There are alternative therapies for arthritis that are becoming more popular, and if you have arthritis you should turn to massage to address both your pain and the stiffness of your condition and your general well-being. Maybe you haven’t tried massage yet because you don’t know what things to expect, your not sure that massage may be beneficial for your joint pain and inflammation, or maybe you do not know where to find a good massage therapist. This article will address these valid concerns and show you how massage can be an important section of your effective arthritis management.

So What is really a massage? You’ll have a trained professional known as a massage therapist, who presses, rubs, strokes, kneads, and otherwise manipulates the muscles and soft tissues of your body. Massage is one of the oldest healing arts. The ancient Chinese, Egyptians, and Greeks are all known to have practiced it. Massage became accepted in the usa in the mid 1800’s only to disappear in the next century and not revive until the 1960’s and 1970’s.

Today, there are well over 100,000 massage therapists at the job in america. They practice massage in many settings, from hospitals to health clubs to private studios. People go to them for most different reasons: to help ease pain, to rehabilitate from injury, to lessen stress, to help ease anxiety and depression, and to improve general well-being.

While there are a lot more than 250 varieties of massage techniques, most practitioners use a number of of several basic methods. Many use a form of Swedish massage, which employs long, flowing strokes meant to be calming and relaxing. As your body becomes relaxed, the massage therapist may also apply focused pressure to alleviate regions of muscular tension. Other popular types of massage include deep tissue massage, which features strong pressure on deeper layers of tissue, and myofascial release, where long, stretching strokes releases the tension in the fascia (the connective tissue around the muscles). There are also the Asian techniques of acupressure and shiatsu, which use finger pressure on specific points on your body, and the technique called reflexology, which upholds that rubbing certain points on your toes, hands, or ears includes a positive effect on various body parts.

What are the great things about massage? Should you have a chronic condition, massage might have numerous benefits. If done correctly, massage can offer a wonderful break from the strain of coping with arthritis or another stressful condition. It could aid in relaxation, which by itself helps healing and reduces es stress. It can also reduce pain, improve joint movement, relax tense muscles, and stimulate blood circulation. But, massage for those of you who have arthritis ought to be handled as a complementary therapy, that is, one that is used in conjunction with, and not to replace, other regular medical treatments such as pain medicine or physical therapy. The following you will find five ways that massage can benefit you, although you may don’t have arthritis.

One is relaxation. The best and most likely the biggest benefit is relaxation, that’s number one. Massage should bring a sense of well-being to your body. Mary Kathleen Rose is a certified massage therapist in Colorado and after 25 years of experience, and far of that working with people that have chronic conditions, she has developed a method of massage she calls Comfort Touch that is characterized by slow, broad, and surrounding pressure. It isn’t known why or how massage encourages relaxation. Some speculate that massage triggers your body’s parasympathetic nervous system, (which supports the body’s restorative processes), muscle tension is improved, the heart rate slows, and the fight-or-flight response is revered.

Your circulation changes. While the mechanism isn’t well understood, massage is also thought to encourage the flow of lymph in your body. (Lymph is really a fluid that circulates through the entire body; the cells in lymph help fight infection and disease.) Massage can also increase the flow of blood. However, exercise actually has a greater influence on increasing circulation than massage does. And throughout a relaxing massage, local circulation may increase, but systemic circulation actually decreases, as evidenced by lowered blood pressure, lower torso temperature, and slower breathing. This may explains why lots of people actually become cooler during massage.

You’ll get pain relief. There is some evidence that massage can in fact relieve pain. Those who are getting massages certainly think it can. There was a study done by the American Massage Therapy Association that showed 93% of individuals who tried a massage, felt it had been effective for their pain relief and there are many theories out there for why a massage relieves pain. But, there are some researchers who speculate that massage encourages the release of pain-relieving hormones or that massage may block pain signals that are sent to the brain.

You’ll have improved joint movement. Through the use of direct pressure, massage can affect the muscles and connective tissues in your body, increasing mobility. This can help increase the range of motion in the joints and lesson stiffness in the muscles, tendons and ligaments for those who have arthritis.