The History of Massage
The use of massage for healing purposes dates back 4,000 years in Chinese medical literature and continues to be an important part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). A contemporary form of massage, known as Swedish massage, was introduced to the United States in the 1850s. By the end of the 19th century, a significant number of American doctors were practicing this manual technique, and the nation's first massage therapy clinic had opened its doors to the public.
In the early 20th century, the rise of technology and prescription drugs began to overshadow massage therapy. For the next several decades, massage remained dormant, with only a few therapists continuing to practice the "ancient" technique. However, during the 1970s, both the general public and the medical profession began to take notice of alternative medicine and mind-body therapies, including massage therapy.
Types of Massage Offered
- Swedish massage: A variety of strokes and pressure techniques are used to enhance the flow of blood to the heart, remove waste products from the tissues, stretch ligaments and tendons, and ease physical and emotional tension.
- Deep tissue massage: Similar to Swedish massage, but the deeper pressure is beneficial in releasing chronic muscle tension. The focus is on the deepest layers of muscle tissue, tendons and fascia (the protective layer surrounding muscles, bones and joints).
- Sports massage: Often used on professional athletes and other active individuals, sports massage can enhance performance and prevent and treat sports-related injuries.
- On site/chair massage: On site massage therapists use a portable chair to deliver brief, upper body massages to fully clothed people in offices and other public places.
- Myofascial release: Gentle pressure and body positioning are used to relax and stretch the muscles, fascia (connective tissue), and related structures. Trained physical therapists and massage therapists use this technique.
- Craniosacral massage: Gentle pressure is applied to the head and spine to correct imbalances and restore the flow of cerebrospinal fluid in these areas.
- Lymphatic massage: Light, rhythmic strokes are used to improve the flow of lymph (colorless fluid that helps fight infection and disease) throughout the body. One of the most popular forms of lymphatic massage, manual lymphatic drainage (MLD), focuses on draining excess lymph.
- Reflexology: Specialized thumb and finger techniques are applied to the hands and feet. Reflexologists believe that these areas contain "reflex points" or direct connections to specific organs and structure, throughout the body.
- Trigger point massage: Pressure is applied to "trigger points" (tender areas where the muscles have been damaged) to alleviate muscle spasms and pain.
- Infant Massage: A vital, dynamic interaction that forms the foundation of relationship building that will last a lifetime. Nurturing touch between a parent/caregiver and an infant enriches physiological, social-emotional, and mind/body/spirit connections for the infant being massaged, as well as for the parent.
Chiropractic and Massage Therapy
Millions of people seek chiropractic care or massage therapy to relieve or prevent pain and limited mobility. These two complementary therapies, especially in combination, form a powerful healing approach to relieve pain and increase your body's mobility and resilience. Over time, they offer a uniquely effective way to support your ongoing vitality and well-being.
Mutually Supportive Therapies
Adding massage therapy to your chiropractic care program can increase its effectiveness.
- Recovery is faster and more complete when you address multiple components of your condition.
- Chiropractic adjustment often proceeds more easily when circulation is improved and your body and mind are relaxed.
- Adjustments hold longer with less muscle tension.
If you find that pain persists, reoccurs or even worsens after your massage, chiropractic could help.
Chiropractic may give immediate relief as joints are restored to mobility.
Soft tissue often heals quickly once it is no longer subjected to the stress of misaligned joints.
Chiropractic adjustments can sometimes relax deep layers of soft tissue that can be difficult to reach with massage.
Chiropractors and massage therapists generally agree that treatments should be scheduled on the same day. Massage and chiropractic are both useful, but have been much more powerful together.