Massage Therapy and Reflexology
In response to massage, specific physiological and chemical changes cascade through the body, with profound effects.
What are the benefits of receiving massage therapy?
Research shows that massage can help relieve the pain and discomfort for a wide variety of conditions.
- Alleviate low-back pain and improve range of motion
- Assist with shorter, easier labor for expectant mothers and shorten maternity hospital stays
- Ease medication dependence
- Enhance immunity by stimulating lymph flow—the body’s natural defense system
- Exercise and stretch weak, tight, or atrophied muscles
- Help athletes of any level prepare for, and recover from, strenuous workouts or competition
- Improve the condition of the body’s largest organ—the skin
- Increase joint flexibility
- Lessen depression and anxiety
- Promote tissue regeneration, reducing scar tissue and stretch marks
- Pump oxygen and nutrients into tissues and vital organs, improving circulation
- Reduce post-surgery adhesions and swelling
- Reduce spasms and cramping
- Relax and soften injured, tired, and overused muscles
- Release endorphins—amino acids that work as the body’s natural painkillers
- Relieve migraine headache pain
What massage techniques are available at Montvale Health & Wellness?
Our massage therapists are trained in a wide variety of different techniques, including Swedish, deep tissue, lymphatic drainage, trigger point therapy, myofascial release therapy and reflexology.
Swedish Massage – This type of massage is intended to increase oxygen in the blood and remove toxins from muscles. This is accomplished by using a variety of techniques that apply pressure to surface muscles with movements that follow the direction of blood flow to the heart. The result is improved circulation, reduced stress, relaxed muscles, greater flexibility and improved overall health and wellness. During Swedish massage, therapists apply massage oil to your skin to facilitate various massage strokes, including the smooth, gliding strokes called effleurage. Other classic Swedish massage moves include kneading, friction, stretching and (sometimes) tapping. Swedish massage promotes relaxation, eases muscle tension and creates other health benefits. It can be slow and gentle or vigorous and bracing, depending on what the therapist and patient want to achieve.
Deep Tissue Massage – A deep tissue massage is designed to relieve severe tension in the muscle and the connective tissue or fascia. This type of massage focuses on the muscles located below the surface of the top muscles. Deep tissue massage is often recommended for individuals who experience consistent pain, and are involved in heavy physical activity (such as athletes), and patients who have sustained physical injury. Not to be confused with “deep pressure” massage, deep tissue massage is used to treat particular muscular-skeletal disorders and complaints and employs a dedicated set of techniques and strokes to achieve a measure of relief.
Lymphatic Drainage – Manual lymphatic drainage is a form of massage therapy in which the massage therapist attempts to manipulate lymph flow. The therapist does this by using gentle and rhythmic pumping techniques on the skin. They will do this to the skin in the direction that lymph flow should be. This is very important because the lymphatic vessels carry substances that the body needs to properly function and defend itself against disease and illness.
Many benefits may occur as a result of manual lymphatic drainage, ranging from immediate to long term. These benefits can include the following and more:
- Promotes healing – including healing of acute injuries, such as sprains and fractures, as well as long-term illnesses, such as rheumatoid arthritis.
- Prevents illness – manual lymphatic drainage is used not only to heal illnesses and injuries that currently exist in the patient’s body, but it can also help the body to prevent illnesses from occurring in the future.
- Relaxes – just as with most forms of massage therapy, manual lymphatic drainage is a very relaxing therapy for the patient.
- Helps with pregnancy – many pregnant women receive manual lymphatic drainage because of the benefits it offers; it can reduce swelling and pain caused by carrying a baby.
- Helps heal the skin – it can do this in a variety of ways, including helping to heal burns and scars, as well as reducing stretch marks.
- Promotes overall well-being – by reducing swelling, reducing pain, increasing immunity, and healing or helping many illnesses, manual lymphatic drainage is thought to increase the overall well-being of patients who receive it.
Whether you are looking for deep relaxation or you have a chronic illness you are hoping to improve, manual lymphatic drainage has a lot to offer.
Trigger Point Therapy – Trigger points (also called muscle knots) are described as hyper-irritable spots in skeletal muscles that are associated with palpable nodules in taut bands of muscle fibers that are a common cause of pain. Active trigger points cause muscular pain and will refer pain and tenderness to another part of the body when pressure is applied. Latent trigger points only exhibit pain when compressed and do not refer pain to other areas of the body. The pain caused by trigger points may be the biggest cause of disability and loss of time in the workplace.
Trigger point therapy is a hands-on technique that involves the application of pressure to tender muscle tissue in order to relive pain and dysfunction in other parts of the body. Trigger point therapy and massage are sometimes performed together. Trigger point therapy helps to eliminate pain and re-educate the muscles into pain-free habits. After several treatments, the swelling and stiffness of neuromuscular pain is reduced, range of motion is increased, tension is relieved, and circulation, flexibility and coordination are improved.
Myofascial Release Therapy – Myofascial release is a hands-on treatment that targets chronic pain all over the body such as in arthritis, back pain and neck pain. It involves a variety of massages, ranging from gentle massages to deep tissue massage that is also very gentle, but highly effective for chronic, whole body pain. These massage techniques are meant to stretch out any abnormally bunched or tightened fascia (the network of fibers that surround every muscle, bone and nerve system in the body) and bring it back to its normal state.
These sessions are usually very relaxing, to the point where some patients actually fall asleep, and many leave the office very relaxed and pain-free. Some, however, have an increase in pain for a time, but this increase rarely lasts more than 24 hours. Still others report an improvement in emotional well being as the stress of living with pain is lifted. Several sessions are commonly recommended to alleviate pain entirely.
Reflexology is the practice of applying pressure to the feet and hands using specific thumb, finger and hand techniques based on a system of zones and reflex areas. These are reflected by an image of the body on the feet and hands in order to effect a physical change in the body. Reflexology is used to:
- Relax and release tension in the shoulders, neck, base of the head and back
- Reduce the effects of stress on the body
- Improve circulation and promote proper digestion and elimination
- Release toxins and impurities
- Promote healing
Focusing on the nerve endings in the feet and hands, the reflexology therapist massages the part of your foot or hand that stimulates healing in the parts of your body that need it the most. The manipulation of these points helps to unblock the energy flow to those specific body parts, which, according to ancient Asian philosophy, will help those parts heal.