Insightsthe blog of Porter Hills
The Benefits of Massage
Shelly Teesdale, MSOTR/L
Porter Hills Home Care
Watch the 13 On Your Side Senior Wellness Segment on this topic.
July 15 – 21, 2018 is:
“EveryBody Deserves a Massage” Week
We all know massage therapists may be found at a local spa, health club, chiropractor office or independent clinic.
But did you know Occupational and Physical therapists may also have training in massage therapy and often incorporate it into their treatment of some physical ailments?
Many of us suffer from chronic neck and back pain, experience tension headaches, fatigue or have stiff joints. These symptoms may be caused from overuse of specific muscles, poor positioning and body mechanics, arthritis, past surgeries or injuries. Regardless of the cause, if you have any of these symptoms you may benefit from a massage.
What are some of the benefits?
- Reduces pain and stiffness
- Reduces fatigue promotes relaxation
- Increases circulation
- Reduces stress
- Alleviates tension headaches
- Alleviates chronic neck and back pain
- Lowers blood pressure
- Improves posture
- Reduces symptoms of anxiety
- Reduces symptoms of depression
What can you do at home?
In addition to receiving a massage from a trained therapist there are many things you can do at home to help relax muscles on your own. In therapy we often teach people how to use tennis balls, massage balls, trigger point cane and use of heat pack.
To use a tennis ball or massage ball
- hold ball on the back of your shoulder/neck area
- lean gently against a high back chair if sitting or wall if standing
- gently move body side to side and up and down as able until you feel pressure on the “sore spot” of neck/shoulder/back
- continue to roll ball in circular motion until you feel pain has reduced and muscle is relaxed, or hold the ball on the sore spot applying gentle pressure until you feel a “release” of the muscle
- Massage for 5-10 minutes
To use a trigger point cane
- position the cane on the back of your shoulder/neck area
- gently move side to side and up and down as able until you feel pressure on the “sore spot” of neck/shoulder/back
- hold the cane in place on the sore spot applying gentle pressure until you feel a “release” of the muscle
Heat may be applied to the area for relaxation of the muscle before or after the massage.
If you experience severe pain during a massage you should stop immediately. If you continue to experience severe muscle pain limiting your ability to participate in normal activities you should consult with your doctor.