Massage Therapy: What You Need To Know
Massage therapy offers a lot of benefits. Read more about the training, licensing, and benefits of getting regular massages.
What to Expect from Massage Therapy
Most people know that massages are supposed to be relaxing, but how much do you really know about this form of therapy? For instance, what makes massage therapy different from getting a back rub? How can massage therapy benefit you? And when should you make an appointment for it?
Don’t worry—we’re here to answer these questions and more so that you can deepen your understanding of massage therapy and its uses. Our spa offers Calgary a unique new massage experience, and we’re happy to share our up-to-date knowledge with you so you can better understand how to make the most of our services.
What Is Massage Therapy?
Massage is gaining popularity as a form of integrative medicine, but massage therapy is something different. Simply put, a massage is any manipulation of the body’s soft tissues—but massage therapy must be performed by a certified medical professional.
Registered Massage Therapists vs. Non-Registered Practitioners
In Alberta, a registered massage therapist (RMT) must have completed a program licensed by the provincial government to provide massage therapy education. Such programs vary, but most include:
A minimum number of required practical hours
However, the practice of massage is unregulated in Alberta, which means that skilled therapists do not necessarily have to be RMTs. At our spa, we offer massage services performed only by RMTs.
On a practical level, insurance receipts can only be provided to customers who purchase RMT services. But a therapist who is not an RMT can still provide you with a safe, relaxing, and enjoyable experience. It all depends on why you need a massage and what you hope it will accomplish.
What Is Massage Therapy Useful For?
Typically, massage therapy is often used for two purposes: treating specific injuries and promoting relaxation. Here’s some more info on how massage therapy can accomplish each of these goals:
Treating Certain Injuries & Their Symptoms
Massage therapy is often used to alleviate pain caused by soft tissue injuries. Soft tissue injuries may affect the following parts of the body: ligaments, tendons and muscles.
By applying appropriate pressure to the injured area or surrounding tissues, an RMT can often relax the affected tissues, increase circulation, decrease swelling, and help get rid of the tension that contributes to pain or limits usage.
Massage can also be an excellent way to promote mental wellness by encouraging relaxation and peace of mind. Research suggests that massage therapy can have a positive impact on anxiety and increase self-confidence.
What Are the Benefits of Massage Therapy
Massage therapy is often useful for people with soft tissue pain or anxiety, but it can benefit practically anyone if performed by skilled and qualified practitioners. Here are a few benefits of massage therapy that anyone can enjoy:
5 Benefits of Massage Therapy
- Increased relaxation and decreased stress
- Improved immune functions
- Lower blood pressure and heart rate
- More energy and alertness (due to increased circulation)
- Less muscle pain and tension
How Often Should You See a Massage Therapist?
Now that you know something about how massage therapy works, you might be wondering when to get it. However, there is no “one size fits all” answer for how often people need massage therapy. Some seek it out once every few years, whereas others book appointments several times each week.
What’s more, different types of massages may be most useful at different frequencies. For example:
Lymphatic drainage massages may need to be performed daily at first, then later reduced to several times each week. These massages must be performed by an RMT and are typically administered in the aftermath of surgeries or medical conditions that require the lymph nodes to be drained.
Deep tissue massages should be undertaken at the recommendation of your massage therapist. These massages are often used to help reduce muscle damage from injuries—some conditions may require them daily, whereas others can be improved with a deep tissue massage a few times every month.
Relaxation massages (also known colloquially as “Swedish massages”) can still be effective even when they are performed on an occasional basis. Some people find that a monthly relaxation massage helps them reduce stress and relax, while others seek them out on a more frequent basis.
Experience the Power of Massage Therapy For Yourself
Whether you are recovering from a soft tissue injury, trying to reduce stress, or just attempting to feel more like your best self, massage therapy can be extremely useful. Find out more about this effective and popular form of integrative medicine when you contact our spa today and speak with an experienced professional who can answer your questions in detail.
Always make sure you hire a massage therapist that has attended a reputable college.
If you have questions, you can call us at (403) 418-5525 or contact us through email.