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Massage Therapy

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There are many different types of massage, including these common types:

  • Swedish massage. This is a gentle form of massage that uses long strokes, kneading, deep circular movements, vibration and tapping. It helps you feel relaxed and energized.

  • Deep massage. This massage technique uses slower, more-forceful strokes to target the deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue. It's commonly used to help with muscle damage from injuries.

  • Sports massage. This is similar to Swedish massage, but it's geared toward people involved in sport activities to help prevent or treat injuries.

  • Trigger point massage. This massage focuses on areas of tight muscle fibers that can form in your muscles after injuries or overuse.

Benefits of massage

Massage is generally considered part of integrative medicine. It's increasingly being offered along with standard treatment for a wide range of medical conditions and situations.

Massage benefits can include:

  • Reducing stress and increasing relaxation

  • Reducing pain and muscle soreness and tension

  • Improving circulation, energy and alertness

  • Lowering heart rate and blood pressure

  • Improving immune function

While more research is needed to confirm the benefits of massage, some studies have found massage may also be helpful for:

  • Anxiety

  • Digestive disorders

  • Fibromyalgia

  • Headaches

  • Insomnia related to stress

  • Low back pain

  • Myofascial pain syndrome

  • Nerve pain

  • Soft tissue strains or injuries

  • Sports injuries

  • Temporomandibular joint pain

  • Upper back and neck pain

The Graston Technique is a form of manual therapy known as soft-tissue instrument-assisted mobilization. It is one of a number of manual therapy approaches that uses instruments with a specialized form of massage/scraping the skin gently.

 

The therapy is designed to help the practitioner identify areas of restriction and attempt to break up scar tissue.

Graston Technique Goals

The general goals of the therapy are to reduce the patient's pain and increase function through a combination of:

  • Breaking down the scar tissue and fascia restrictions that are usually associated with some form of trauma to the soft tissue (e.g., a strained muscle or a pulled ligament, tendon, or fascia).

  • Reducing restrictions by stretching connective tissue in an attempt to rearrange the structure of the soft tissue being treated (e.g., muscle, fascia, tendons, ligaments).

  • Promoting a better healing environment for the injured soft tissue.
     

There also appears to be a neurologic benefit to treating patients with the Graston Technique Instruments. This response is similar to that involved with other manual therapies. The literature suggests that when a patient is given manual or instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM) therapy, certain nerve fibers are activated. Additionally, the body's position sense organs, such as mechanoreceptors and proprioceptors, seem to respond to these forms of treatment.

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