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What is Massage?
Massage manipulates the soft tissues of the body by rubbing, kneading and other methods for curative effect. Through massage, muscles are made more pliable, stimulating increased circulation and blood flow.
How Does Massage Work?
There are many styles of massage. An experienced massage practitioner will often have training in several styles allowing a variety of techniques. Below are some styles of massage that can help with back pain.
Swedish Massage. Swedish massage is a relaxing oil-based massage that can be a good way to start treatment for back pain. The massage can release many of the surface muscles and help release the emotional stress that may be a factor in your back pain.
Deep Tissue Massage. As the name suggests, deep tissue massage works the deeper muscles of the back and is often used together with Swedish massage. Techniques include strong compression on the muscles and cross fiber friction to the muscles, helping to break up any adhesions or scar tissue that can cause back pain.
Trigger Point Therapy. Trigger Point Therapy is useful to release back muscles that are in spasm. Trigger Point Therapy applies steady pressure on the knots in the muscles, which can "reset" the muscles and release the spasm. This also allows an increased blood supply to the area, promoting healing. Trigger Point Therapy is also useful in helping correct postural imbalances, a known cause of back pain.
Shiatsu. This is a traditional Japanese "healing therapy". It is a strong massage style involving the therapist using thumbs, elbows, forearms, feet and knees to apply pressure to the body. This is used together with stretches, joint rotations and joint manipulation to give an all-over treatment.
How Can Massage Help Back Pain?
As mentioned above, massage treatment can help identify tight muscles causing back pain and dissolve the tension, providing relief. Massage can also help with correcting bad posture from imbalances in the muscles, which is known to cause back pain.
Relief of mental tension and stress is also a benefit of massage helping relieve back pain.
Massage is increasingly being recognised by corporate Australia as a way of releasing the mental and physical stress caused to backs and necks from extended periods of sitting behind desks or in front of computers. Companies are employing “mobile massage” practitioners to operate in the workplace. This goes a long way to reducing staff stress levels which helps with a more relaxed and co-operative workplace, assisting productivity. Employers may also reduce the incidence of sick days by regular massage improving staff wellbeing.