The Benefits of Massage

Image of lady getting her back massaged

Benefits

There are huge benefits to massage, whether you are training or not. At Bearsden Osteopaths we always do massage as part of our treatment.

Types of Massage

Different massage techniques are applied depending on what the body needs. I’m going to use the term ‘tissues’ a lot here because in massage we are working on the muscles, fascia, ligaments and tendons. Each of these types of tissue will respond positively to different types of pressure or stretch and will respond differently depending on how new the injury is.  Massage works by stimulating the nervous system, which causes a reflex relaxation reaction of the tissues.

Slow ‘squeezing’ massage along the length of the muscle can aid lymphatic drainage, stimulating the circulatory system to remove waste products for the body to excrete. This is especially useful following an acute injury where the area is still inflamed, aiding healing.

‘Inhibition’ or ‘Trigger Point Therapy’ finds the real tender points of the muscle where there has perhaps been local micro trauma, over-use ‘knots’ or ‘fibrotic changes’ in the tissues. These respond and ‘unwind’ with a reasonable amount of pressure applied until the tenderness subsides and the knot softens, breaking down adhesions.

Massage therapist pinching the upper trapezius muscle of the posterior view of a muscular topless man
Patient receiving osteopathic massage

Deep Massage

This can help to ease any chronic tightness that has built up over many years of training or sitting, or an old injury that’s not resolved. Treatment can reduce the stiffness of the tissues and lead to an increased range of movement and therefore help prevent further injury, and generally make you feel better.

Imagine a muscle and its surrounding and intrinsic connecting tissue, it needs to be supple and mobile and pliable. It needs this for the free movement of fluid in and out for the muscle to be healthy. Nutrition in, toxins out. If you have strained a muscle by pulling it while running, or allowed a muscle to become chronically tight in your back because of a hundred deadlines completed at your computer, then the muscles and surrounding fascia become stiff/frayed/restricted = unhealthy/congested/achey. Massage will help. It can be uncomfortable and a little painful but this is commonly reported as a ‘good pain’. Post massage soreness is normal; the area can feel bruised but for no more than a couple of days. With the improved range of movement you’ll perform better because you’ll feel restored.

Young handsome man enjoying a back massage. Professional massage therapist is treating a male patient in apartment. Relaxation, beauty, body and face treatment concept. Home massage.

Mystery Muscles

Part of our job is to find areas of restriction and tenderness you didn’t even know you had in your body. I regularly hear from my patients when I find these spots, ‘I didn’t even know I had a muscle there!’

The body is amazing at adapting so if you are restricted in one area, the body will find this movement elsewhere to compensate. This extra movement might occur in an area that is not really designed to move that much, so the body then adapts by perhaps causing a lot more muscular guarding to protect that area, leading to fatigue, meaning even the most trivial of movements can cause pain. Sound familiar?

We can see these details in the way you move during our assessments. We palpate (feel with our hands) the areas that are hypermobile (moving too much) or hypomobile (restricted). Following that we treat the area accordingly to improve the muscular/tissue balance. 

Massage also helps to prepare an area for manipulation, making it easier for the joint to cavitate or ‘pop’. The effects of manipulation last longer having had massage to the area beforehand.

Massage in a Nutshell:

  • Decrease muscle soreness and stiffness
  • Increase range of motion
  • Promote relaxation
  • Aids recovery following injury
  • Prevents injury if performed regularly

Take some time to look after your tissues. To make an appointment call us on 0141 942 0629 or book online.

See you soon,

Linda and The Team

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A lady sitting on her bed grasping her lower back in pain
Lady lying on her from getting her back massaged
lady throwing her arms up with joy, looking over a lake, pain free