Bloomington Clinic, Clinic News, Massage Therapy

What are the Benefits of Regular Massage Therapy?

Many people think of massage as a luxury spa-like experience, but the truth is that there are many health benefits of regular massage therapy.  

Massage therapy is healthcare, and more and more, that is what it’s being utilized for. In a survey by the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA), 60% of respondents had gotten a massage for health or wellness reasons in the last year.   

What could the benefits of regular massage therapy be for you? We’ll dig into the research and get the perspective of Bloomington Clinic massage therapist Ivonne Mosquera-Schmidt, DCM, L.Ac, BCTMB, CNMT to help you find out.   

What Can Massage Therapy Help With?  

Most people know that if their muscles feel tight, massage will feel good. But a growing body of research shows that massage can do so much more. You don’t have to take our word for it. According to AMTA, 60% of massage clients surveyed were referred for massage therapy by their physician.   

Ivonne works primarily on pain with her clients in Bloomington Clinic. “The most common issues I address in the clinic with massage therapy are low back pain, tension in the neck and shoulders, osteoarthritis related joint pain, headaches, and the physical symptoms of stress and anxiety,” she shared.   

Massage Therapy for Chronic Pain  

The benefits of regular massage therapy for chronic pain can be the difference between being stopped by pain and doing your activities of daily living. Massage therapy can be effective for:   

Massage Therapy for Sports Performance 

Ivonne’s interest in massage therapy started when she was training for her first marathon in 2003. “I was having intense knee pain with going up and down stairs after my “long runs”, which were anywhere from 10-20 miles,” she explained. “After a couple of visits to the MD and some physical therapy, a friend recommended I see a sports massage therapist.”  

“That massage was a game-changer for my training, the health of my muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia, and skin. I returned to running pain-free two weeks later and completed my first marathon, the New York City marathon, successfully and without any issues.”   

With the support of massage therapy, and a new interest in anatomy, physiology, nutrition, and cross-training, she successfully competed for Team USA in Track and Field and Triathlon. She even competed in the 2016 Olympics!  

She now sees clients for sports performance enhancement and recovery at Bloomington Clinic, and often sees great improvement.   

Massage Therapy for Stress, Anxiety, and Depression 

Physical and mental health are intertwined. Research shows massage therapy can increase serotonin and dopamine, neurotransmitters associated with reducing anxiety, while decreasing hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline that are associated with stress.   

 According to AMTA, “In a study on the effect of trigger point therapy, there was a significant decrease in heart rate, systolic blood pressure, and diastolic blood pressure. Measures of oxygen consumption, blood pressure, and salivary cortisol levels were all lower after a 10-to-15-minute chair massage in controlled studies.”  

Research has also shown that massage can improve mood and reduce depression in a variety of patient populations.   

Being Consistent Can Improve Results  

For all the conditions explained above, regular massage therapy will have more effect than a single massage could. Every client’s situation is different. But Ivonne shares a general rule. “The longer a client has had a condition, the longer it may take to see changes.”   

However, that doesn’t mean you won’t notice anything after one massage. “It is important to track and pay close attention to any and all changes that may happen along the way,” she explained. “For instance, when working with chronic pain, massage may not make the pain disappear after one or two sessions, but it may improve sleep quality and duration. This is a huge win, as an immense amount of tissue healing, repair, and recovery occurs during sleep.”  

How Often Should you Receive Massage Therapy to See Benefits?  

“In general, I recommend 2-3 massage sessions each approximately 2-3 weeks apart, and then moving to a massage once a month,” said Ivonne. “This allows the body and the nervous system to go through some retraining, lengthening muscles and improving range of motion, while changing fascial patterns of movement.”  

Massage Packages Make Consistency More Accessible 

Ivonne and our other practitioners work with clients to address medical conditions, chronic pain, and stress at Bloomington Clinic, where we offer massage therapy, chiropractic care, acupuncture, and more.   

We know that getting regular massage therapy can feel like a big financial commitment. At Bloomington Clinic, we want to help you achieve your health goals. That’s why we offer a massage therapy package. When you purchase a package, you get 10% off five 60- or 90-minute massages. See our website for details and call us today to schedule. 

Call: 952-885-5444