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medmisfit
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PostSubject: Massage Therapy   Fri Jul 29, 2011 7:45 pm

Massage Therapy and IIH
IIH ans Massage Therapy
Massage Therapy

Luckily, my brother is a Massage Therapist, so I've been exposed to a lot of integrative therapies and practioners. He's actually the reason I've been able to come out of my tortoise shell of pain. My muscles were so sore and tense from chronic pain that he could barely touch me at first. I had trigger points all over my scalp, face, neck, and shoulders..it was horrible!!! Every time I had a headache my muscles contracted into this protective shell and I thought my head was going to pop off! Maybe this won't make any sense, but I think most of you will understand. I feel like my IIH/Chiari pain is inside; I have a total brain squeeze, the back of my eyes ache, and my spine screams..that rarely changes, just gets more or less intense. Massage Therapy doesn't take THAT pain away, but losing the muscle tension and trigger points makes it so much easier to deal with! My brother got to a point where he didn't feel like we were making any progress (and apparently it's suggested they don't practice on family/friends..practitioners aren’t as affective w/ people they’re close to or something), so he referred me to one of his instructors..that's when I discovered Myofascial Release and Unwinding. They require a lot more explanation, so I'm going to divide them up into separate entries.

First, here's a brief overview of Massage Therapy and it's benefits as described on massagetherapy.com and mayoclinic.com:

Massage is a general term for pressing, rubbing and manipulating your skin, muscles, tendons and ligaments. Massage therapists typically use their hands and fingers for massage but may also use their forearms, elbows and even feet. Massage may range from light stroking to deep pressure techniques.

There are many different types of massage, including these common types:
•Swedish massage. This is a gentle form of massage that uses long strokes, kneading, deep circular movements, vibration and tapping to help relax and energize you.
•Deep-tissue massage. This massage technique uses slower, more forceful strokes to target the deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue, commonly to help with muscle damage from injuries.
•Sports massage. This is similar to Swedish massage but is geared toward people involved in sport activities to help prevent or treat injuries.
•Trigger point massage. This massage focuses on trigger points, or sensitive areas of tight muscle fibers that can form in your muscles after injuries or overuse.

What exactly are the benefits of receiving massage or bodywork treatments? Useful for all of the conditions listed below and more, massage can:
•Alleviate low-back pain and improve range of motion.
•Assist with shorter, easier labor for expectant mothers and shorten maternity hospital stays.
•Ease medication dependence.
•Enhance immunity by stimulating lymph flow—the body’s natural defense system.
•Exercise and stretch weak, tight, or atrophied muscles.
•Help athletes of any level prepare for, and recover from, strenuous workouts.
•Improve the condition of the body’s largest organ—the skin.
•Increase joint flexibility.
•Lessen depression and anxiety.
•Promote tissue regeneration, reducing scar tissue and stretch marks.
•Pump oxygen and nutrients into tissues and vital organs, improving circulation.
•Reduce postsurgery adhesions and swelling.
•Reduce spasms and cramping.
•Relax and soften injured, tired, and overused muscles.
•Release endorphins—amino acids that work as the body’s natural painkiller.
•Relieve migraine pain.
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