How Massage Therapists Can Improve Client Health
Most medical treatment is done in a very brief time frame. A doctor sees the patient for a brief visit, then prescribes a more long-term course of action to improve the particular condition.
But many other ancillary health roles, such as massage therapist, are taking on greater responsibility for patients. And in many cases, they are taking their work directly to the patient, finding portable massage tables for sale and actually making house calls.
Even more marked is the increase in health education that these therapists can provide. They are helping clients understand the ways that massage can help them head off that doctor’s visit and they’re doing so in several areas.
Most people have a very sedentary lifestyle these days. Spending hours in a chair doesn’t just cause weight gain, it interferes with good circulation. This can lead to pain and swelling that further discourages exercise, amplifying the negative effects of a desk job.
Massage can help repair this situation. A quality massage stimulates blood vessels and muscles, helping to get blood flow going and reducing the incidence of clots, swelling, and stiff joints.
Therapists are helping potential clients overcome the mindset that only active people need massages. They need to understand that circulation is even more important for those who don’t get a lot of physical activity and that a message can be beneficial even if you don’t feel all that stiff or sore.
Lower Blood Pressure, Heart Rate
We spend our lives in pursuit of relaxation. We try soothing candles, soft music, or beautiful scenery. Other people try to talk through their stress. Some utilize vitamins, herbs, or other questionable supplements to achieve better vital signs.
But there is no substitute for attacking acute high blood pressure with physical intervention. A quality massage from a qualified professional can do more to work out the day’s stresses than any other option (although people diagnosed with hypertension should always follow their doctor’s instructions for diet, exercise, and medication).
This is probably the easiest way to convince people to seek out a massage, because we naturally think of the process as being a relaxing, soothing time. Therapists are always sure to emphasize this well-established benefit of massage with clients.
Improved Muscle Condition
The enemy of a healthy muscle is a sore muscle. When one muscle can’t do its job normally, other muscles must compensate by doing more. If this goes on long enough, there can be damage to the healthy muscles, and that in turn creates more burdens for still other muscles.
It’s a vicious cycle that can lead to permanent damage to muscles, ligaments, tendons, and joints. And the time to stop it is at its earliest moments. Whether it’s been an intense workout routine, a hard day on the job, or too much recreation on the weekend, many people get a variety of strains and stretches that create pain, starting them down the road of passing the load to other muscles.
For a massage therapist, this is a teaching opportunity. They are teaching their clients about the long-term impacts of trying to muddle through with pain relievers and ice packs and directing them toward therapeutic massage to improve their pain levels. Heading off muscle problems early will benefit them for weeks or years to come.
Many conditions can be treated only by a doctor, yet some can be either treated or prevented with massage. Given the scarcity of physicians that is expected to continue in coming years, a lower patient load probably isn’t a bad thing. If massage can help keep patients away from the doctor, it benefits everyone.