There’s nothing like pampering yourself with a day at the spa by having a relaxing massage. Massage can reduce stress and anxieties, improve sleep, alleviate PMS symptoms, and boost your immunity. However one of the greatest benefits of massage is its ability to reduce pain.
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, one in four adult Americans has suffered from pain that lasts more than a day. And one in 10 adults has experienced pain lasting for over a year. Chronic pain is the most common cause of long-term disability.
Studies have shown that massage soothes aches and reduces inflammation. It also can help ease pain in the lower back, neck, shoulders, arms, legs, feet and hands. Pain may be the result of tension, overuse injuries, osteoarthritis, various forms of cancer, and surgery.
With more than 250 different types of massage to choose from, here are a few of the more common types you can choose from to help you relieve your pain.
Acupressure – Using a light touch, the practitioner applies pressure to a series of specific points on the body. Similar to acupuncture, but without the needles, acupressure helps to release muscular tension, increase circulation and stimulate the body’s healing mechanisms.
Deep-tissue massage – Similar to Swedish massage, the therapist massages the deeper muscles, tendons and fascia (the protective fibrous connective tissue that surrounds the muscles, bones and joints). Deep-tissue massage can reduce blood pressure, heart rate, and stress hormone levels while boosting mood through the release of serotonin and oxytocin.
Myofascial release – Muscle and tissue tightness is relieved through the use of gentle pressure. This method is helpful in releasing pain due to Temporo-Mandibular Joint (TMJ) disorder, carpal tunnel syndrome, migraine headaches, fibromyalgia, scoliosis and neurological dysfunction.
Reflexology – Based on an ancient Chinese therapy, pressure is applied to specific reflex areas in the feet, hands and ears that correspond to organs and systems of the body. This technique sometimes includes the use of rubber balls, rubber bands and sticks of wood. Reflexology often is used to treat pain, stress, depression, asthma, diabetes and cancer.
Swedish massage – This technique uses five basic strokes (kneading, rolling, vibrational, percussive and tapping) to manipulate the soft tissues of the body. These movements help to release tension, promote relaxation and break up muscular “knots.”
Most doctors, however, don’t view massage as the final solution for pain relief. When added to a more active lifestyle, it can help reduce painful symptoms and improve daily functioning.
ezWalker® Performance Custom Orthotics Can Also Reduce Your Pain
If you’re experiencing foot, knee, hip and/or lower back pain, you may want to consider wearing custom foot orthotics, like ezWalker® Performance Custom Orthotics. While these custom arch supports don’t necessarily massage your feet, they are designed to strategically raise the medial, lateral and trans-metatarsal arches of your feet. With proper foot support, you’ll have better biomechanical alignment from the feet up. So, each step will be controlled throughout the gait cycle, reducing the stress and strain on your feet, knees, hips and/or lower back.
Because … when your feet feel good, you feel good.