Massage therapy is an age old form of treatment and associated with most ancient cultures of the world. A variety of health disorders have benefited from this type therapy. It is now an inevitable part of both complimentary and holistic medical treatments.

This form of therapy uses special oils that are applied on the body in smooth, long strokes as well as kneading movements. The focus of massage therapy is on the rejuvenation of muscles and tissues, thereby enhancing the patient's immune function.

Treatment is administrated by therapists, who assess the patient's condition with a thorough overview of the symptoms and medical history. The therapists try to locate painful or tense areas on the patient's body, to determine the amount of pressure to be applied.

Patients usually lie on a table, on their back or face down. Sometimes it is administrated with the patient sitting on a chair. As a patient, you have to wear loose fitting garments to facilitate treatment. In most of the cases, the body of the patient is covered by a cloth except for the area. Sessions can be brief or last an hour, depending on the ailment the patient is suffering from.

When do people opt for massage therapy?

Proper rounds of massage improve the body's blood circulation as they enhance the flow of oxygen into muscle tissues. This rejuvenates muscles, relieves pain and stress, increases flexibility and the mobility of joints.

Patients with rheumatoid afflictions and paralytic stroke benefit immensely from massage therapies. Massage therapy is a preferred from treatment in cases of back pain, headaches, migraines and stress related disorders of the body. Muscular disorders that lead to sprains, cramps, spasms and repetitive strain injury can be treated through massage therapy. This form of treatment is also ideal for patients suffering from respiratory problems.

Allaying Misconceptions

Massage therapy has no serious side effects or risks if performed by licensed practitioners, chiropractors and physiotherapists. Apart from a slight temporary pain, swelling or a brief allergy to massaging oils, no serious side effects have been recorded so far.

For best results and to prevent any other health consequences. It is advisable not to go for this form of treatment if you have:

• undergone a recent surgery, chemotherapy or radiation
• infectious or open wounds, rashes, bruises, inflamed skin
• abdominal hernia or unhealed fractures
• cardiac problems
• a likelihood of getting blood clots, bleeding disorders, low platelet count

Pregnant women should avoid the regular massage sessions and should seek the help of therapists who specialize in the massage of expectant mothers. Cancer patients are usually not restricted from massage therapies. But it is advised that they consult their oncologist and discuss any concerns they have before they go in for massage therapy.

Make sure you inquire about the relevant details related to the therapist's training, credentials and experience before you begin the massage session. It is also necessary that you get an overview of the number of sessions required and related costs.