Scientific research agrees that massage therapy is one of the best ways to pamper your mind, body, and spirit. Too often, many of us get caught up in the chaos of modern life and do not prioritize our health and wellbeing. Taking the time to get a massage could transform your life and body for the better. At Reflections Skin & Laser Center in Cartersville, GA, and Kennesaw, GA, we offer professional massages for the ultimate rebalancing experience.
Is Massage Therapy a New Practice?
Although we’ve seen a rise in the awareness of the benefits of massage, it’s not new. Chinese medical texts that are over 4,000 years old reference massage, and a wealth of other historical documentation also tout the benefits. Hippocrates, who is considered the “Father of Medicine,” advised all doctors in his fourth-century writings to develop massage skills.
US physicians started practicing scientific massage in the 1850s. Although this practice oscillated in and out of fashion, it has been a permanent wellness fixture since the 1960s. Today, massage is one of the most widely used non-pharmaceutical therapy options. Unlike many medications, it can help a variety of conditions.
What Is Massage Therapy?
Massage therapy is the practice of using the hands, fingers, forearms, and elbows to manipulate the body’s soft tissues like the skin and muscles. This manipulation normalizes tissue, promotes relaxation, relieves pain, and encourages natural body processes. Through a series of manual techniques, the massage therapist applies pressure to the soft tissue to create movement in the body.
Massage treatments offer relief to achy muscles while encouraging the body to undergo the natural detoxification process. This therapy is highly customizable, and we tailor every massage to each client’s needs. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to massage, and we treat each client and each session individually. The core massage techniques remain a standard, but the ways we use these techniques depends on the needs and experiences of each client.
How Does Massage Therapy Work?
Massage causes physiological shifts in the body. These shifts influence several of the body’s systems in a positive and uplifting way. The two ways this treatment works is through the relaxation response and mechanical responses.
Relaxation is always the aim of a massage. The body responds to the therapist’s skilled touch by slowing down; the heart beats slower, blood pressure lowers, and stress hormones stop flowing as the body breathes more deeply and naturally.
As stress melts away, all the negative consequences of it, like anxiety, hypertension, and cardiac arrhythmias also reduce. The relaxation response impacts the entire nervous system in a soothingly beneficial way.
We could also refer to the mechanical response to massage as the body’s physical response to the pressure of the massage. This response normalizes soft tissue while promoting increased circulation in the blood and lymphatic systems. Improved circulation helps the body remove toxins more efficiently.
The mechanical response also relaxes muscles from tension, contractions, and spasms while reducing nerve compression, when present. Relaxed muscles absorb nutrients and function properly, while tense or contracted muscles do not. Because the muscles, bones, nerves, and organs all share the same neurological pathways, massage can provide benefits to all of them.
What Are the Benefits of Massage Therapy?
With many areas of the body getting relief from massage, it’s one of the best treatments for a variety of conditions. Massage delivers countless scientifically substantiated benefits beyond reducing pain, stress, and tension.
Every massage type offers different benefits to address specific concerns. Our professional staff in Cartersville and Kennesaw can help you decide which massage type is the best choice for you.
Clinical research finds new benefits for massage all the time, and some of the most studied conditions massage can help include:
- Baby growth in preemies
- Cancer symptom reduction
- Digestive disorders
- Improved immune function
- Pain management
- Prenatal treatment
- Soft tissue injuries
- Sports injuries
- Stress relief
Massage is considered a supplemental therapy designed to work with modern medicine. Although massage isn’t a replacement for conventional medical care, scientific research reveals many benefits. Research shows that it can offer supportive wellness benefits to many patients with a variety of medical conditions.
Who Could Use a Massage?
We believe that everyone could benefit from the healing powers of massage treatment. More than ever, people are choosing massage to enjoy the harmony of the mind, body, and spirit that this treatment provides. We see clients of all ages, genders, and positions in life. Some of the groups we see most include those who are:
- The chronically ill
- Those coping with stress
- The elderly
- Expecting mothers
- Those recovering from injuries
Bodily tension affects everyone, and a massage is the best way to nurture yourself.
Which Massage Techniques Does Reflections Skin & Laser Center Offer?
At both Reflections Skin & Laser Center locations, we offer a variety of massage therapy types, including the very popular deep tissue massage and prenatal massage.
Deep Tissue Massage
Whereas a Swedish massage is often the choice for relaxation, a deep tissue massage goes a step further to treat chronic pain and injuries. Both of these techniques use targeted pressure. A deep tissue massage delivers a more powerful force to release tension in the muscles, tendons, and surrounding areas.
Pregnancy is an exciting time that brings about many changes in a woman’s life. Change is part and parcel of motherhood, but sometimes the changes can put stress on the body. Backaches, swelling, headaches, and leg cramps are common complaints among pregnant women, and our prenatal massage is designed to provide therapeutic relief. Many of our clients consider it paramount prenatal care.
How Soon Will I Experience Results?
Most clients feel immediate relief from tension and sore muscles during treatment, and many others experience an increased feeling of serenity after the massage. For some massage types, like deep tissue massage, some clients feel the best a few days after treatment. Everyone is different, and how you experience the relaxing results from massage may not mirror the timeline of someone else’s results.
How Does a Massage Feel?
Massages feel good because they are working with several systems of the body to promote relaxation harmonize them. Areas with injury or tension may feel more sensitive than other areas of the body, but your massage should always feel good.
We encourage open communication in our offices. If ever you feel anything less than fantastic while receiving a massage, tell your therapist immediately. Your therapist will work with you to find the most comfortable and pleasurable massage positioning for you. Anything that causes more tension in the body is counter to the purpose of the massage, so please let us know if you feel tightness or discomfort.
Do I Have to Undress Completely for a Massage?
No, the most important thing is that you are comfortable during your massage. We give you a sheet to cover for the duration of the treatment. We give you full privacy to take off your clothes before the massage begins, and we instruct you to cover yourself with the sheet before your therapist reenters the room.
Your therapist consults with you before treatment about where you’d like to receive treatment; during this time, you may also inform them of any areas you want them to avoid.
During your massage, we only expose the areas like the arms, legs, and back when we are massaging these areas; we cover all other areas with the provided sheet. We do not expose any sensitive areas during your treatment. Clients disrobe per their preferences, and you can wear undergarments if you prefer.
Do I Have to Use the Sheet?
A big part of the therapy revolves around the sheet and the “draping” technique we use with it. During your session, we require you to use the sheet at all times.
What Do I Do to Prepare for a Massage?
The best thing you can do to prepare for your massage is to drink a lot of water. When you are hydrated, you experience less inflammation, which keeps the muscles more relaxed. Water flushes toxins from the body that can contribute to stiff and sore muscles. Hydration will give you a head start on all the soothing benefits your massage session offers.
What Happens Before Massage Treatment?
Before your session, we’ll greet you and ask you to fill out a massage questionnaire to help us learn how you can most benefit from treatment. Together we discuss your reason for visiting us and how we can make the most of your session. We encourage you to provide us with as much detailed information as possible about your visit.
During this time, we address any questions you might have about the treatment or the process. Massage is a physical practice; however, it is also a communicative process between you and your therapist. The more information we receive from you, the better we can serve your needs.
What Training Do Massage Therapists Receive?
Massage therapists receive a postsecondary non-degree award. To achieve this, they must complete an extensive education in anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, pathology, methods, and hands-on technique training.
Upon completion of formal education, each therapist must gain certification and a license from The Georgia Board of Massage Therapists. This is achieved by passing the National Certification Exam for Massage Therapy and Bodywork.
The law requires our massage therapists to renew their licenses every two years, which keeps them up to date on all the latest education and emerging science in the field.
What Do I Do During Treatment?
For the entire duration of your treatment, your comfort is our top priority. Many of our clients fall asleep during treatment because they experience a feeling of relaxation, unlike any they have ever felt before. Other clients meditate or simply enjoy the treatment.
Am I Allowed to Talk During My Session?
We strongly encourage open communication during your session, especially if you feel discomfort. If you are cold or hot, please let us know; we’ll take steps to help you relax. If you’d like the therapist to adjust pressure, please also let us know.
Our professional therapists are skilled at creating the most rejuvenating experience, but it is your body. Only you can know which pressure works for you, so please speak up if you’d like any adjustments made.
Many of our clients think they will want to chat during the session, but end up relaxing into a blissfully peaceful state as the massage continues. The experience is all about you, so feel free to engage in the amount of talking that feels right.
Can I Stop the Massage If I Want To?
Every massage we give is designed to put your body and mind at ease. If for any reason, you do not feel this way, you are free to end the massage. If there is something we can do differently to enhance your comfort, please let us know at any time before or during treatment.
How Long Is a Session?
The length of your session depends on the type of massage you receive. Contact us to learn more information about the types of massages we offer and their durations. At Reflections Skin & Laser Center, we always want to hear from you.
How Will I Feel After the Massage?
After your massage, you should feel invigorated and renewed. Most of our patients tell us they feel like a new person after treatment. The process of total relaxation is calming while happening but could lead to increased energy after treatment. We encourage you to continue hydrating after your session to stretch out the enlivening benefits even more.
Instead of needing downtime after treatment, most clients feel ready to continue with normal activities with more vitality than they had before the session.
How Often Should I Get a Massage?
How you feel dictates how often you should get a massage. Only you can decide how frequently to get a massage; however, you can speak to your therapist to receive helpful information and recommendations.
Based on our experience, individuals sharing specific symptoms or conditions have similar results and treatment schedules that best fit their needs.
For those experiencing pain, more frequent massages may help most for pain management. For pain and after suffering an injury, getting a massage once or twice per week can help you recover faster. Those with chronic illnesses and athletes find that a massage once every week or two weeks provides the relief and relaxation they seek. For stress, a massage one to four times per month is ideal.
Are There Times When I Shouldn’t Get a Massage?
Getting a massage is a fantastic idea when your body aches or when you need to relax or detox. Postponing your massage appointment is only recommended if you are in the early stages of a cold, flu, or an infection like a contagious skin breakout. To reap the most rewards from treatment, please postpone your appointment when experiencing one of these conditions. If you aren’t sure, do not hesitate to contact us. We’d be happy to answer any questions you have.
Schedule Your Visit
Massage therapy is a life-changing treatment with great transformative power. Whether you are looking for a treatment to boost mood, ease stress, speed up recovery, or mitigate symptoms, massage can help you. Get ready to feel what a massage can do for you. Find out which massage is right for you by contacting us at Reflections Skin & Laser Center in Cartersville, GA. We look forward to meeting you.