A 2015 headline from NEWSMAX HEALTH reads, “Alternative Medicine Gains Huge Following: Researchers”. The study reports news from the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), stating that nearly 40 percent of Americans use healthcare approaches developed outside the bounds of conventional medicine.
Alternative approaches to healthcare such as essential oils, yoga, massage therapy and chiropractic care have grown in popularity.
The teaming of chiropractic care and massage therapy in particular, however, has brought relief to consumers suffering from conditions such as fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, and various sports injuries.
Attention to spinal health actually dates back to ancient Greeks and Egyptians. Chiropractic care in the United States dates back over 100 years. Despite its lengthy presence, it has taken quite a long time to be an accepted choice in treatment, and the U.S. now claims more than 60,000 licenses in the field.
Years ago massages were thought to be for the wealthy and prominent, simply a form of relaxation after a stressful day. Massage therapy is slowing, taking its place in the world of alternative medicine. Of studies completed, massage therapy hsa been proven to reduce pain, aid in healing injuries to muscles and tendons, and even reduce depression.
Deep-tissue massage therapy is a focused and specialized addition to the field. Many people falsely believe this type of therapy is painful simply because of its title. Deep-tissue massage, while perhaps not as painful as it sounds, is very successful in treating sports and lower back injuries. It has also been shown to improve pain caused by many auto-immune illnesses.
A person living with chronic pain may call the combining of chiropractic care and massage therapy a marriage made in heaven. Consider the fact that chiropractic care focuses on the musculoskeletal and nervous systems while massage therapy focuses on manipulation of the soft tissues of the body for the purpose of normalizing the tissue. Health benefits follow as tense muscles relax and stress is released.
What are the benefits of combining these two alternative treatments?
- Recovery time is diminished. Many patients report quicker healing when taking advantage of combined treatment. The spinal system and soft tissues of the body depend on each other for well-being, treating both after an injury or a flare in illness speeds healing.
- Massage therapy improves blood circulation, which in turn allows more effective spinal adjustments.
- Muscles react to stress by tightening which can lead to issues with posture, joint pain and decreased general health. Massage therapy relaxes these muscles which allows a smoother adjustment and opportunity for the body to align. Adjustments tend to last longer when the body is relaxed.
- Improved mobility and flexibility are important when treating injury or aging aches and pains. Spinal adjustment and massage work in tandem to bring optimal range of motion.
Many people have discovered the benefits of ongoing health and preventative care by visiting their chiropractor on a regular basis, before illness of injury become a part of life. Keeping the spine aligned through regular adjustments can prevent health issues that proceed from pinched nerves and spinal impingements and subluxation. Massage therapy releases chronically tense muscles which will improve balance in the body and circulation. When choosing a combined protocol for health issues patients must be proactive in researching to locate accredited and trained professionals in each area of care.
Tips for choosing a chiropractor include:
- Look for license and training from a reputable university.
- Does the doctor care about you as a person?
- Are x-rays taken before any adjustments are made?
- Is the staff professional and attentive?
- Have you gotten word of mouth referrals or checked online reviews?
Massage therapy can be dangerous if performed during certain health conditions or by an untrained/poorly trained therapist. Look for:
- Licensing. It is illegal to perform massage therapy without a license.
- Board certification. Members with certification must meet standards in educations, training and experience as well as pass the exam.
- Training and education from an accredited school. You can check this through the Department of Education.
Ultimately we must be our own advocates in the realm of healthcare. Great choices in daily diet and healthy exercise as well as doing homework before seeking any form of care is essential for optimal health. No one knows your body as well as you do, so pay attention.
Take good care of the one and only you.