Benefits of Massage Therapy for Arthritis
Over many centuries in varied societies, massage has been proven to enhance general wellness. It is known to improve joint movement, help tense muscles to relax, and stimulate blood flow. Massage also promotes the transport of nutrients to the skin and underlying tissues. Furthermore, massage is widely used to effectively manage arthritis pain. That’s a fact worth knowing for many people struggling with this chronic condition for which there is no cure.
What are the Potential Benefits of Massage for Arthritis?
- improves the mobility of joints
- eases muscle tension and stiffness
- improves circulation
- reduces swelling
- increases the body’s production of natural pain-killing endorphins
- modulates immune functions
- helps symptoms often associated with arthritis such as poor sleep, stress, fatigue and depression
Communicating With Your Massage Therapist
Communication between you and your therapist before, during, and after each session is of utmost importance. This allows the therapist to gauge your tolerance level and ensures that you benefit from a massage that is both relaxing and therapeutic.
Inform the therapist if at any time during the massage you feel uncomfortable or unsure. Your therapist should tell you of any after effects you might experience. These may include bruising, headache, or mild pain.
During follow-up consultations, you should update your therapist on the effects of the previous treatment, as well as any changes to your condition.
Your massage therapist must be made aware of your diagnosed condition. Arthritis comes in many forms and each has its own treatment needs and precautions. Also ensure that you advise the therapist of your medical treatments and other medical conditions. This information may or may not be covered on the background information form you would have been asked to complete.
Persons with arthritis tend to have joint and soft tissue pain and damage. A massage may not be advisable when your joints are acutely inflamed, so ensure you select a massage therapist that is both qualified and experienced in providing treatment to people with arthritis. If you are not sure or have any concerns, it is a good idea to discuss with your rheumatologist (arthritis specialist) or family doctor before trying any new alternative treatments
Many recent studies conclude that massages help reduce pain and increase mobility for arthritis sufferers. For help managing your arthritis, check with a massage therapist or naturopathic practitioner, who is experienced in working with this condition.