What is Massage Therapy?
Massage therapy is the manipulation of soft tissues of the body, including muscles, connective tissues, tendons, ligaments and joints. Massage therapy is an effective adjunct treatment that helps alleviate discomfort associated with everyday and occupational stresses, muscular overuse and many chronic control conditions.
Massage therapy has become an increasingly common healthcare option. Registered massage therapists operate in accordance with the Regulated Health Professions Act, and only those with the appropriate education and licensure are permitted to use the title Registered Massage Therapist.
Many patients benefit from having regular massage therapy treatments from a registered massage therapist. Massage therapy can be an important part of your health maintenance by reducing or eliminating pain, improving joint mobility, improving lymphatic drainage, reducing muscle strain and managing stress and tension.
Benefits of Massage
Massage therapy can be used to treat both acute and chronic conditions. Registered massage therapists can work with a wide variety of patients of all ages in the treatment of illness, injury rehabilitation and disability.
Common concerns treated with massage therapy include:
- Back, leg & neck pain
- Repetitive strain conditions
- Cancer symptoms
- Headaches and migraines
- Muscle tension & spasms
- Pregnancy & labour support
- Post-surgical rehabilitation
- Sports injuries
What to Expect During Your Massage Treatment
During the first consultation, your massage therapist will interview you and ask you questions regarding medical history, injuries, activity levels, stress, and lifestyle to determine the appropriate treatment course. Your massage therapist will then leave the room and allow you to disrobe, to a comfortable level, if at all, prior to the commencement of the massage treatment. The massage therapist will keep you draped under linens and begin treatment. A lotion or oil is regularly used during the treatment. Pressure and level of comfort will be assessed throughout the treatment. Follow up appointments will generally include a less extensive interview and any changes from the first visit and treatment will be discussed and followed accordingly.
Before and After Care
As all massage appointments are specifically tailored by the RMT for the patient, be sure to always follow the recommendations provided by your therapist.
General guidelines include being properly hydrated before and after the appointment, and not overeating immediately before a massage. Bring a list of your relevant health information (prescriptions, concerns, injuries), as this will save time during your assessment and ensure nothing is overlooked prior to treatment.
Risks/Common Side Effects
Risks of serious adverse events are extremely low. The most commonly reported side effects include post-treatment fatigue, dizziness or minor aches, which can be explained as part of the healing process and can be alleviated by following the post-treatment recommendations closely. Proper hydration will often alleviate mild symptoms.