Acute pain is a normal sensation indicating a possible injury while chronic pain persists for months or years. Chronic pain may arise from an initial injury or an ongoing cause, though there may also be no clear cause of chronic pain.
Due to the fact that chronic pain can happen in different body parts and for a variety of reasons, patients and health professionals must work together to determine the underlying cause and how it can be relieved.
Though there is no cure for most chronic pain conditions, therapeutic massage is an excellent option to help alleviate and manage pain. Learn more about What’s Chronic Pain in our FREE Holistic Magazine
Chronic pain may stop you from doing the things you need or want to do, but massage can significantly help you get back to normal functioning level.
For chronic conditions, studies say that routine massage sessions are effective for pain relief.
Oftentimes, chronic pain is accompanied by symptoms of anxiety, difficulty sleeping, and depression. This is where therapeutic massage comes in as it has been proven to help ease and manage chronic pain.
A reputable massage therapy school shares six reasons for you to opt for a therapeutic massage if you are experiencing chronic pain.
1. Massage Promotes Relaxation
Relaxation is the biggest benefit of therapeutic massage. With the slow, encompassing, and broad pressure applied, massage encourages relaxation. It brings about a sense of well-being to the body.
Some experts say that massage can trigger the parasympathetic nervous system of the body. This, in turn, stimulates the body’s restorative processes so muscle tension is relieved, and the fight-or-flight response is reversed.
2. Massage Improves Circulation
Massage is thought to promote the efficient flow of lymph throughout the body, and affects blood circulation in a good way. Remember that the cells in the lymph help fight disease and infection.
During a therapeutic massage, local circulation increases while systemic circulation slows down. The body then experiences a decrease in temperature, lower blood pressure, and slower respiration.
3. Massage Encourages The Release Of Feel-Good Hormones
Research has shown that massage can bring pain relief as it encourages the release of hormones like serotonin that help relieve pain. Moreover, massage blocks the pain signals that are sent to the brain.
4. Massage Increases Mobility
With direct pressure, massage can affect the body’s connective tissues and muscles to increase mobility. For people with arthritis, for instance, benefit from massage as it can improve joint movement.
It increases the range of motion in the joints as well as reduces stiffness in the tendons, ligaments and muscles.
5. Massage Reduces Feelings Of Fatigue & Depression
Massage therapy lowers feeling of stress, along with the fatigue and depression that accompanies it. Studies have shown that the presence of depression is usually triggered by chronic pain, and that depression may lead to worse pain and muscle tension.
Moreover, some findings have shown that depression and chronic pain can be attributed to changes in cognitive functioning.
Therapeutic massage can help reverse depression. It helps significantly improving the condition of patients suffering from chronic pain, muscle tension, depression, insomnia and fatigue.
6. Massage Has Psychological Benefits
The psychological benefits of massage are well-documented. It can alleviate depression and anxiety, relieve neuropathic pain, enhance feelings of safety and well-being, and alter one’s mood.
People suffering from chronic pain usually turn to massage therapy to naturally improve their quality of life. When done correctly, massage offers a wonderful respite from the stress of living with chronic pain.
It can help in relaxation, which, in itself, reduces stress and promotes healing. It also improves joint movement, stimulates blood flow, and relaxes tense muscles.
But before undergoing any form of therapeutic massage, it is highly advised that people with chronic pain consult with their doctor first to check if getting a massage is a good idea.
Once you have cleared the decision with your physician, make sure to work with a licensed massage therapist who has completed massage courses from qualified schools or has undergone professional training.
It is also a good idea to find a massage therapist who has experience working with people who suffer from chronic pain. Most importantly, choose one with whom you feel most at ease.
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Marc Innes is the Owner and Principal of the School of Natural Therapies, a training school for Massage & Holistic Therapies located in London. Marc began his career in the NHS, working in a number of managerial and training roles within the Ambulance Service in London. He spent much of that time educating and coaching medical staff. Over time, he developed an interest in all things complementary to Allopathic Medicine, in particular, Reiki Healing and EFT, which culminated in running a successful teaching and ‘energy healing’ practice. Marc is passionate about the massage and complementary therapy industry.