The Benefits of Massage Therapy

Massage Therapy Tulsa is a growing field that has a broad range of applications. It encompasses modalities from Eastern healing and energy flow to deep muscle work. Massage therapists can find employment in spas, fitness centers, hotels, and medical offices.

Massage Therapy

Massage triggers the parasympathetic nervous system, which calms the body and reduces stress. It also improves sleep and boosts immunity by increasing the production of killer T cells.

Stress is a normal part of life, but it can be harmful when it persists over a long period of time. A body under constant stress can become apathetic and lose its ability to experience pleasure and joy, and it can also negatively affect the reproductive system. In addition, many people suffering from chronic stress often have difficulty sleeping, which can further contribute to their health problems.

Luckily, our bodies have a built-in system for dealing with stress, and massage therapy is a great way to activate it. Researchers have discovered that just 10 minutes of relaxation can trigger the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for calming the body and restoring balance.

Massage can help to decrease stress in the body by lowering heart rate, relaxing muscles and stimulating feel good hormones like serotonin. It also increases circulation which helps to lower blood pressure by reducing strain on the cardiovascular system.

When a person is stressed, they produce a lot of cortisol in their body. This hormone inhibits the brain’s use of glucose, and it also curbs functions that aren’t necessary in a fight-or-flight situation. Massage can decrease cortisol levels by triggering the release of feel good hormones, and it also encourages the body to use its energy more efficiently.

Additionally, massage has been shown to stimulate the production of 5-HIAA, a chemical that’s linked to positive mood and reduced depression. These biochemical changes concur with self-reports of decreased stress and anxiety among massaged women.

While the results of the studies reviewed in this report are encouraging, more research is needed to establish the efficacy of massage on physiological measures of stress, including salivary cortisol and heart rate. In addition, the research should focus on comparing the effects of different types of massage techniques. It’s also important that the studies incorporate methodological rigor and integrity to increase public confidence in their statistical findings. Larger, randomized controlled trials would be ideal.

Relieves Pain

Massage is a touch therapy which can stimulate nerves to block pain signals from the brain. It can also cause the release of chemicals such as endorphins that act as natural pain killers. In addition, it can increase the circulation of blood and lymph around the body. This helps bring in needed nutrients and removes waste products, making muscles more flexible.

A massage can have a number of benefits for people with chronic pain, including helping them sleep better. It can also reduce the stress that is often associated with chronic pain. In one study, people with back pain who received a 60-minute massage session two or three times a week reported less pain than those who did not receive massage therapy.

Many types of massage can relieve pain, but the type and amount of pressure used during a treatment is important. A deep tissue massage may cause some discomfort, but the therapist will monitor your response and be sure to use only as much pressure as you can tolerate.

Research has shown that massage can decrease the sympathetic nervous system (the part of the brain that controls your fight or flight reaction) activity and increase parasympathetic (relaxation) activities, which help to relax the body and mind. Getting a regular massage can also decrease cortisol levels and increase serotonin, which is thought to improve mood.

During massage, the friction between the skin and the fingers and hands causes the blood flow to increase in the treated area. This brings in more oxygen and nutrients to the muscle cells, reducing swelling and inflammation and causing the muscle fibers to stretch and lengthen. Massage can also help to break up adhesions and scar tissue that can cause long term pain.

In the acute care setting, it is common for medical professionals to only use touch during procedures or as a way to distract a patient from pain. Massage can be a good way to break this pattern and give patients a chance to explore and experience the healing power of touch in a safe environment.

Reduces Anxiety

Stress is a normal human response to situations that the body and mind find overwhelming or frightening. While it is impossible to eliminate all stress from your life, massage therapy can help you manage it. It decreases the symptoms of anxiety and depression by reducing cortisol levels, improving moods by increasing the release of feel-good hormones like serotonin and oxytocin, and by activating the part of the brain associated with relaxation.

A meta-analysis of 17 clinical trials found that massage therapy reduces systolic blood pressure and heart rate, and increases the level of oxygen in the blood, both of which are associated with reduced anxiety and increased mood. In addition, the manipulation of soft tissue releases endorphins, which are natural painkillers and can block painful signals from being transmitted to the brain. However, the type and intensity of massage may influence the effectiveness in reducing anxiety.

If you are considering incorporating massage into your treatment plan for anxiety or depression, it is important to find a licensed, certified massage therapist who is experienced in treating these conditions. You can get a personal recommendation for a massage therapist from your doctor or a friend, or you can search online. Before you schedule your first massage session, ask for a list of qualifications and certifications, as well as any restrictions or contraindications.

One randomized study found that cancer patients receiving radiation treatment experienced a significant reduction in their anxiety levels after 10 massage sessions compared to a control group. The patients in the massage therapy group also had lower systolic blood pressure than the control group.

Another randomized trial found that back massage significantly reduced anxiety in patients with chronic heart failure. The participants in the massage therapy group reported a decline in their immediate anxiety scores using the Visual Analogue Scale (VAS), but there was no difference in intermediate-term anxiety levels between the two groups.

Anecdotal evidence, a history of widespread use in many cultures, and positive results from open trials suggest that regular massage can significantly decrease the severity of moderate anxiety disorder, including anxiety related to test-taking or problem solving, and improves mood in those anticipating invasive medical procedures.

Improves Sleep

Getting a good night’s sleep is essential for optimal health. Insufficient sleep can lead to a variety of health problems including high blood pressure, heart disease and chronic pain. Fortunately, massage therapy can improve your sleep by relieving tension, reducing stress and anxiety, and stimulating the production of serotonin.

In a clinical study, participants receiving massage had higher levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin, which is a precursor to melatonin. This hormone promotes sleep by sending signals to the brain that it’s time to wind down and go to bed. Massage has also been shown to reduce the symptoms of insomnia, a common sleeping disorder that causes people to wake up frequently during the night.

Research suggests that massage may be an effective treatment for conditions that cause poor sleep, such as obstructive sleep apnea and low back pain. In one study, researchers found that massage significantly reduced the snoring and sleep apnea frequency of patients with obstructive sleep apnea who were receiving medication. It also improved the quality of sleep and decreased snoring intensity in patients with low back pain resulting from degenerative changes or fibromyalgia.

For those experiencing insomnia or a chronic pain condition, incorporating massage into your routine can help you get a better night’s sleep by promoting relaxation and reducing stress. Combined with other relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing exercises, meditation and gentle stretching, massage can pave the way for a restful and restorative sleep.

For women going through perimenopause or menopause, fluctuating estrogen levels can interfere with sleep patterns and make it difficult to fall asleep. But a good night’s sleep is essential to maintain a healthy lifestyle, especially during this life transition. Luckily, research suggests that massage can help you achieve a more restful slumber by reducing stress and boosting serotonin and dopamine levels, which are precursors to melatonin.

What You Need To Know About Spinal Decompression

Many people suffer from severe back pain caused by compressed nerves. Traditional treatments often involve prescription painkillers that mask the problem rather than eliminate it.

Nonsurgical Spinal Decompression therapy uses a specialized machine to gently stretch your spine. This changes the force and position of your spine, allowing herniated disks to retract and take pressure off nerves.

spinal decompression

What Is It?

The spine is compressed and worn down by the weight of the body as well as age-related spinal degeneration. These conditions can cause spinal discs to compress and herniate, resulting in pain and discomfort. Spinal decompression relieves these problems by allowing herniated or bulging disks to retract, taking pressure off nerves and other spinal structures. It can also help increase water, oxygen, and nutrient exchange between the discs.

Surgical spinal decompression is a last resort option for those who cannot find relief from nonsurgical treatment. The procedure is usually performed by a neurosurgeon or orthopedic surgeon who has specialized training in complex spine surgery. It can be used to treat spinal stenosis, a herniated or slipped disc, spinal fractures, bone spurs, and other disorders that cause back or neck pain. It can also help those with a spinal cord injury that causes numbness in the arms or legs.

Nonsurgical spinal decompression is a series of sessions on a motorized traction table that gently stretches the spine. The stretching creates negative pressure in the spine, which helps herniated or bulging discs to retract and reduces pressure on spinal nerves. It can also increase water, oxygen, and nutrient exchange to the spine, promoting healing.

In surgical spinal decompression, the surgeon makes a small incision in the patient’s back and removes a section of the vertebrae that is causing pain. They may also use screws and connecting rods to connect the bones. The doctor might also add an extra piece of bone from another part of the body, such as the hip or a donated bone. More recently, synthetic (man-made) bone substitutes have been used.

After surgical spinal decompression, patients might need a physical therapist to regain strength, movement, and feeling in the injured area. They might also need a chiropractor or other spine specialists to perform spinal manipulations. Other treatments include acupuncture, which involves placing microscopic needles throughout the body to release natural pain-relieving chemicals; and spinal rehabilitation, which includes exercises that strengthen or mobilize the muscles in the affected area.

Nonsurgical spinal decompression therapy is often paired with chiropractic adjustments, dry needling, and electrical stimulation to provide a comprehensive treatment plan that addresses all of the factors contributing to your pain. It can be completed in a few short weeks and is much less invasive than undergoing surgery.

How Does It Work?

During spinal decompression therapy, the spine goes through a sequence of movements. The purpose is to release tension on the spinal nerves, the backbone, and the facet joints. This will allow the discs in your neck and back to get back into place. This helps to ease the pain caused by herniated or bulging discs and it can also help with a slipped or pinched nerve. The goal is to relieve pain without the use of prescription medications or surgery.

The treatment is typically performed by a chiropractor or physical therapist. You will lie on a table that is outfitted with pulleys and weights. The doctor will then move the table to stretch or relax the spine. The traction is designed to create a negative pressure within the discs, which will then help herniated or bulging discs reposition themselves. It also allows for more blood flow and healing nutrients to reach the injured area of the spine.

If nonsurgical therapies don’t improve your symptoms, surgical spinal decompression may be recommended by your doctor. You may be a candidate for this treatment if you have spinal stenosis, a herniated or slipped disc, or if you have a bone tumor in the spine that is pressing on a nerve. In addition to surgical spinal decompression, you may also be a candidate for a nonsurgical treatment called lumbar microdiscectomy.

In this procedure, a surgeon removes a portion of the lamina, which is the backside of the spinal cord’s protective roof, and a portion of the vertebrae’s bony growths (osteophytes). This increases the space for the spinal nerves. It can be done in your upper or lower back (cervical or lumbar). It’s usually combined with spinal fusion, which is the fusing of two or more vertebrae to enhance stability. However, fusion eliminates the spine’s natural motion and may speed the degeneration of adjacent vertebrae. Another option is TOPS, a minimally invasive spinal decompression technique that preserves the spine’s natural motion and has shown better outcomes than fusion in global clinical studies. This treatment can reduce pain associated with herniated or bulging discs, sciatica, and thoracic kyphosis.

Does It Work For Me?

Your spine is a strong, flexible network of bones (vertebrae), ligaments, and spinal disks that provide support for your body. Spinal injuries or degeneration can cause pain by pressing on nerves or the spinal cord. Spinal decompression relieves this pressure to help ease your pain.

Nonsurgical spinal decompression works by gently stretching your spine. This change in force and position helps herniated discs retract, taking pressure off of nerves and other structures in the spine. It also helps promote the movement of water, oxygen, and nutrient-rich fluids into the discs. These fluids are needed for the disks to heal.

This treatment is very safe, noninvasive, and painless. It is an excellent option for people with chronic back pain who do not want to take addictive pain medications or undergo surgery. Most patients experience some relief from their back pain within a week of starting the therapy.

Spinal decompression can treat conditions that cause back pain, including herniated or bulging discs, sciatica, spinal stenosis, and degenerative disease of the spine. The goal of spinal decompression is to restore the normal curves of your spine and reduce pain, numbness, and weakness caused by these conditions.

Unlike over-the-counter or prescription pain medications, spinal decompression therapies address the root cause of your back pain and eliminate it. Over-the-counter acetaminophen (Tylenol), anti-inflammatories, and narcotics are used to control your symptoms, while spinal decompression therapies can provide long-term pain relief without the risk of addiction or side effects.

If over-the-counter medication and physical therapy do not improve your symptoms, your doctor may recommend spine surgery to ease the pain and pressure on your spinal cord or nerves. Surgical options include laminectomy, a procedure where the surgeon removes bone and thickened ligaments to expand the space for spinal nerves. Another option is corpectomy, where the surgeon removes part of a vertebral body and/or discs.

After undergoing spine surgery, it can be difficult to get herniated or bulging discs back to their correct positions. This is because your body becomes accustomed to the new alignment and sometimes continues to move the discs out of place. Spinal decompression therapy can help herniated or bulging discs return to their correct positions for long-term pain relief.

What Are The Risks?

Surgical spinal decompression can relieve pain, numbness, and weakness caused by herniated or compressed disks in your neck (cervical spine) or back (lumbar spine). This surgery is usually recommended when nonsurgical treatments such as physical therapy, epidural steroid injections, and other medications do not relieve symptoms. Your doctor will perform a complete medical history and physical examination before suggesting spinal decompression surgery. You will also have diagnostic imaging tests such as a CT scan or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to provide “pictures” of your spinal anatomy.

There is always a risk of infection following any operation. You can also have damage to nerves or the spinal cord which can cause numbness or weakness in your arms or legs. Your doctor may use screws or rods to hold your spine together. These can sometimes fail or break or cause injury to your other bones and muscles. Blood clots in your veins or lungs (DVT) are also possible. Surgical spinal decompression can also lead to the leaking of the fluid that surrounds your spinal cord (cerebrospinal fluid). Although this leak is rare it may require further surgery to repair.

Nonsurgical spinal decompression has few risks. You will most likely be able to return to your normal activities within a day or two, but you may need to avoid lifting heavy objects and strenuous exercise for several weeks.

You may experience pain and muscle spasms, but these should fade with time. If you’re a candidate for this treatment, tell your doctor about any other symptoms, such as weakness or numbness in your arms or legs.

Modern humans spend most of their lives sitting which can compress and wear down the spinal discs. Over time, this can lead to spinal stenosis and pain. Spinal decompression can reduce this pressure and help prevent or treat problems such as herniated discs, spondylolisthesis, spinal arthritis, and nerve compression. However, spinal decompression can be painful and is not a good solution for people who have severe back or neck injuries or conditions such as spinal fractures, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, diabetes, or inflammatory arthritis.