What is Massage Therapy?
Massage is the manipulation of soft tissues including muscles, ligaments, tendons, joints and connective tissue to achieve a therapeutic effect. It employs a variety of techniques such as kneading, stretching, cross-fiber friction, point pressure, skin rolling, joint play, and muscle stripping, just to name a few.
Who are Registered Massage Therapists?
Registered massage therapists (RMTs) are members of the Massage Therapist Association of Saskatchewan (MTAS). These therapists have completed a two year, 2200 hour diploma program and have passed written and practical board exams. Their program included extensive anatomy, physiology, pathology, physical assessment and massage therapy education. They are also required to participate in continuing education courses to keep their skills up to date and learn new techniques. RMTs work closely with other health care practitioners such as physicians, physiotherapists and chiropractors, however, they should never claim to diagnose or cure conditions.
What are the benefits of massage therapy?
- Relieves muscle tension and stiffness
- Decreases pain and swelling after an injury and promotes proper healing
- Increases flexibility in muscles and range of motion in joints
- Improves blood and lymphatic circulation, aiding in the removal of metabolic wastes and toxins from the body
- Reduces blood pressure
- Soothes the nervous system, which induces relaxation and can help relieve insomnia
- Relief of pain due to inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, tendinitis, bursitis and plantar fasciitis
- Relief from sprains and strains, tension headaches, constipation and repetitive strain conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome
- Decreases the discomforts associated with pregnancy
Who can benefit from massage therapy?
Everyone! No matter what your age, profession or activity level there are stresses placed on your body every day. These stresses will eventually lead to muscle tension, injury or other dysfunction within the body. The greatest benefit from massage is found in those who practice prevention with regular massage treatments.
What can I expect when I come for my first massage treatment?
It is helpful if you can arrive 10 to 15 minutes early to fill out the required health history form. It is important to disclose any health concerns or medications you are currently taking. This information will allow your therapist to decide if massage is appropriate for you, or what modifications will need to be made to make the massage treatment safe. Your therapist will take you into the treatment room to go over the form with you and discuss the reason for the massage treatment. She will then explain what areas should be treated and ask for your consent. The therapist will instruct you as to which clothing you should remove (usually you will leave your undergarments on), then will leave the room while you undress, lay down on the massage table and cover up with a sheet or blanket. The therapist will reenter the room and make sure you are comfortable on the table. She will only undrape the area of the body that is being treated and will cover up that area before moving on to the next area. Throughout the treatment the therapist will ask you if the pressure is adequate. It is important to let the therapist know if something hurts, or if you would like her to use more pressure. When the treatment is over, the therapist will leave the treatment room while you get dressed. Once you are ready, the therapist will check to see how you are feeling and will give you important home care advice that will help to prolong the effects of the massage.