Massage is one of the most overlooked, yet accessible supportive measures you can seek for chronic pain as well overall well being.
Over time, areas of poor circulation form trigger points which are highly irritable tender spots that refer pain, tingling or other uncomfortable sensations elsewhere in the body, usually in a predictable pattern. Muscles tense around referred pain, and if it persists, the muscles can become habitually contracted. Eventually the body lays down connective tissue throughout any contracted area with poor circulation. Trigger points respond well to deep tissue massage. Massage increases circulation, rehydrating and softening soft tissue; it acts on the nervous system to counteract the body’s response to stress, relaxing muscle tension and allowing heart rate, blood pressure and circulation to return toward normal. Many people sleep better after a massage, which helps the body heal and renews emotional reserves. Massage can relieve pain, and even though temporarily, it reduces stress by giving you some control over your situation.
A massage also helps you become aware of unconsciously held tension, and how it feels to relax. This helps you recognise and release tension later, before it creates a problem.
“Addressing soft tissue problems is an important complement to chiropractic care. This is because muscles move joints, while ligaments and fascia support them. If a subluxation is adjusted without addressing related soft tissue problems, you may still experience pain. In addition, your tight muscles and shortened fascia can pull your joint out of alignment again.”
How many massage treatments you need depends on your general health, when the pain or discomfort started and what caused it. For long-term benefits you usually need a series of massages at regular intervals. Follow-up massage in times of stress can help keep old pain from flaring up. You may find massage so beneficial that you make it a regular part of your life.