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Effect of Therapeutic Massage on Illness and Injury

Zheng Zhu (Jason) Li, RMT - Registered Massage Therapist

massage therapy

Illness and Injury

People can become ill or suffer injury.

Illness occurs when a body process breaks down. A person whose immune system did not effectively fight off a cold virus becomes ill with a cold. Chronic fatigue syndrome, ulcers, cancer, and multiple sclerosis are all examples of illnesses.

Injury occurs when tissue is damaged. Cuts, bruises, burns, contusions, fractured bones, sprains, and strains are examples of injuries.

Illness tends to indicate general cautions and contraindications, whereas injury more often creates regional cautions and contraindications.

Therapeutic Inflammation

Inflammation is a factor in both illness and injury because healing for both involves appropriate activation of the inflammatory response system.

The inflammatory response is part of a healing process, deliberate creation of inflammation can generate or stimulate healing mechanisms. Certain methods of massage can be used to create a controlled, localized area of therapeutic inflammation. Deep fractioning techniques and connective tissue stretching methods are the most common approaches.

Therapeutic Massage Effect

Therapeutic massage is indicated for both illness and injury.

Massage techniques for illness involve very general application of massage to support the body’s healing responses, for instance stress management, pain control, restorative sleep. This approach to massage is used to reduce the stress load so that the body can heal.

Massage for injury incorporates aspects of general constitutional massage, because healing is necessary for tissue repair. In addition, lymphatic drainage can be used to control edema. Gliding methods are used to approximate the ends of some types of tissue injuries, such as minor muscle tears and strains. Hyperstimulation analgesia and counterirritation reduce acute pain. Methods to increase circulation to the area support tissue formation. Connective tissue applications are used to manage scar tissue formation.

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