Using Massage Therapy to Aid in the Healing Process
By Tracy Fanning, LMT, CMLDT
As a massage therapist, I’ll be the first to tell you that for 23 years of my life, I saw massage as an expensive and unnecessary luxury only received on vacation. As adults, we already have plenty of health-related responsibilities, such as going to the dentist, doctor visits, and optometrist check-ups, to name a few. Those tasks generally take priority as a preventative care protocol to maintain good health.
Just as no two people are completely alike, no two bodies are completely alike, either – and no two bodies require the exact same type of massage. Different conditions may require different techniques, such as Myofascial Release, Deep Tissue, Shiatsu, Swedish, Oncology, Prenatal, Aroma Therapy, Reflexology, Hot Stone, and Sports. While I am not trained in each of these techniques, I myself have experienced all of them as a part of my training (lucky me!). Each variation serves a specific purpose and accomplishes specific aims.
My current favorite modality to not only receive but also to use during massage sessions is myofascial release. In a study published in 2011 conducted by Adelaida Marıa Castro-Sanchez, ´ Guillermo A. Mataran-Pe ´ narrocha, et al, they concluded:
massage-myofascial release therapy reduces the sensitivity to pain at tender points in patients with fibromyalgia, improving their pain perception. Release of fascial restrictions in these patients also reduces anxiety levels and improves sleep quality, physical function, and physical role. Massage-myofascial program can be considered as an alternative and complementary therapy that can achieve transient improvements in the symptoms of these patients. 1
Myofascial release is a formidable and distinct technique employed on a regular basis in my practice. This is only one of the modalities in which I’m trained. My goal is not to undermine doctors, but to help reduce excessive medications. Massage can and has done just that.
Massage as Preventative Care
After six years in the field, I am fully convinced (and let’s be honest, maybe a bit biased) that making time to include massage as regular preventative care and as maintenance for good health is also indispensable. Receiving massage on a consistent basis can help you to achieve life goals.
So, as a responsible adult, you have the option to invest in yourself by taking preventative measures and giving your body the maintenance care that it needs. Along with seeing a team of health care professionals like physical therapists, chiropractors, and doctors, seeing a massage therapist can also aid in the healing process. We all work as a team to facilitate your wellness because we care, and you should too!
1 Castro-Sanchez, Adelaida Maria, and Guerilemo Martaran-Penarrocha, et al. “Benefits of Massage-Myofascial Release Therapy on Pain, Anxiety, Quality of Sleep, Depression, and Quality of Life in Patients with Fibromyalgia.” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Hindwai Publishing Corp, n.d. Web. 1 Feb. 2017.
Tracy Fanning, LMT, CMLDT, is a Licensed Massage Therapist at ARC Physical Therapy’s 150 South Wacker – Chicago location. She has worked in the massage therapy field for over 6 years and is specially trained in Oncology Massage, Manual Lymph Drainage, Deep Tissue Techniques, and Myofascial Release. To schedule a massage with Tracy, please call (312) 877-5470 or email her at email@example.com.