Massage therapists provide clients with a way to relax and feel better after dealing with the stresses of the modern world. However, did you realize that massage therapy also can help relieve pain and enhance the ability of the joints to have full flexion and extension range of motion?
One particular area where massage therapists can help is with arthritic conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis. It is important that massage therapists are well-versed in the nuances of massage therapy to provide the best care to their clients. Overall, therapists who are up-to-speed on the latest massage techniques have benefitted from taking massage therapy continuing education.
What Is Massage Therapy?
Before we begin to explore the benefits of massage therapy, let’s review some pertinent facts. In general, massage therapy involves the application of pressure or heat and cold to the skin. How much pressure is needed is dependent upon the goal of therapy. For instance, moderate pressure targets the underlying muscles. It is firm but not overly so, which would cause pain. Myofascial release is another type of massage therapy where firm pressure is used to relax muscles and promote blood and lymphatic drainage. While the degree of pressure is similar, the length of time it is applied is longer in myofascial release. This also increases the stretch reflex.
Relieving Rheumatoid Arthritis Pain With Massage
Studies have shown that the pain of RA can be relieved with moderate pressure massage. By stimulating pain receptors found under the skin, the body-brain connection for pain is thought to be interrupted. Some studies have shown that moderate pressure massage is useful to relieve not just the pain but also the stiffness caused by rheumatoid arthritis. Massage also releases chemicals that relieve stress such as serotonin. In response, the person’s heart rate will decrease as will the blood pressure. Taken together, the results are beneficial for short-term relief of symptoms.
How Often Should Massage Be Done
Usually, massage therapists schedule clients once a week. However, they usually instruct them in applying self-massage during the week. The combination of formal visits and self-massage has proven to be effective for arthritis pain relief, according to sufferers.
How To Stay Up-to-Date in Massage Therapy
Massage therapists benefit from taking massage therapy continuing education. Not only do they learn about new techniques and applications, but they also are able to provide what they learn to help clients. A massage therapist’s life can be a busy one, and online continuing education courses make a difference. Therapists are able to study when they can in the comfort of their own home. At Beauty Academy, we provide a variety of continuing education courses. Just log on and choose the course that suits your needs. We have experts ready to answer your questions too. Massage therapy courses to heighten your skills are just a click away!