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  • Writer's pictureAmy Dougley

All about massage therapy

Massage therapy is a type of manual therapy used to improve a person’s overall health and well-being. Often utilized in response to pain or injury, the kneading or manipulation of muscle and soft tissue has benefits well beyond managing acute pain.

What does massage therapy help with? Massage therapy has been practiced around the world for thousands of years and has been shown to help with the following:

1. Providing relief from pain and discomfort

2. It can be a tool to help with pain management for those with chronic pain conditions

3. It can improve flexibility and range of motion

4. It can promote feelings of relaxation

5. It can improve sleep quality

6. It can improve circulation

7. It can reduce swelling after injury/surgery

Can massage therapy help my mental health? Whilst a Registered Massage Therapist can never claim to “cure” or “manage” a person’s mental health conditions, studies have shown that “By triggering an involuntary – but expected – relaxation response from the nervous system, massage can produce physical and emotional benefits. This causes your heart and breathing rates to slow down and your blood pressure and stress hormones to decrease, counteracting the negative effects of stress.”

Utilizing massage as a self-care practice is also a way to support overall mental health and well-being and manage stress responses better.

What are trigger points? If you have ever received a massage, you may have heard your therapist refer to trigger points within your body. These are areas of your body with tension that are sensitive to pressure. Working on these trigger points can often cause referral pain to other areas of the body. For example, a trigger point in your neck that is worked on, may cause referral pain down your arm. Be sure to communicate to your massage therapist any particularly painful areas and let them know if the pressure is too much on those trigger points.

What should I do after a massage? Drink lots of water It is important after seeing your massage therapist that you drink plenty of water. One of the reasons your massage therapist will tell you to drink water after your treatment is to help continue the healing process and because the treatment increases circulation within your body, increasing fluid movement which will need to be filtered from your body. You may find you have a slight headache after a massage if you did not properly rehydrate.

Gentle stretching It is always good to do some gentle stretching at home or work after your massage appointment. This can help with any pain or soreness felt after the appointment and it also helps your muscles retain their elasticity.

Can I get a massage if I am pregnant? Generally speaking, it is safe to get a massage during pregnancy. It is always good to check with your obstetrician and to also seek out a massage therapist with experience treating people during pregnancy. The benefits of massage therapy that were mentioned in the beginning of this blog, all apply to those who are pregnant and can help make pregnancy less uncomfortable! Always disclose to your massage therapist if you are pregnant so that they can make accommodations for you.

Can children benefit from massage therapy? Yes! There is no minimum age for a child to receive massage therapy, although those under the age of 18 would need parental consent. Massage therapy can help children with any pain, can help them heal from injuries, can help improve their sleep and more! Again, be sure to find a massage therapist who is comfortable and experienced in working with children.

Final thoughts Massage therapy is a wonderful treatment to utilize for a variety of conditions, or just for the maintenance of our health. As with any healthcare provider, do your research! Registered Massage Therapists are regulated by the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario (CMTO) through this governing body you are able to check that someone is licensed and in good standing with their college. Look for a massage therapist that offers a free consultation so that you have the opportunity to meet them before beginning treatment.

This helps you to determine if you feel comfortable with them and gives you an opportunity to ask any questions you may have about your care.

To book a free consultation with one of our massage therapists, call us at 519.751.0728 or email

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