Many of today’s health problems can benefit from massage therapy because the manipulation of soft tissues affects all systems of our body. Massage has been touted as one of the oldest forms of medical treatment and in recent years its benefits have been supported by research.
At the University of Miami School of Medicine’s Touch Research Institute, researchers have found that massage is helpful in decreasing blood pressure in people with hypertension, alleviating pain in migraine sufferers, increasing weight gain in pre-term neonates and improving alertness and performance in office workers.
It is essential to see a registered therapist who is trained to perform a clinical assessment in order to ensure a safe and effective treatment. Massage Therapists are “registered” by the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario in accordance with the Regulated Health Professions Act and the Massage Therapy Act.
Although Massage Therapy is not covered by OHIP, it is often covered through extended Health Insurance Plans. To see a Registered Massage Therapist you do not need a doctor’s referral, however some insurance companies do require one in order to be covered by your extended health care benefits. To find a therapist in your area, contact The College of Massage Therapists or your local Massage Therapy Association.
Massage Therapy can aid in the treatment of a variety of conditions. Check out the many benefits that massage has to offer below.
Recent research has shown that massage of the upper back, head, neck and shoulders has been effective in reducing the frequency and intensity of headaches. Subjects of this study also reported taking fewer analgesics and having improved sleep patterns.
Massage Therapy for arthritis focuses on restoring or maintaining optimum joint function or mobility. This is achieved through Swedish techniques to decrease muscle tension, decrease inflammation and improve joint health. The use of hydrotherapy can also aid in the decrease of pain and stiffness around the affected joints.
Medical research has shown that massage during pregnancy can help improve sleep, decrease pain (lower back and legs) and reduce obstetric and postnatal complications.
Infant Gas & Colic
Research has shown that massage can help to aid in improving digestion and even reducing the intensity and frequency of colic episodes. Check out the baby massage episodes on WOW TV to find out more about massage for your baby.
Massage during labour can help lower anxiety and depression, decrease cortisol levels (stress hormone), decrease the need for medication, shorten labour time and decrease the incidence of post partum depression.
Massage for babies have diverse benefits. It helps to promote growth and development, improves sleep patterns and enhances the parent/child bond and communication. Studies have shown that, with massage, babies born premature gain 47% more weight and were discharged 6 days earlier from the hospital. See our Wellness Library for related articles.
Massage therapy and fascial techniques help to improve the quality of scar tissue formation. This results in an increased local circulation, tissue mobility, and improved sensation. One of the primary goals of treatment is to reduce pain and restore any affected joint mobility.
Other conditions that can benefit from massage therapy:
Stress, whiplash, anxiety/panic disorders, body image issues, poor circulation, insomnia and other sleep disorders.