Articles

Benefits of Massage Therapy

Lotus Massage Therapy, Kelowna BC.   www.lotusmassage.ca

Tanya Gervais, Registered Massage Therapist

 

What are the benefits of massage therapy?

The easy answer is for me to blurt out everything that I learned in school; however, the other answer is to reply that this is a heavily loaded question. 

There are a multitude of different conditions that massage therapy can provide treatment for.  Massage therapy isn’t just about getting a good (and I’m cringing as I say this) rub down; there are specific treatment protocols for specific injuries and conditions; e.g. tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, frozen shoulder, and sprains. For other conditions that are more related to pain syndromes as a result of repetitive movements and or occupational postures, education, prevention and a maintenance program play an important role in a successful treatment plan.

There are many factors involved when assessing tissue health. Muscle tension may be due to repetitive movements from work, play or hobbies that apply stress and strain to the body. Sports injuries and car accidents can create trauma to the tissues and affect the general health of muscles, ligaments and joints.

When you are injured or if you are feeling discomfort in your body, receiving massage therapy treatments can help to eliminate pain, and restore health to the tissues. I believe it's important to work directly with the muscles, ligaments, bones and joints, as all of these areas are compromised with an injury. I feel it is important to assess and treat all the components to ensure a well-rounded treatment and to get the desired results – clients achieving optimal health in their bodies. I cannot stress enough, the importance of committing to a maintenance program to help clients achieve this goal.   

Working with patients to create a specific treatment plan involves communication and education between patient and therapist. When providing a successful treatment plan we want to find out what factors are contributing to their symptoms, educate on predisposing factors (things that could be contributing to the pain or dysfunction), look at how the work environment is set up (ergonomics), and provide awareness to patients on repetitive movements and how this can affect the body negatively. A successful treatment plan includes spending some time on stretches and strengthening exercises that can aid in the recovery process.

A maintenance program is different for each individual depending on his or her needs. Treatments can start out a little more frequent in the beginning and then taper off as the client starts to feel better and their tissue health increases. Usually we work on getting the client in just before they start to feel their ailments creeping back. This is usually once a month or less.

Receiving regular massage will provide clients with education and help keep tissues healthy, which can prevent injuries and therefore decrease their discomforts. It is also(delete comma), a great way to decrease stress, headaches and promote relaxation.

The reason I think it was a loaded question, is As with most things there is no easy answer to having optimal health. For the most part I believe this to be true with massage therapy too. To have optimal health we must take ownership in how our bodies got into the ‘state’ they are presenting.  Working together as a patient/therapist team gives us the grounds for a solid and well-rounded treatment.

Graduated and registered as a BC massage therapist in 2005, I have built a massage therapy practice in Kelowna during the last 5 years. My practice is very diverse; I love working in all areas. Pregnancy, headaches, repetitive stains and stresses from occupational demands, whiplash and neck/shoulder/low back pain are some of the major areas that I treat for. I also love working with athletes and sports injuries.

I continue to advance my skills in specific areas of body. I am currently half way through a two year, 7-part course based on craniosacral, myofascial and osteopathic treatment techniques. 

Tanya Gervais, RMT

Lotus Massage Therapy, Kelowna BC

www.lotusmassage.ca

250-451-9833