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Benefits and Risks of Therapeutic Massage

Aug 18, 2007
There are few people who don't like to have a massage. I'm sure that if you are reading this article, you are among the many who enjoys a good massage. Many like massage to relax, and to ease sore and stiff muscles. But massage has many other therapeutic uses.

People use massage therapy to improve circulation and improve the function of the lymph nodes, which carry toxic materials out of the body. Some massages are used to strengthen and relax the muscles, making it easier to move. Therapeutic massage therapy can also help you to reduce fatigue and ease minor aches and pains.

Another benefit of massage therapy is the glow it can give your skin. A good massage can stimulate the skin keep it cool and moisturized. A skin that glows makes a body look and feel healthy. A massage may also boost the immune system and help you stay healthier.

There are some risks involved in having therapeutic massage. For example, you should not have a massage if you have blood vessel diseases. Check with your primary care doctor before having a massage if there is a clot in a vein. Massage could dislodge the clot and free it into the bloodstream to block the heart or the lungs. If you have any cardiovascular diseases involving swollen blood vessels or heart disease you should check with your doctor before having a massage.

Another risk involved in a therapeutic massage is if you have a burn, open cuts, swelling, infected skin, or herpes or cold sores - all can be contraindications that you should wait until you heal. If you have back pain, you should ask your doctor before having a massage. You should also not visit a massage therapist if you have a high fever or chills. This could be the sign of a serious illness.

Massage therapy should be avoided during the first trimester of pregnancy. The risk of miscarriage is the highest in the first three months and your abdomen, feet and legs should not be massaged. A therapist trained in massage during pregnancy will be able to provide the right technique for massaging the feet and lower legs. Always check with your doctor before getting a massage when you are pregnant.

Breaking bones that did not heal should not be massaged. Anyone with weak bones or with osteoporosis should avoid any form of massage. You should check with your doctor if you have a mild case of osteoporosis before having massage therapy.

Before getting a therapeutic massage, you should know that massage therapy is normally not covered by most health insurance plans. A massage may be covered by insurance if a doctor prescribes it.

Choosing a massage therapist is an important part of your therapy. Make sure your therapist is licensed and accredited through your state. They should have gone through a massage training program and you should choose if you would be more comfortable with a male or female therapist.
About the Author
Scott Meyers is a staff writer for Its Entirely Natural, a resource for helping you achieve a naturally healthy body, mind, and spirit. You may contact our writers through the web site. Follow this link for more information on Massage Therapy.
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