It Sounds Like it Feels Good, But Exactly What is Massage Therapy?

These days there are so many different treatments that claim to help you deal with pain that it’s becoming increasingly more difficult to determine which methods are most likely to deliver the results you want. One of the most popular, and most effective treatments for relieving pain, has a centuries-old proven track record: massage therapy.

What is massage therapy?

Massage therapy is a form of massage that uses a variation of massaging techniques, including kneading, compression, and vibration of the soft tissue of the body. Massage therapy is typically done using the hands, but may also involve the elbows and forearms or even the feet.  Massage therapists work to assess any tissue damage you have sustained as the result of an injury while decreasing the pain that accompanies it. What’s more is that inflamed muscles can inhibit your ability to perform at your highest level. Massage therapy works to relieve inflammation while alleviating chronic pain.

What is massage therapy beneficial for?

Even the two words in themselves sound relieving….massage therapy…Beyond how wonderful it can feel, there are many benefits, both mental and physical, to massage therapy.

Massage therapy’s physical benefits include:

–          The loosening of tight muscles
–          Relief for tired, aching muscles
–          Increased flexibility and motion range
–          Chronic pain that is diminished
–          Lowered heart rate and lowered blood pressure
–          A stronger immune system

Massage therapy’s mental benefits include:

–          A calmer nervous system
–          Stress relief
–          Improved concentration
–          Better sleep
–          Mental relaxation

When contemplating the definition of ‘massage therapy,’ it’s important to consider what it offers and achieves.  While the short term effects of massage therapy relieve aching and tired muscles and chronic pain, the long term benefit is returning you to peak physical health to take part in the activities that bring you joy.

Another important component to massage therapy is its role in the prevention of future injuries. Because massage therapy helps loosen muscles, lowers heart rate and reduces blood pressure, it can help you remain flexible. Flexibility of muscles helps decrease the chances of experiencing an injury when your body tense, wound up like a top, ready to snap – as bodies can – in response to the most innocuous little movement. Keeping your body healthy and avoiding injury is an important reason to consider regular, ongoing massage therapy.

Often, individuals who have suffered a sports related injury, or any type of soft tissue injury, are confused about how to deal with the associated pain.  Alternative remedies such as massage therapy can conquer pain without evasive treatments such as surgery, meaning a greatly reduced (or non-existent) recovery period, and a greater chance of preventing injury in the future.

So, in summary, massage therapy and how it can help you is multi-faceted.  As a form of massage, while it treats recurring pain from a sports related injury, it also helps you deal with the stress that often accompanies injury; address the issues preventing you from participating in your regular activities; and enjoy maintaining a healthy, active, pain-free lifestyle.

For further details on what massage therapy is and the benefits it offers, contact Athletic Edge Sports Medicine by calling 416 800 0800, or visit