Many of us have experienced tense muscles or persistent discomfort and wondered if a set of healing hands could do the trick. But with so many options, which type of massage is best for your pain? We asked Kristin Parks, NCTM, LMT, Parkview Center for Healthy Living, some common questions about the profession and the practice.
What kind of training do massage therapists receive?
Lawmakers are finally cracking down on places that provide massage therapy services. Before, it didn’t matter what education you had, you could practice massage therapy. Now, Indiana has licensing. You have to show that you have completed over 500 hours in an accredited program, have massage therapist insurance and a background check. All Parkview therapists have 10+ years of experience in massage therapy and all the requirements for state license. We also keep everything up to date with yearly continuing education.
Can you explain the concept of trigger points?
A trigger point is a spot that is sensitive or tender in the muscle. It can also show referred pain, which is pain felt in the body other than its actual source. It almost feels like a nodule in the muscle fiber. Releasing trigger points can help with issues like sciatic pain, plantar fasciitis, and chronic pain in joints, such as stiff neck and back.
Why is it important to drink water after a massage?
I can’t say enough about drinking water before and after your massage. One reason is that water will help the kidneys and other organs process the various substances which move through the body on a regular basis and after a massage treatment. A lot of toxins are released, so you need to flush them out. Also, massages are dehydrating. Kneading and working muscle gets fluid pumping out of the soft tissue and into your circulatory system, where it heads toward your kidneys. That’s why many people have to go to the restroom right after a massage.
What is the benefit of using hot stones in massage?
Hot stone massage has a lot of benefits, especially as the weather starts to change. Hot stones are used on the body in place of the therapist hands to work out tension and stress. The warmth from the stones can help relieve muscle tension and pain, increase flexibility and reduce muscle spasms. They also promote relaxation and relieve stress. It can also help with autoimmune diseases like fibromyalgia and arthritis. Hot stone is also great for people that have cold hands and feet, as the heat helps warm you from the inside out.
It’s important to know that hot stones present a lot of contraindications. People with blood clots or a history of blood clots, people taking blood thinners, diabetics and women who are pregnant should consult their physician before pursuing this therapy.
What is lymph drainage massage?
Lymphatic massage or lymph drainage is a technique that helps with the treatment of lymphedema, which is an accumulation of fluid that occurs in the lymph nodes. Any kind of buildup of fluid from sinus issues, headaches, allergies, or inflammation in the body can be helped with lymphatic massage. Think of the lymph system as a river that has debris in it. By working the lymph system, you work out the debris and help the river flow freely.
How can one best prepare for a massage for the maximum benefit?
Remember that massage therapy is a process just like any other modality. If you have issues and have had them for a while, it will take more than one session to work it out. Massage should not be painful to the point that your body is tightening up when someone is working on you. We like the happy-medium “therapeutic pain”, that “hurts so good”. If you are tensing up during a massage it will not help, but will actually put you in more pain later. Also remember that the therapist doesn’t know what you feel. You need to always speak up if pressure is to hard or not enough. You are your best advocate. This is your time.
To schedule a massage, call the Parkview Center for Healthy Living at Woodland Plaza at (260) 266-6500.