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| Massage Therapy
Massage therapy is a hands-on manipulation of the soft tissue and joints of the body. The soft tissues include muscle, skin, tendons and associated fascia, ligaments and joint capsules.
The manipulation can physically stretch muscles, ligaments, tendons and fascia, encourage the circulation through the tissue, inhibit muscular spasms and be either sedating or stimulating to the nervous system. This affects all the systems of the body - in particular, the muscular, circulatory, lymphatic (immune) and nervous systems.
Benefits of Massage Therapy
Many of today's health problems can benefit from massage therapy because the manipulation of soft tissues affects so many of our bodily systems--muscular, nervous, circulatory and lymphatic (immune). Massage therapy's aims are to restore physical function, alleviate pain, relax tight and tense muscles, improve circulation and recovery time, reduce stress, an increase the sense of well-being.
Massage Therapy and Stress Reduction
Prolonged periods of stress can subconsciously aggravate, or even cause, such problems as heart disease, gastrointestinal disorders, memory loss and decreased immune function. Massage therapy is one of the best antidotes for stress. It boosts the body's immune system, which can become compromised from extended periods of stress. Tension can build up in the muscles, causing a decrease in circulation and nutrient delivery to tissues. Manipulation of the soft tissue decreases muscular tension, increases removal of metabolic waste and promotes nutrient delivery to healing tissue.
With a therapeutic massage, stress can be significantly reduced. This, in turn, will increase energy, improve your outlook on life, and in the process boost your immune system function.
Relief and Recovery
The pain which brings you to a chiropractor often involves problems in
the musculature. These problems might include:
Nerve Constriction - Nerves
run alongside of, between and through muscles.
Tight muscles can squeeze and put pressure on nerves causing
which interferes with the free flow of nerve impulses and sometimes
Through muscle relaxation, massage alleviates the constriction of the
nerves due to
Poor Circulation - Tight muscles may
also constrict blood vessels, thus slowing blood flow to an area, a
condition called ischemia which causes pain. By increasing circulation
to an area, massage reduces ischemia and therefore the pain it causes.
Trigger Points - Trigger points are specific
spots in muscles and tendons which cause pain, and which may radiate to
a larger area. They are thought by some as small areas of irritated
muscular which contribute to muscle spasm. Trigger points may be caused
by sudden trauma (e.g. auto accident injuries or falls), by repeated use
of a particular muscle, or they may simply develop over time from
abnormal muscle tension in an area. Direct pressure with the thumb,
elbow or fingers on a trigger point will often deactivate it, thus
relieving the pain it causes.
Damaged Soft Tissues - Accidents at
home, work or on the road can leave bruises, sprains, and other injuries
in the soft tissues. Massage improves general and local circulation,
helping to clear cellular debris from an injury site, and bringing
nutrients needed to heal the damage soft tissues. Thus massage therapy
helps speed recovery.
Pain-Spasm-Pain-Cycle - You may get
caught in the pain-spasm-pain-cycle. This phenomena is started either by
pain or spasm in the muscle, which perpetuates itself in an endless
loop. For example, you may tense up from pain which causes more tension
resulting in more pain which leads to more tension causing you more
PAIN and on and on until something breaks
Arlington VA Chiropractor, Dr. Leslie Holcombe, may prescribe
massage and coordinate your chiropractic treatment with the massage
therapist. For your convenience, in-office massage therapy appointments
are available by appointment only.
Savings and Tax Benefit of Massage
In addition to the health
benefits of massage therapy, most of us are unaware of the great TAX
BENEFIT massage therapy offers. Yes, that's right! Massage therapy
treatments prescribed by a doctor is usually tax deductible (Check
with accountant for more specific information).
Other savings may be offered through your employer via
Flexible Spending Account
Health Savings Plan
In this case, you may qualify for reimbursement with pre-taxed dollars
for medically necessary out-of-pocket expenses.
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DISCLAIMER: No individuals, including those under our active care, should use the information, resources or tools contained within to self-diagnose or self-treat any health-related condition. Diagnosis and treatment of all health conditions should only be performed by your doctor of chiropractic or other licensed health care professional.