Benefits of Massage

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Massage: Get in touch with its many benefits

By Mayo Clinic

Massage can be a powerful tool to help you take charge of your health and well-being. See if it's right for you.

Massage is no longer available only through luxury spas and upscale health clubs. Today, massage therapy is offered in businesses, clinics, hospitals and even airports. If you've never tried massage, learn about its possible health benefits and what to expect during a massage therapy session.

What is massage?

Massage is a general term for pressing, rubbing and manipulating your skin, muscles, tendons and ligaments. Massage may range from light stroking to deep pressure. There are many different types of massage, including these common types:

Swedish massage. This is a gentle form of massage that uses long strokes, kneading, deep circular movements, vibration and tapping to help relax and energize you.

Deep massage. This massage technique uses slower, more-forceful strokes to target the deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue, commonly to help with muscle damage from injuries.

Sports massage. This is similar to Swedish massage, but it's geared toward people involved in sport activities to help prevent or treat injuries.

Trigger point massage. This massage focuses on areas of tight muscle fibers that can form in your muscles after injuries or overuse.
Benefits of massage

Massage is generally considered part of complementary and alternative medicine. It's increasingly being offered along with standard treatment for a wide range of medical conditions and situations.

Studies of the benefits of massage demonstrate that it is an effective treatment for reducing stress, pain and muscle tension.

Studies have found massage may also be helpful for:

Anxiety
Digestive disorders
Fibromyalgia
Headaches
Insomnia related to stress
Myofascial pain syndrome
Soft tissue strains or injuries
Sports injuries
Temporomandibular joint pain

Beyond the benefits for specific conditions or diseases, some people enjoy massage because it often produces feelings of caring, comfort and connection.

Despite its benefits, massage isn't meant as a replacement for regular medical care. Let your doctor know you're trying massage and be sure to follow any standard treatment plans you have.

Risks of massage

Most people can benefit from massage. However, massage may not be appropriate if you have:

Bleeding disorders or take blood-thinning medication
Burns or healing wounds
Deep vein thrombosis
Fractures
Severe osteoporosis
Severe thrombocytopenia
Discuss the pros and cons of massage with your doctor, especially if you are pregnant or you have cancer or unexplained pain.

Some forms of massage can leave you feeling a bit sore the next day. But massage shouldn't ordinarily be painful or uncomfortable. If any part of your massage doesn't feel right or is painful, speak up right away. Most serious problems come from too much pressure during massage.

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Laurie Full Length 2017

Laurie L Pratt - LMT, BCTMB (owner)

Laurie Pratt has been practicing massage therapy since 2003 when she took over the ownership of Serenity (formerly Serenity Day Spa).  Now 20 years in business, Serenity Massage & Wellness Spa continues to deliver the best therapeutic massage techniques offered in the local area.  Laurie has served as a volunteer with the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA), at the board level, since 2005.  She is always striving to bring the profession to a higher level of acceptance within the medical and local communities and to implore people to make massage a part of their wellness program.  She struggles everyday with Fibromyalgia but with weekly/bi-weekly massage sessions she is able to get the tension relief she needs to be the successful business person she has become and keep up with a very busy lifestyle.  When business and volunteering are not taking up her time she lends a hand to her husband (Craig) and his passion for the robotics program he help bring to the area.  When they are not running their respective businesses or volunteering; Laurie and Craig love to travel.  She recently went to Kenya on a 14 day Safari and he to golf on the greens in Scotland.  Although they are both born and raised in Illinois, they met in Charleston, SC in 1994 and have been married and in the Augusta area since 1997.