The reasons why people choose to have a massage are varied, but two of the most common are usually to relieve stress or as part of a day of pampering. Massage therapy actually has many benefits, including the role it can play in overall health and well-being. A growing body of evidence shows that massage therapy can be effective for a variety of health conditions, such as chronic low back pain, stress, fibromyalgia, headaches, and inflammation after exercise. According to a consumer survey completed by the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA):
- 75% of individuals claim their primary reason for receiving a massage in the past 12 months was medical (43%) and stress-related (32%).
- 87% of the individuals viewed massage as being beneficial to overall health and wellness
- 61% of the respondents said their physician recommended they get a massage
Are you new to receiving a massage or want to get the most out of your experience? Here are some tips to help you get the maximum benefit out of your massage:
- Be able to provide your massage therapist accurate health information and share your expectations.
- Discuss any apprehensions you have about massage therapy with your therapist. Remember, your massage therapist is a professional who is dedicated to his/her career path.
- Your massage therapist will most likely use lotions or oils to decrease friction on your skin. If you have allergies, please tell your therapist.
- Music may be played during the session. Let your massage therapist know if you have different preferences. The same goes for talking during the massage.
- Provide your massage therapist feedback during the massage if you have concerns about pressure or any type of discomfort whatsoever.
- Remember, the therapeutic benefits of massage are cumulative, so the more you get a massage, the better you will feel and the more quickly your body will respond!
Massage therapists are required to demonstrate ability through education and testing, adhere to a strict code of ethics, and to meet continuing education requirements. To find a professional massage therapist near you, visit http://www.ncbtmb.org/tools/find-a-certified-massage-therapist
Written by: Melissa Welker, Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Fulton County, Maumee Valley EERA, firstname.lastname@example.org
Reviewed by: Donna Green, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Erie County