Types of massage therapy

7 Types of Massage Therapy for Relaxation, Pain Relief, Recovery, and More

Chiropractic Anchorage AK Shoulder Massage

While you may have heard about taking a “spa day” or going to get pampered in order to relax, massage therapy actually offers much more than the simple pleasure that many people associate it with.

Alternatives to traditional methods of treating pain have actually been gaining much more attention in recent years. And recently there has been a significant increase in the number of medical clinics that are incorporating chiropractic care, massage therapy, and other forms of holistic or homeopathic therapy.

Integrative chiropractic care often includes massage therapy in order to give a patient a more thorough treatment for pain, injuries, or just to relax the body and meet any wellness goals that you may be seeking. And here, we’ll discuss six types of massage therapy, how they work, and the benefits that you can gain from them.

Could you benefit from massage therapy or integrative chiropractic care? Reach out to Excellence in Health and learn about our New Patient Special.

Why is Massage Therapy Part of Integrative Chiropractic Care?

Chiropractic Anchorage AK Types of Massage Therapy

Most chiropractors understand that optimal health and proper alignment of the spine are integral factors in supporting a person’s overall state of well-being. But many chiropractors also believe that there can be many ways to improve the positioning and support of the spine as well.

If you’ve been involved in any type of accident, whether a car accident, slip and fall, or have sustained other personal injuries that have affected your spinal health, integrative chiropractic care can be offered to include massage therapy which can potentially enhance the process of healing and alignment.

Types of Massage Therapy

Though integrative chiropractic care often utilizes injury rehab massage, other forms of massage therapy can be utilized under the capable hands of a licensed practitioner to achieve greater health and wellness. And the most common methods of massage therapy are:

  • Myofascial massage
  • Swedish massage
  • Stress relief massage
  • Deep tissue massage
  • Medical massage
  • Relaxation massage
  • Injury rehab massage

Injuries from accidents can take weeks, if not many months, to completely heal. Under the guidance of licensed practitioners, chiropractic care and massage therapy could help you along during the process of healing – and offer you additional health benefits as well.

1.      Myofascial Massage

Myofascial massage, otherwise referred to as myofascial release, is a massage technique that can treat myofascial pain syndrome by stretching the fascia. This chronic condition can be painful and may be caused by poor posture, injuries, stress, or overusing certain muscle groups.

By applying pressure and attempting to stretch the fascia through massage, this process can relieve muscle tension, increase flexibility, and reduce pain in the affected region.

Some great benefits of myofascial massage include:

  • Increased blood flow
  • Improved tissue recovery
  • Improved neuromuscular efficiency
  • Improved range of motion
  • Decreased stress
  • Improved flexibility and agility

Keep in mind that the areas that are typically massaged may not be the exact areas where you feel pain. And this is because the fascia wraps around and connects internal parts of your body, supporting your spine and muscles – and can be found around nerves, organs, bones, muscles, and blood vessels. As such, tension or trigger points in the fascia may be several inches away from the source of pain.

2.      Swedish Massage

Perhaps one of the most well-known and widely practiced forms of therapeutic massage, Swedish massage therapy is focused primarily on muscle relaxation.

Swedish massage targets superficial muscle groups rather than deep-tissue massage which typically targets deeper-lying connective tissues in order to help improve blood circulation. And this can be extremely helpful for pain management if you’ve recently been injured or in an accident.

A few great health benefits you can potentially gain from Swedish massage are:

  • Reduced stress levels
  • Improved immune system function
  • Increased flexibility
  • Improved blood flow
  • Pain management
  • Muscle injury rehabilitation

While Swedish massage can be a great way to give yourself a day of pampering, keep in mind that it can also help you heal and allow you to get closer to meeting your health goals.

3.      Stress Relief Massage

Massage therapy is primarily related to relieving stress. And you probably already know that reducing or managing stress levels is an important factor in maintaining proper health and optimal quality of life. This is because stress itself can manifest physiologically and even be debilitating at times, preventing you from living a full, healthy life.

By integrating stress relief massage into your wellness routine, whether this is for rehabilitation efforts after an accident or simply for the health benefits alone, you could potentially see many physiological improvements including:

  • Decrease in muscle tension
  • Improved mood
  • Better sleep
  • Increased energy
  • Decreased heart rate
  • Balanced cortisol levels
  • Balanced insulin levels

Additionally, stress relief massage can also help relieve pain and improve circulation along with posture and immune system function. And if you’ve recently been injured in an accident, this form of massage therapy could be quite beneficial on a holistic level.

4.      Deep Tissue Massage

If you’ve been experiencing muscle soreness, stress, or any type of pain associated with an accident or injury, deep-tissue massage therapy might be just the remedy you’re looking for. Because this type of massage utilizes the technique of applying firm pressure to the deeper layers of muscle and fascia – the connective tissue surrounding your muscles.

A few benefits of deep tissue massage include:

  • Reducing Arthritis pain
  • Rehabilitation of injured muscles
  • Breaking up scar tissue
  • Promoting greater ease of motion
  • Lowering blood pressure and heart rate
  • Reducing pain

Additionally, deep-tissue massage may also help women control pain during labor. But the benefits from deep tissue massage can be extremely helpful for athletic injuries as well as helping with recovery after an accident.

5.      Medical Massage

Medical massage is often a doctor-prescribed massage therapy that follows specific instructions from a medical doctor, and treatment often takes place over a series of short sessions. So, if you suffer from chronic aches and pains, or if you’re trying to recover from athletic injuries, accidents, or other mishaps, medical massage can be extremely beneficial.

Benefits of medical massage may include:

  • Decreasing inflammation
  • Decreasing pain
  • Aiding in digestion
  • Deactivating myofascial trigger points
  • Calming the nervous system
  • Helping improve posture
  • Improving coordination
  • Improves flexibility
  • Improves range of motion

It’s important to note that a massage therapist is not qualified to diagnose a patient. But a licensed massage therapist can carry out a doctor-prescribed massage therapy.

6.      Relaxation Massage

Let’s face it, sometimes you get tense. And during the workweek, you’re probably looking forward to the weekend just so you can attempt to relax. But life often gets in the way _even on the weekends – and may prevent you from any attempt at relaxing.

As stress builds up, so does cortisol. And this hormone can cause a variety of bodily responses that aren’t exactly conducive to relaxation including elevated blood pressure, decreased immune system function, increased weight gain, and even difficulty with sleeping.

Relaxation massage can help you with the following:

  • Improving blood flow
  • Improving lymphatic flow
  • Improving nervous system function
  • Relaxing muscle tissue
  • Decreasing stress on blood vessels

Additionally, the effects of relaxation massage therapy have been known to last long after your therapy session ends. And this is because as stress hormones are reduced and your body begins to relax, anxiety also decreases and this can lead to an overall healthier state of wellness.

7.      Injury Rehab Massage

Injuries, no matter how they occur, are no fun to deal with. And depending on the nature of your injury, these could take several weeks or months to fully recover from. So if you’re trying to recover quickly and return to work, or just get back to living a normal life, injury rehab massage can be quite beneficial.

Injury rehab massage also has many attractive benefits. And a few of these are:

  • Assisting with primary rehabilitation therapies
  • Assisting with the improvement of strength
  • Promoting a return in your range of motion
  • Improving circulation
  • Improving nutrient supply
  • Decreasing pain during recovery

The rehabilitation process can be long. As such, including injury rehab therapy with your primary rehabilitation regimen can prove to be an ideal step in attaining greater wellness and getting you back on your feet.

If you've been injured in an accident, following the instructions of your doctor is going to be the first step on the road to recovery. However, asking your doctor about utilizing massage therapy for help with pain and recovery may be the ideal solution you’ve been looking for.

Have you been injured and think you could benefit from massage therapy or integrative chiropractic care? Reach out to Excellence in Health and talk to a licensed practitioner today.

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Excellence In Health Chiropractic & Rehabilitation Clinic

2008 E Northern Lights Blvd #100
Anchorage, AK 99508

(907) 562-6325