3 Types of Massage that Help with Arthritis
Posted on July 8, 2017
Left untreated arthritis can be a debilitating condition. However, thanks to the miracle of modern massage therapy, managing the ailment is easier than ever. The 3 types of therapeutic massage that have proven effective in treating arthritic disorders are:
Swedish massage treatments can be a vital tool in delivering pain relief to rheumatism or degenerative joint disease sufferers as it promotes circulation, relieves aches and reduces stiffness.
This form of massage works on the top layers of tissue; in doing so it addresses persistent knots and stiffness.
The strokes fall under one of five different categories.
- Effleurage – Consists of sliding and gliding movements to relax the body’s muscles.
- Petrissage – Uses kneading motions to penetrate the muscles beneath tissue.
- Tapotement – Utilizes rhythmic tapping motion to improve blood flow.
- Friction – Uses heat to relax the body’s muscles.
- Vibration – Aids in loosening your muscles through shaking movements.
An experienced massage therapist can apply any of the above movements to the recipient’s hands, neck, back, and shoulders to reduce inflammation or any other arthritis-related conditions.
Benefits of Swedish Massage
- Improves flexibility
- Reduces stress
- Increases blood flow
- Helps flush toxins
Suitability: Swedish massage tends to work best for individuals suffering from lack of sleep, general stiffness, or anxiety.
Although in concept it is similar to Swedish massage, deep tissue massage applies greater pressure and targets deeper layers of muscle; this makes it ideal for sports injuries, as well as chronic conditions. However, while some forms of massage are better suited to addressing joints and top muscle layers, deep-tissue massage techniques provide healing benefits to the body’s fascia, which is the tissue that connects your muscles, bones, arteries, and organs.
Deep-tissue massage utilizes sustained pressure and deep strokes to address specific problem areas. Although often less comfortable than other forms of massage, when performed by a professional therapist, the ultimate benefit of a deep-tissue session is arthritis relief. However, this isn’t the only advantage.
Additional Benefits of Deep Tissue Massage
- Aids in muscle rehabilitation
- Relieves chronic pain
- Breaks down scar tissue
- Promotes good emotional health
Suitability: While effective, not everyone is suited for deep tissue massage. For instance, those who are new to massage may want to opt for another form of therapy before moving to deep tissue massage.
Hot Stone Massage
Hot stone massage therapy dates to old China. The ancient Greeks and Romans also practiced several variations of stone massage therapy. Likewise, there are records of the technique being practiced in several ancient Middle and Near Eastern cultures, as well.
Although there are many variations of hot stone therapy, the method that most therapists practice today is similar to what traditional Chinese healers have utilized for some 2000 years. The treatment is administered by placing smooth, heated stones to key pressure points along the body. As heat radiates from the stones, the recipient experiences deep relaxation and improved blood circulation, along with arthritis relief.
Benefits of Hot Stone Massage
- Better sleep
- Increases immunity
- Improves range of motion
- Reduces muscle spasms
Suitability: Anyone with open sores, chronic skin ailments, blood or heart conditions is discouraged from using stone therapy.
The bottom line is that although there are many natural remedies for arthritis, the aforementioned techniques are among the most promising. And remember, if you’re unsure which form of massage to choose, a good therapist can point you in the right direction.