During massage, professional massage therapists rub and push on muscles and soft tissues using a variety of techniques. The therapist may use anything from light touches to deep pressure.
There are several types of therapeutic massages. Each addresses different needs and provides a variety of health benefits. Here are just a few examples:
For most types of massage, the patient will lie on a table wearing loose-fitting clothing or covered with a sheet. The massage therapist will create a relaxing environment and may use lotion or oils to reduce friction. A massage can last for a few minutes or up to an hour.
Massage can help to relieve pain and reduce stress. For people in treatment for addiction or other mental health disorders, the comfort and relaxation provided by massage can encourage them to complete the full course of treatment, which reduces the risk of relapse.
After several visits, massage may also lower blood pressure and relieve headaches. It’s also been shown to improve symptoms of depression and anxiety. Many people enjoy the short-term benefit of massage, which is to feel comforted and connected.
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