With more than 4,000 years of history, therapeutic massage could well be called one of the world’s first holistic therapies. Massage is a safe and effective way to ease tension, improve your circulation, reduce stress, and alleviate pain naturally. Chiropractic care and massage are complementary therapies that help facilitate healing and promote long-term health; when used together, they’re even more effective. At Latronica Chiropractic in Furlong, Pennsylvania, Dr. Albert Latronica provides comprehensive chiropractic care — including massage — to patients from communities across Bucks County.

Massage Q & A

by Albert Latronica, DC

What is massage therapy?

Massage is a hands-on therapy that uses rubbing, kneading, and pressing to manipulate your skin, muscles, tendons and ligaments (otherwise known as your soft tissues). There are roughly 100 distinct techniques of massage and bodywork, ranging from those that involve light, gentle strokes to those that use deep, kneading pressure.

Massage works by stimulating the transmission of electrical signals, both in the area that’s being massaged, as well as throughout your body. These signals combine with the healing power of touch to help relieve tension and pain, induce a sense of calm, heal muscle damage, and stimulate your lymphatic system to clear waste products. Massage also triggers the release of endorphins and cuts stress hormone levels.

What are common massage techniques?

Every type of massage is designed to meet specific needs or achieve certain goals. Some of the most common techniques include:

Swedish massage
This popular technique enhances circulation, relaxes, and energizes through kneading, deep circular movements, long strokes, vibration, and tapping.

Deep tissue massage
This technique targets deep muscle and connective tissue with slow, forceful strokes. It’s often used to help heal muscle damage or release muscular tension.

Sports massage
This technique helps athletes boost their performance by preparing muscles and joints for activity. It can also be used to promote recovery after intense activity.

Trigger point massage
This technique alleviates muscle spasms and pain caused by injury or overuse.

This technique applies pressure to connective tissue in order to lengthen it and make it more flexible. Like chiropractic care, Rolfing helps realign the body for better function.

What are the benefits of massage?

In addition to leaving you relaxed and energized simultaneously, therapeutic massage can reduce chronic inflammation and help improve circulation, sleep quality, joint function, muscle tone, and range of motion.

It’s also an excellent complementary treatment for chiropractic care, as it helps relieve pain, tightness, and soreness in your muscles, which makes chiropractic adjustments more effective. A combination of massage and chiropractic care is often the best approach for increasing blood flow and relieving nerve pressure due to misalignment.

Massage is also an ideal preparatory treatment. As massage warms up your soft tissues and muscles, it becomes easier to realign the joints. This can help speed up your recovery and make you feel more relaxed before, during, and after an adjustment.

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