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Massage Therapy

Massage for Mental Health:

Stress, Anxiety and Their Impact On Your Health

Massage Therapy

Massage therapy treatments can help to decrease the effects of stress on the body.

Stress can be presented in many different ways and affects individuals variably: not everyone experiences or deals with stress in the same ways. High levels of stress can result in muscle tension, headaches, loss of appetite, sleep disorders, as well as other mental health issues.

The physical effects of stress can cause damage to many different systems, most significantly being the cardiovascular, gastro-intestinal, and endocrine systems. Muscular tension, fatigue, and weakness are also significant consequences of high-stress and high-anxiety lifestyles.

As stress increases negatively in an individual’s life, or if stress is constantly present, there is a risk of a number of different conditions developing as a result of tile hyper-activity of neural and hormonal stress management mechanisms. These include, but are not limited to, anxiety, depression, insomnia, migraines, hormonal imbalances, and decreased cognitive function.

Registered massage therapy treatments can help to decrease the effects of stress on the body by encouraging relaxation, deep breathing, and by decreasing the muscular tension. During a treatment, the client’s heart rate decreases, neural firing slows, and normal function can resume in the parasympathetic system. With each treatment, clients experience more of a decrease in stressful thoughts; normal sleeping patterns return, and individuals learn to manage their stress in a productive manner. This can be one of the most important tools in the lives of individuals working towards better health.

Benefits of Massage for Stress

  • Decreased heart rate
  • Management of blood pressure
  • Decreased muscular tension
  • Decrease in headaches and migraines
  • Improved digestive function
  • Improved sleeping patterns and habits
  • Acquire techniques for self-management of stress

Many athletes are aware or the importance of proper training, exercise and stretching in order to be In top physical condition for their sport. Massage therapy can be easily integrated into this routine to encourage proper muscle repair, prepare athletes for competition, cool muscles down alter exertion as well as help the healing progress in case of an injury.

Sports Massage Therapy

Sports massage is extremely beneficial before and after competition and training. Getting the athletes ready, warming up their muscles and joints, and calming their nerves all encourage a higher performance during competition. It also helps to prevent injury while the athlete is active because the muscles are already warmed up and circulation to the main muscle groups is increased.

Post-competition massage helps to flush toxins from the muscle groups, encourages fresh blood flow to repair any micro-tears the athlete may have sustained, and prevents the muscles from going into spasm or tensing up.

Sports massage therapy is not just for elite athletes but can benefit the most amateur athletes and casual exercisers. Integrated into a regular warm up/cool down routine, Sports massage therapy can help to extend your active years!

Benefits of Sports Massage

  • Decreased risk of injury during activity
  • Increased flexibility and agility
  • Increased muscular and joint endurance
  • Improved performance in training and competition
  • Helps remove toxins and decrease inflammation after activity
  • Encourages quicker, more efficient recovery and rehabilitation from injury
  • Decreases complications post-injury

Pregnancy Massage Therapy

While a woman is pregnant her body undergoes physical, physiological and emotional changes. The physical changes can cause stress and or discomfort to the mother.

Massage during pregnancy is therapeutic bodywork which focuses on the special needs of the mother-to-be as her body goes through the dramatic changes of the childbirth experience and is a wonderful way to help alleviate many of these discomforts, as well as promotes a sense of well-being.

Massage is a popular complementary therapy during pregnancy because choices for pain relief, such as medication, are often limited. Not only can massage be physically beneficial, but the human touch can be comforting and provide emotional support during pregnancy.

Massage therapy can also help any emotional stresses or physical discomfort that may arise after the delivery.

Benefits of Prenatal and Postpartum Massage

  • Reduces swelling
  • Lessens sciatic pain
  • Eases muscular discomforts, and also helps with tension and tightening that can be experienced throughout the body
  • Relaxes tense muscles and can help increase flexibility
  • Helps with relaxation which aids decrease anxiety and nervousness, as well as help prevent pregnancy related insomnia
  • Strengthens the immune system
  • Stimulates the release of endorphins, the body’s natural pain killers, into the brain and nervous system
  • Helps relieve anxiety or depression
  • Helps increase blood and lymph circulation, which helps deliver more oxygen and nutrients to the mother and baby, and also helps increase the elimination of toxins
  • Can be used during the birth as well as after, making both experiences easier and more comfortable
  • Eases stress the mother often feels after the birth, as well as any physical discomfort following the delivery.
  • Helps relax your baby, particularly if you have your abdomen gently stroked

** Women with certain health conditions may not be able to have pregnancy massage. It’s best to consult your doctor prior to receiving treatment.

Ex: Gestational Diabetes, Pregnancy Induced Hypertension (PIH) AKA Preeclampsia or Toxemia.

Baby Massage Therapy

Touch is a very powerful element in human bonding, as are communication, both verbal and non-verbal, and prolonged eye contact. Infant massage encompasses and supports all these vital aspects of bonding. Delayed bonding may occur due to situations such as premature birth, recovery from caesarean, medical complications, adoption, lack of physical and emotional support and post natal depression. In these cases Infant massage can begin to recreate the elements of bonding.

Fathers can especially benefit from infant massage. It gives them time to connect and interact with their child on a deeper level than day to day contact provides. Fathers are always welcome in infant massage classes.

Infant Massage is also beneficial to special needs children and older children and facilitates deeper understanding, integration and connection with their parents and caregivers.

The Benefits of Baby Massage

  • Bonding – massage helps build a loving bond between parent and child.
  • Security – massage helps secure a relationship between parent and child and reassures infants that someone is there for them.
  • Emotional – a baby who receives massage leads to a more confident and well balanced life who will be less inclined to experience emotional and psychological difficulties.
  • Skin – as with any massage, the texture and condition of the skin improves, leaving baby with a healthy looking skin; it also improves blood circulation and helps remove waste products from the body’s systems.
  • Digestive System – a massaged baby will suffer from less colic, constipation and diarrhea and will feed better. It also aids increase babies weight and helps premature infants by as much as 47%.
  • Respiratory System – baby massage will lessen coughs, colds and infections of the ear and nasal passages.
  • Nervous System – irritability and tantrums are reduced with massage; a calm baby will lead to a calm parent! It also aids in the quality of their sleep due to the higher level of relaxation.
  • Immune System – massaged babies have stronger immune systems resisting infections and other health problems.
  • Joints and Muscles – baby massage leads to more flexible joints and muscles and greater co-ordination of muscular movement.

Breast Massage Therapy

Breast massage is an extremely effective technique aimed at reducing the discomfort and pain of a number of conditions associate with the breast and surrounding tissues. As there is no muscle in the breast, the treatments have an effect mostly on the lymphatic and lactic ducts within the breast tissue, helping to reduce congestion resulting from hormonal issues, surgical procedures and other external factors.

The main indication for breast massage is breast pain, or mastitis. Generally this breast pain is caused by the congestion of the lymphatic vessels within and behind the breast tissue. The congestion may be caused by a number of different things including hormones, ill-fitting bras, trauma or surgery, or genetic conditions.

The treatment of breast tissue is a very delicate and sensitive issue. It’s for this reason that your therapist will thoroughly explain the treatment to you before you consent to the treatment. Make sure to ask questions if you have any hesitations or are unsure of a part of the treatment.

Your therapist will make sure that you fully understand the process prior to continuing with the treatment. Breast massage is a regulated treatment that Massage Therapists are trained to perform after receiving informed consent from their clients. There are specific restrictions and regulations regarding this treatment. It is non-invasive, as well as discreet. The treatment only includes breast tissue; therefore the areola and nipple are not treated.

Breast massage can help with:

  • Breast swelling or congestion
  • Discomfort due to pregnancy or lactation
  • Blocked milk ducts
  • Reduction of pain from pre or post-surgery, including breast reduction or augmentation
  • Fluid drainage for general drainage problems
  • Pre/post menstrual pain
  • Common benign breast conditions
  • Reduction of discomfort from cancer treatment
  • Rehabilitation from cancer treatments
  • Adhesions and painful scarring restricting drainage or range of motion

Ready To Get Started?

Call Optimal Health Family Chiropractic & Wellness Centre today to make an appointment!


Massage Therapy South Ottawa, ON | (613) 260-8828