effective oedema massage techniques.
Lymphatic Drainage Massage for Oedema
Since Oedema is a type of swelling, a lymphatic drainage massage is one of the best treatments to reduce swelling. A lymphatic drainage massage uses very light pressure and long, rhythmic strokes to help lymph fluids and toxins drain out of your body.
Lymphatic drainage massage is used to stimulate the lymph fluid around the body. The lymph fluid is responsible for moving and purifying the body’s waste products and toxins, essentially speeding up the body’s natural drainage process. As a result, this can reduce swelling in the body.
Pregnancy Massage for Oedema
Swelling during pregnancy is normal, but it can also be really uncomfortable. For expecting mums, a pregnancy massage is a special form of massage therapy for women in their second and third trimesters.
Pregnancy massage for the feet has been shown to significantly reduce swelling, with one study demonstrating regular foot massage decreased lower leg oedema in late pregnancy.
While consulting your doctor if you have a medical condition is always important before a massage, it’s particularly important when pregnant and if you’re experiencing oedema during pregnancy.
Massage for migraines
When a severe throbbing, pulsing migraine strikes, it can feel like nothing will relieve the persistent pain.
But the good news is that research has shown that people with chronic migraines experienced a 71% decrease in pain intensity when receiving massages.
Let’s look at some of the most beneficial massage treatments to relieve the symptoms of migraines.
Aromatherapy Massage for migraines
Filled with relaxing essential oils, an aromatherapy massage is designed to bring calmness and relaxation to the mind and body and aid in soothing tight muscles.
If you’re suffering from migraines and headaches, lavender essential oils can be beneficial to incorporate into your aromatherapy massage. Various research studies have shown that inhalation of lavender essential oil is a safe and effective treatment for migraines.
Plus, studies show a significant reduction in pain severity and migraine symptoms just after 15 minutes of inhaling lavender oil.
Swedish Relaxation Massage for migraines
Aside from relieving stress and anxiety, a Swedish relaxation massage can relieve migraine symptoms by focusing on your neck, shoulders and back to decrease muscle soreness and loosen up the muscles.
Often times, migraines can be caused by tension and soreness in your neck and shoulders. Swedish massage uses long strokes to improve circulation and harder chops and kneading to get rid of those pesky knots in your back and neck.
Massage for texting thumb and plantar fasciitis
Hands up if you spend hours scrolling social media on your phone? Don’t worry, we’re guilty too.
Texting thumb is a relatively new phenomenon caused by repetitive movements when you text or use your phone.
Plantar fasciitis involves inflammation of the tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects the heel bone to the toes. It’s one of the most common causes of heel pain and can cause stabbing pain, particularly in the morning when you take your first steps.
To help relieve some of the symptoms of both texting thumb and plantar fasciitis, let’s run through massage treatments to consider booking.
Reflexology Massage for texting thumb and plantar fasciitis
Reflexology massage can be used for either of these conditions because it focuses on pressing, pulling and rotations where your massage therapist uses their thumbs and fingers to manipulate and affect the nervous system.
Reflexology is an ancient practice focused on the concept of ‘qi’ and how pressure points in our body affect the nervous system. Typically reflexology is used on the feet, hands and ears where different amounts of pressure are applied.
Massage therapists practising reflexology for plantar fasciitis dig in the plantar aponeurosis (a thick connective tissue) on the bottom of the feet using acupressure from the thumbs to stretch the inflamed fascia which can help to relieve pain from plantar fasciitis.
Deep Tissue Massage for texting thumb and plantar fasciitis
A deep tissue massage is designed to target pain using rhythmic and flowing strokes and applying pressure to muscles and areas of pain and injury in the body.
Deep tissue massage can be very beneficial for people experiencing chronic pain including plantar fasciitis. Plus, it can be a useful treatment for relieving muscle stiffness if you’re navigating texting thumb.
Massage for neck and shoulder pain
Neck and shoulder pain can be extremely painful and even cause migraines. Whether you’re sitting at your desk for too long or you have chronic pain in your neck and shoulders, here are some great massage treatments used to relieve pain.
Remedial Massage for neck and shoulder pain
Remedial massage targets aches and pains by using a bunch of different techniques designed to loosen up the muscles, stretch the fascia and improve fluid circulation. A remedial massage can be great for both day-to-day injuries like neck and shoulder pain from sitting at your desk for too long or even chronic pain management.
Remedial massage stimulates blood supply, improving joint mobility and repairing damaged tissues which can restore the correct position of bones and heal injuries.
Hot Stone Massage for neck and shoulder pain
Hot stone massage places smooth, flat and heated stones on specific parts of your body which are used to massage out tight and tense muscles. Hot stone massage techniques can ease tense muscles, and damaged soft tissues and provide muscular relief.
For those suffering from shoulder and neck pain, hot stones are an ideal technique used to alleviate physical pain, and strain in the joints and can improve mobility because the hot stones penetrate into the deep layers of the muscles and fascia.
Massage for reducing scars and scar tissue
Scars are formed as part of the body’s healing process where the skin grows new tissue to pull together the wound and fill in any gaps caused by an injury, cut or damage. Massage therapy can be used to aid the healing process in combination with other treatments.
Let’s break down what massage treatment is most effective in reducing scars and scar tissue.
Cupping Massage for reducing scars and scar tissue
Cupping massage involves placing suction cups along the back to promote pain relief and reduce inflammation. Cupping is used to improve energy flow within the body and can speed up the body’s healing process by increasing blood flow along the back and spine.
There are various types of ways cupping can be used, from the different types of cups used to the method of application. The most common cupping techniques are:
- Wet cupping: this involves prickling the skin with a needle to draw blood before placing the cup. This ensures toxins are properly released from the body and blood flow is increased during the massage treatment.
- Dry Cupping: this involves heating the inside of each cup to create a vacuum between the cup and the skin to increase blood flow and improve circulation.
Cupping can have positive impacts on scar tissue and is beneficial in reducing the appearance of scars by improving blood flow to the area of concern and the scar itself.
One study showed that cupping therapy in combination with Traditional Chinese Medicine treatments significantly improved patients with acne and shingles.
Massage for sciatica
Are you wondering, “is massage good for sciatica?”. You’ve come to the right place.
Sciatica refers to pain along the sciatic nerve where nerve roots that make up the sciatic nerve become pinched or compressed. Although roughly 40% of people will experience a sciatic episode in their lifetime, it can interfere with daily tasks and activities which makes walking, standing and sitting difficult.
Here’s the most beneficial massage treatment to try if you’re experiencing sciatica. If you’re navigating sciatica, remember to speak to your doctor about booking a session to make sure you’re choosing the right treatment for your body.
Deep Tissue Massage for sciatica
Deep tissue massage is great for a variety of reasons and can help people with chronic pain, especially sciatica. Since sciatica starts in the lower back making its way through the hips and buttocks, a deep-tissue massage works to target specific areas of heavy pain or injury.
One study found that deep tissue massage has positive effects in reducing pain levels amongst people with chronic low back pain. So if you’re looking to book a massage for sciatica pain, make it a deep tissue treatment.
No matter what chronic conditions you’re navigating, you should always consult your doctor before seeking treatment to make sure you’re given the green light. Everyone’s body is different so make to sure get medical sign-off before booking a treatment.
Plus, we know that often chronic pain and chronic health conditions can make it difficult to travel to a day spa. That’s why Blys brings the benefits of massage right to your door with mobile massages facilitated by experienced massage therapists.