Massage therapy is a technique integrated into physiotherapy that consists of the use of different massage techniques for therapeutic purposes to treat illnesses and injuries. Thus, it encompasses techniques such as therapeutic massage, deep transverse massage, therapeutic manual lymphatic drainage, myofascial release, sports massage, cryomassage, connective tissue massage, periosteal massage, neuro-muscular techniques, and Dicke’s massage, among others.
Massages improve blood circulation and lymph flow, which helps to bring nutrients to the cells and eliminate impurities and toxic substances from the organism. Hence, massage therapy has many benefits:
- increases the blood’s ability to carry oxygen. Massage helps increase red and white blood cells. In fact, people with circulatory problems improve fluid retention in their legs, eliminating the feeling of heat, pain and swelling.
- It helps to release enforfinas, giving a sense of well being and helping with pain, in addition to reducing fat deposits, along with a balanced diet and exercise.
- It helps to keep the muscles flexible. With massages, patients with neck, shoulder and back pain gain strength, eliminating the tension of the affected nerves.
- reduces stress, as well as combating depression.
- It is effective in relieving headaches caused by nervous tension and back muscle pain, as well as skin conditions.
- It stimulates the organs of digestion and improves lung and skin performance.
Why is it performed?
Among the injuries that can be treated with massage therapy techniques are:
- Muscle contractures
- Fibre rupture
- Psycho-somatic alterations
- Myofascial entrapments
- Sympathetic reflex algodystrophy
- Sports injuries
What does it consist of?
Massage therapy consists of manual treatment applied to the body and transmitted by hand pressure on the various organs. Thus, depending on the indication and the objectives of the treatment, the effects will generate direct or reflex actions. The effects will be:
- Mechanical, when the forces of each maneuver affect the tissues.
- Physiological-hygienic, when the massage is applied to a healthy person, achieves greater vigor or relieves fatigue.
- Preventive, when a tense area with possible injury is located by palpation.
- Therapeutic, when it is performed to improve circulatory function, restore mobility between damaged tissues, relieve or reduce pain, or optimize sensory awareness. Massage also provides relaxation and well-being, aiding in the recovery and maintenance of health.
- Aesthetic-hygienic, when the purpose is to improve the external appearance of the person: eliminate fat deposits, restore muscle tone and reduce fatigue.
- Sports, when it is carried out to prepare an athlete before, during and after practice.
- psychological-emotional, or relaxing.
Preparation for massage therapy
No preparation is necessary prior to massage therapy, as it is based on massage applied to injuries.
Care after the intervention
After the intervention, in principle, it would not be necessary to provide any care, since the massages are applied to solve the injuries in a harmless way. However, the patient may notice slight pain in the treated and injured area. In this case, the physiotherapist specialist will recommend the necessary care.