Massage is a technique that just plain feels good! But it can also be a powerful tool to help you take charge of your health and well-being.
By: Mayo Clinic Staff
What is Massage?
Massage is a general term for pressing, rubbing and manipulating your skin, muscles, tendons and ligaments. It can range from light stroking to very deep pressure.
Massage is generally considered part of alternative medicine. It’s increasingly being offered along with standard treatment for a wide range of medical conditions and situations.
While more research is needed to confirm the benefits of massage, some studies have found that massage may also be helpful for:
Insomnia related to stress
Myofascial pain syndrome
Soft tissue strains or injuries
Temporomandibular joint pain
Beyond the benefits for specific conditions or diseases, some people enjoy massage because it often produces feelings of caring, comfort and connection.
Despite its benefits, massage isn’t meant as a replacement for regular medical care. Let your doctor know that you’re trying massage and be sure to follow any standard treatment plans you have.
Risks of Massage
Most people can benefit from massage. However, massage may not be appropriate if you have:
Bleeding disorders or take blood-thinning medication
Burns or healing wounds
Deep vein thrombosis
Discuss the pros and cons of massage with your doctor, especially if you are pregnant or you have cancer or unexplained pain.
Some forms of massage can leave you feeling a bit sore the next day. But massage shouldn’t ordinarily be painful or uncomfortable. Most serious problems come from too much pressure during massage. If any part of your massage doesn’t feel right or is painful, speak up/tell your therapist right away.