One of the immediate benefits of massage is a feeling of deep relaxation and calm. This happens because massage causes the release of endorphins, the brain's chemicals (neurotransmitters) that produce feelings of well-being. Letting someone put their hands on your body is an incredibly personal experience, and COVID-19 further complicates that. Although Deery points out that massage therapists are not essential workers, some states have recommendations that therapists must adhere to.
If you live in a state that doesn't, you can ask your therapist about the precautions he or she is taking, Barker says, adding that communication should be the main feature throughout your experience. In addition, you should talk to your primary care doctor before booking a massage for a specific ailment, or with a specialist who consults for the condition in question.
Massage therapy(including myotherapy) is the practice of kneading or manipulating a person's muscles and other soft tissues to improve their well-being or health. Deep tissue massage is best for paying attention to certain painful and stiff problem points of the body.
Research from the University of Granada in Spain found that a single session of massage therapy immediately affects perceived pain in patients with chronic tension headaches. So, even if you're not looking for a medical massage, if you have a partner and you're looking for a little bonding, it's not a bad idea to get some massage oil out and use it on it (or vice versa). It's best to talk to your primary care doctor about the potential benefits of massage for fibromyalgia and make sure to discuss your condition with your massage therapist beforehand. We need more research to determine exactly how much massage therapy reduces stress hormones such as cortisol, but anecdotal evidence suggests that massages can help reduce stress and encourage relaxation.
As the massage therapist kneads and massages the muscles, blood flows to the joints, which could provide temporary relief, explains the Mayo Clinic. Not all of us have the exact same specializations, Angela Barker, a board-certified massage therapist for therapeutic massage and bodywork, tells SELF. After you've figured out exactly what you expect to get out of your massage therapy sessions (whether it's pain management or just a spa-like experience), Barker and Deery suggest using the American Massage Therapy Association's therapist locator to find someone qualified in your area. Be sure to mention that you have arthritis before your massage therapy session so that your therapist can explain how you could work together.
The NUHS Comprehensive Health Center in Lombard offers relaxing therapeutic massages in its integrative medical clinic by experienced interns at an affordable cost. Barker also notes that not all states require licenses for massage therapists, so you'll want to make sure your therapist is professionally trained. Massage during pregnancy can help with these changes by reducing stress, reducing swelling in the arms and legs, and relieving muscle and joint pain.