1. What benefits can I expect from Massage Therapy?
Massage Therapy is one of the safest, drug-free and non-surgical ways to treat a wide range of conditions. Massage Therapy provides a number of physiological effects.
- Reflex Effects – The Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) can benefit substantially from Massage Therapy. The ANS is responsible for a wide range of responses called reflex effects. These reflexes can happen throughout the body or can be localized meaning the response happens only at the site of the manipulated region. The improvement of the immune system is one type of reflex effect. Massage therapy has a beneficial effect on the immune system function, although more studies may be required to prove this.
- Fascial Tissue Effects – The role of Connective Tissue is to support all the organs of the body and the other body structures, such as muscles, ligaments, and bones. When restrictions or adhesions in this tissue develop due to trauma, disuse, disease or other conditions then the range of motion of the affected parts can become limited. This can also result in pain. Myofascial techniques can help limit these adhesions, thus improving function and lessening pain.
- Neuromuscular Effects – One of the benefits of Massage is to relieve tight muscles, which in medical terms is called neuromuscular tension. Massage does this by lessening overstimulation of muscles. Massage is applied to stop the pain-tension cycle and help readjust the muscle’s resting tension. The effect can be experienced as a “softening” of the muscle.
- Effects on Fluid Mechanics – Blood and lympatic fluid can either be moved in or out of body tissues through the process of mechanical compression. The effect results in the healing of injuries by enhancing blood flow into the tissues, and helps to reduce swelling.
- Psychological Effects – Patients have stated that massage treatment has greatly helped in reducing their levels of stress as well as helped them relax. The reduction of stress is a key element in preserving good health.
2. What kinds of health problems can Massage Therapy treat?
The following health conditions that RMT’s treat comes from a list seen in the Massage Therapists’ Association of BC website. This is not an exhaustive list. It just shows the efficacy and versatility of massage therapy in being able to treat a wide spectrum of conditions. These can include asthma, whiplash, athletic injuries, paralysis, arthritis, compression & entrapment syndromes, bronchitis, varicose veins, Buergers’ disease, osoteoarthritis, bursitis, TMJ dysfunction, carpal tunnel syndrome, osteoporosis, cerebral palsy, tenosynovitis, chronic fatigue syndrome, neuritis/neuralgia, chronic pain, tendonitis, constipation, muscular dystrophy, contractures, thoracic outlet syndrome, contusions, spasm/muscle tension, cramps, systemic lupus erythematosus, degenerative disk disease, multiple sclerosis, digestive disorders, synovitis, dislocations, migraine headaches, Dupuytrens’ contractures, stress-related disorders, dysmenorrhea, low back pain, edema, muscle strains, emphysema, knee injury, Parkinson’s disease, ligament sprains, fibromyalgia, insomnia, facet lock, sports injuries, pes planus, impingement syndrome, fractures, spastic paralysis, frozen shoulder, iliotibial band contracture, gout, scoliosis, hemiplegia, herniated disks, plantar fasciitis, sciatica, post polio syndrome & poliomyelitis, scars, tension headaches and postural deformities.
Massage therapy can be highly effective when applied as a component of a preventative care program. Forms of general wellness care can include performance enhancement, injury prevention, sports training, stress management, fertility, infant massage and pre or post-natal care.
3. What should I expect during my first Massage Therapy session?
Your initial visit usually takes an hour. You need to come in about 5-10 minutes before your actual appointment time to complete an Intake form. In the treatment room, your massage therapist will perform an intensive evaluation and assessment of your complaint/condition, in order to ascertain the best treatment approach for you. After treatment, some home care recommendations will be given on steps for easier and faster recovery. These recommendations can involve the proper use of heat, ice, rest, postural exercises to bring back correct movement patterns, as well as strengthening and stretching exercises.
4. Do I need a doctor’s referral for Massage Therapy?
No referral is required from your doctor or primary health care provider since registered massage therapists are themselves primary health care specialists.
However, If you have an extended Health Care Plan, you may need to talk to your plan provider to see if you need a doctor’s referral for Massage Therapy coverage. Each plan is different.
5. Who should have Massage Therapy?
Everyone can benefit from Massage Therapy! All of our Registered Massage Therapists are highly trained and you can entrust us with your safety and health.
6. Why don’t all RMT’s treat the same way?
As with all types of health professionals, each RMT has their own way of treating patients. After graduation, RMT’s need to complete extra hours of training each year. One therapist may undergo training in a different set of skills, compared to another therapist. So to provide the best service, a therapist will tend to utilize the techniques and style that works best for her. In all likelihood this may be different from the techniques and style used by the other therapists.
This can be seen with our 2 RMT’s at BodaHealth. Both are exceptionally trained and skilled yet utilize techniques very distinct from each other. A patient may have a preference for a certain therapist because her style works best for that patient.
In this regard, you can make specific requests if you see prefer to receive certain techniques, (i.e. you may prefer a deeper or lighter massage). You may need to experience the styles of different therapists before you find one that really is best for you. If you can describe in detail the kind of therapy that works best for you, then we will help you find the therapist that will be able to give you the type of treatment you really need.