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An Alternative Therapy For Arthritis - Using Massages and What to Expect

An Alternative Therapy For Arthritis - Using Massages and What to Expect

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Published by Cheshirejp
If you are interested in Massage Tables please visit my website: http://www.massagetablecenter.com/
If you are interested in Massage Tables please visit my website: http://www.massagetablecenter.com/

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: Cheshirejp on Jan 04, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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 ==== ====For more great information about Massage Tables, visit my blog:www.massagetablecenter.com ==== ====There are alternative therapies for arthritis that are becoming more popular, and if you havearthritis you might want to turn to massage to address both your pain and the stiffness of yourcondition and your general well-being. Maybe you haven't tried massage yet because you don'tknow what to expect, your not sure that massage is a good idea for your joint pain andinflammation, or maybe you don't know where to find a good massage therapist. This article willaddress these valid concerns and show you how massage can be an important part of youreffective arthritis management. So What is a massage? You will have a trained professional known as a massage therapist, whopresses, rubs, strokes, kneads, and otherwise manipulates the muscles and soft tissues of yourbody. Massage is one of the oldest healing arts. The ancient Chinese, Egyptians, and Greeks areall known to have practiced it. Massage became accepted in the United States in the mid 1800'sonly to disappear in the following century and not revive until the 1960's and 1970's. Today, there are well over 100,000 massage therapists at work in the United States. They practicemassage in many settings, from hospitals to health clubs to private studios. People go to them formany different reasons: to ease pain, to rehabilitate from injury, to reduce stress, to ease anxietyand depression, and to improve general well-being. While there are more than 250 varieties of massage techniques, most practitioners use one ormore of a few basic methods. Many use a form of Swedish massage, which employs long, flowingstrokes meant to be calming and relaxing. As your body becomes relaxed, the massage therapistcan also apply focused pressure to relieve areas of muscular tension. Other popular forms ofmassage include deep tissue massage, which features strong pressure on deeper layers of tissue,and myofascial release, in which long, stretching strokes releases the tension in the fascia (theconnective tissue around the muscles). There are also the Asian techniques of acupressure andshiatsu, which use finger pressure on specific points on the body, and the technique calledreflexology, which upholds that rubbing certain points on the feet, hands, or ears has a positiveeffect on various body parts. What are the benefits of massage? If you have a chronic condition, massage can have numerousbenefits. If done correctly, massage can provide a wonderful break from the stress of living witharthritis or another stressful condition. It can aid in relaxation, which by itself helps healing andreduces es stress. It can also reduce pain, improve joint movement, relax tense muscles, andstimulate blood flow. But, massage for those of you who have arthritis should be handled as acomplementary therapy, that is, one that is used in combination with, and not to replace, otherregular medical treatments such as pain medicine or physical therapy. Listed below you will findfive ways that massage can benefit you, even if you don't have arthritis. 
One is relaxation. The best and probably the biggest benefit is relaxation, that's number one.Massage should bring a sense of well-being to the body. Mary Kathleen Rose is a certifiedmassage therapist in Colorado and after 25 years of experience, and much of that working withthose with chronic conditions, she has developed a style of massage she calls Comfort Touch thatis characterized by slow, broad, and surrounding pressure. It's not known exactly why or howmassage encourages relaxation. Some speculate that massage triggers the body'sparasympathetic nervous system, (which supports the body's restorative processes), muscletension is improved, the heart rate slows, and the fight-or-flight response is revered. Your circulation changes. While the mechanism is not well understood, massage is also thought toencourage the flow of lymph in the body. (Lymph is a fluid that circulates throughout the body; thecells in lymph help fight infection and disease.) Massage can also increase the flow of blood.However, exercise actually has a greater effect on increasing circulation than massage does. Andduring a relaxing massage, local circulation may increase, but systemic circulation actually slowsdown, as evidenced by lowered blood pressure, lower body temperature, and slower breathing.This may explains why many people actually become cooler during massage. You'll get pain relief. There is some evidence that massage can actually relieve pain. Those whoare getting massages certainly think it does. There was a study done by the American MassageTherapy Association that showed 93% of the people who tried a massage, felt it was effective fortheir pain relief and there are many theories out there for why a massage relieves pain. But, thereare some researchers who speculate that massage encourages the release of pain-relievinghormones 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 themuscles and connective tissues in the body, increasing mobility. This can help increase the rangeof motion in the joints and lesson stiffness in the muscles, tendons and ligaments for those whohave arthritis. There are also psychological benefits. The psychological benefits from massages are welldocumented. Massage can change your mood, alleviate any anxiety and depression you mayhave, and improve your feelings of well-being and safety and this is why so many people will turnto massage. How do you choose the right massage therapist? Before you go looking for a massage therapist,you should talk to your doctor about whether or not it's a good idea for you. If you have certainconditions, such as dermatomyositis or severe osteoporosis (the thinning of your bones), yourdoctor may advise you not to try massages. Once you have the go ahead from your doctor, youcan start looking for a massage therapist, but you will want to make sure that they have thenecessary education and licensing. It might be a good idea to find one who has worked withpeople with arthritis and who you're comfortable with. The person you choose should be someoneyou feel safe with, safe enough to tell them your needs and what you prefer. Please, don't beafraid to give feedback if something doesn't feel right or is uncomfortable or causes pain. A goodmassage therapist will ask you questions about your current medical conditions, if you'reexperiencing a flare-up, or about the severity and frequency of your symptoms, such as your painor your level of functionality. You will want to avoid the therapist who makes claims suggesting that massage will fix or cure
your arthritis, and you can seek either a male or female massage therapist. For some, it makes nodifference whether the therapist is male or female. Be sure that your massage therapist is trained properly and is certified. The golden standard forcertification is the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (NCBTMB).In order to be certified by the NCBTMB, a massage therapist has to have had at least 500 hours ofinstruction and have passed a national exam. The majority of states require that massagetherapists be licensed in the state before they practice and state licenses may be even moredifficult to get than the NCBTMB licenses and usually have to be renewed every couple of years.You may want to also investigate whether the training program your massage therapist attended isaccredited by the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation (COMTA). Here is a list of sources that can help you find a massage therapist: Integrative medicine centers, especially those affiliated with academic centers or hospitals; Referrals from friends, particularly any whose condition is similar to yours; Senior centers, which usually have a network of practitioners, including massage therapists, whocan make house calls. It doesn't matter who you massage therapist is or what type of massage you are getting, themassage shouldn't hurt. Those of you who have arthritis are already in pain and you don't needmore. So, before you have a massage it's important to think about whether any of the followingsuggestions apply to you. Your therapist should avoid places that are very painful or that have limited function, that meansyou will have to let your massage therapist know what your present condition is before themassage and continually let him know how you're feeling during the massage. Your therapistshould also avoid any techniques such as deep tissue work that might aggravate those painfulareas. In most cases if there is arthritis in a specific joint, it's best to just avoid direct, deeppressure. Your therapist should also use a broad, full-hand contact pressure instead of the glidingand kneading strokes of the classic Swedish massage. The next thing is to avoid any uncomfortable positions. If you have arthritis of the neck, you will notwant to be face down, instead you will want to lie down with your face up or on your side with apillow under your head. Now, if you are having trouble climbing up on the table, the therapist canlower the table or provide a stool to help you climb up. There are even some massage therapistswho will come to your home so that the massage can be tailored to your own special situation. Special considerations for Osteoarthritis (OA) or Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). If you have osteoarthritis (OA), make sure the massage therapist avoids direct contact on theareas of pain, the affected joints, themselves. Using gentle and broad pressure to musclessurrounding the joints can bring relief. For those with rheumatoid arthritis, they should avoid alldirect pressure on the areas of pain or inflammation. There is a technique that uses slowermovements that can bring relief to the areas of the tension surrounding the affected areas. 

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