What Should You Know About Massage Therapy

Different Types Of Massage Therapy

Apart from massage therapy being able to help relieve sore muscles, there are a few others things to know like what are the different types of massage therapy, what are the risks, if there are any side effects, and whether or not it should substitute conventional medicine.

For starters, there are several types of massage therapy being used to date. Some examples of these include reflexology, shiatsu,  Thai, hot stone, deep tissue, and Swedish.

Is A Massage Therapist A Masseuse?

The difference between a massage therapist and a masseuse is that licensed massage therapists have gone to school for years to earn certifications and licenses, where a masseuse may never have taken a course.  Licensed massage therapists are often used in the medical field and are qualified to work with doctors and chiropractors where a masseuse is not.

What Is The Difference Between A Spa Massage And Medical Massage

A spa massage is relaxing and meant to make you feel wonderful.  A medical massage may or may not make you feel wonderful at the moment.  Its purpose is to help relieve your body of medical or chiropractic conditions.  It’s not intended to be uncomfortable necessarily, but could be for the ultimate goal of bringing lasting relief.

What Are The Risks Of Massage Therapy

There are only a few serious risks with regards to massage therapy and this can be avoided if you take the proper precautions. The best thing to do will be to consult with your doctor to see if it is safe for you to see a masseuse or massage therapist.

Patients who have the following conditions should not undergo massage without doctor’s orders:

  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Bleeding disorders or someone taking blood-thinning drugs such as warfarin
  • Damaged blood vessels
  • Weakened bones from osteoporosis
  • A recent fracture
  • Cancer
  • Fever
  • Open injury
  • Tumor Diagnosis
  • Damaged nerves
  • Infection or acute inflammation
  • Pregnancy
  • Fragile skin
  • Heart problems
  • Dermatomyositis
  • A history of physical abuse.

There could rarely be certain side effects associated with massage therapy. These include temporary pain or discomfort, bruising, swelling and sensitivity or allergy to massage oils.

Massage therapy should not be used a substitute for regular medical care. If your doctor tells you that you can see a specialist, do some research about the person.

Check Out The Massage Therapist

You should check on a massage therapist’s credentials or license and the number of years of experience and training. If you need massage therapy to help cure a medical condition then find out beforehand if they have specialized training in this field.

It wouldn’t hurt to also ask if they use other CAM practices aside from massage therapy to help their patients. Some examples of these include the use of herbs and requiring the patient to go on a special diet.

If everything checks out, then this is the time you find out how many treatments you will need, whether the cost  of the treatments will be covered by your insurance. (In most cases it isn’t). Some people may even ask for a free ten minute test to see if they personally like how the massage therapist performs.

Other Things To Consider After The First Session
  •  Were you comfortable with the therapist?
  • Did they talk too much or too little?
  • Were you comfortable with the privacy you were given when you changed?
  • Did the therapist cover your body for modesty and warmth?
  • Did they inquire before beginning the session what part of the body you wanted worked on?
  • Did they ask for feedback as to how they were doing and accommodate requests for less or more intense pressure?
  • Did you enjoy the massage, and/or did it make you feel better?

Massage Therapy Can Replace Pain Killers In Some Instances

The best part about massage therapy is that it can provide relief without the need to ingest pain killing drugs and knowing some facts about it is good so you know what you are getting yourself into once you visit the place. You can read more about this by doing some research which isn’t bad even if you just go for a session to relieve some stress or pain and not have to visit because of a medical condition.