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Massage Therapy

Introduction
Good circulation is an important element of whole body health.  Massage therapy can help stimulate and improve circulation to remove the collections of waste products in lymph that cause discomfort.  It can help to relieve pain and stiffness and improve flexibility, range of motion, and tissue elasticity.  Additionally, a massage can have a whole body effect, leaving you feeling relaxed and refreshed.
 
Therapeutic massage can dramatically improve the circulation of blood and lymph throughout the body.  Blood carries oxygen and nutrients to your cells that are used for energy.  Blood and lymph carry waste products away from tissues.  Waste products may accumulate during periods of inactivity or after vigorous exercise, causing pain, tension, spasms, stiffness, and fluid retention.  The movement of lymph is primarily dependent on the constriction and pumping action of muscles.
 
Licensed massage therapists, physical therapists, or doctors may provide therapeutic massage.  These professionals have special training in a variety of massage therapy techniques that may be used alone or in conjunction with other treatments, such as exercise therapy or chiropractics.  You may receive a whole body massage or a targeted massage that focuses on a select area. 

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Treatment
A therapeutic massage is provided in a private and professional environment.  You will wear a gown or be covered with a drape for your therapeutic massage.  Your therapist will only expose the area of your body that is to be treated.
 
You massage may be provided with the therapist’s hands, fingers, elbows, or massage tools.  Lotions or oil may be applied to your skin to help facilitate smooth gliding motions.  Your therapist may use a variety of different techniques.  Other types of treatment, including physical therapy, may be combined with your massage to optimize your results. 

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This information is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be used in place of an individual consultation or examination or replace the advice of your health care professional and should not be relied upon to determine diagnosis or course of treatment.

The iHealthSpot patient education library was written collaboratively by the iHealthSpot editorial team which includes Senior Medical Authors Dr. Mary Car-Blanchard, OTD/OTR/L and Valerie K. Clark, and the following editorial advisors: Steve Meadows, MD, Ernie F. Soto, DDS, Ronald J. Glatzer, MD, Jonathan Rosenberg, MD, Christopher M. Nolte, MD, David Applebaum, MD, Jonathan M. Tarrash, MD, and Paula Soto, RN/BSN. This content complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information. The library commenced development on September 1, 2005 with the latest update/addition on April 13th, 2016. For information on iHealthSpot’s other services including medical website design, visit www.iHealthSpot.com.