Think of a massage. You are probably imagining soft music, a beautiful setting, and tranquility. It’s seen as a spa luxury, similar to some beauty treatments. While this can be an enjoyable part of it, massage is much more than a pampering experience.
There are many reasons to get a massage beyond its relaxation benefits. Massage can help with injuries, speed recovery, and provide relief from chronic ailments like arthritis or migraines. It can improve flexibility and increase mobility. It can help reduce stress, enhance sleep, improve overall body function, and enhance overall wellness. Some studies have shown massage can also help with anxiety. Think of a massage as a little personal assistant to the body. Massage gives the body the boost it needs to function properly and do what it does best. That’s why massage is good for everybody.
Just as there are many reasons to seek massage, there are many types of massage to customize the experience. Swedish massage, for example, is one of the most common forms of massage. This is a gentle, relaxing massage that uses long strokes, coupled with kneading and circular movements to promote relaxation and improve circulation. Deep tissue massage is another common form that is designed to target deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue to alleviate chronic tension and pain.
There are other lesser-known forms of massages that also offer wonderful wellness benefits. Cranial sacral massage, also known as craniosacral therapy, is a type of therapeutic massage that involves gentle manipulation of the bones of the skull, spine, and pelvis. The therapy is based on the concept that the cerebrospinal fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord has a rhythmic pulse, and that gentle manipulation of the bones and tissues can help restore balance to this rhythm. The therapist may use gentle manipulation, stretching, or compression techniques to release tension and improve the flow of cerebrospinal fluid. This technique is used to aid in a variety of conditions, including headaches, neck and back pain, TMJ disorder, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and stress-related disorders.
There is even an oncology massage for cancer patients. A trained and licensed specialist carefully reviews the client’s medical history, treatment plan, and any side effects or complications that result from his or her cancer treatment. These often include pain, fatigue, nausea, or lymphedema. The massage may involve gentle pressure, slow strokes, or other techniques that are designed to promote relaxation, reduce pain and inflammation, and improve circulation.
Massage can be tailored to each patient’s individual needs and concerns. This is why it’s so important to get a good massage therapist to connect the dots among the massage types and techniques, patient ailments, and wellness goals. Mindy Williams, a Certified Massage Therapist and Berthoud local, practicing at Gateway Natural Medicine, said, “I believe it’s important to listen to each person regarding his or her health concerns and how massage can benefit from them.”
Since no two people are exactly alike, so should the massage experience. Mindy customizes her approach for every patient and every session. One visit may differ from the next, depending on what the patient needs. “It all comes down to really listening to the patient and then seeing what their body has to say,” said Mindy.
Mindy is certified in multiple forms of massage and can apply those skills and techniques to make the most of your time on the table. Her specialties include Swedish, deep tissue, lymphatic drainage, cranial sacral, prenatal, cupping, and hot stone massage. She will also receive her oncology massage license in September of this year.
Massage is good for every age, everyone, and everybody. Let go of the notion that massage is a luxury and engage in a little self-care—and remember, self-care is not selfish. Call Gateway Natural Medicine at 970-532-2755 or visit them at www.gatewaynaturalmedicine.com to learn more or schedule an appointment.