To some, massage therapy is a luxury they choose to enjoy on a regular basis. To others who suffer from chronic illnesses, such as osteoarthritis or fibromyalgia, receiving a massage regularly means the difference between extreme pain to mild or little discomfort. The seriousness or severity of a patient’s condition will determine the amount of massage needed.
Studies have proven that individuals with chronic osteoarthritis received continued comfort from receiving a 30-minute Swedish massage each week for eight weeks in a row. Massage reduces inflammation and decreases pain levels. It increases the amount of oxygenated blood to an affected area, triggering a healing response within the body. The more a person receives massage, the longer the effects will last. Over time, the muscle tissue will regain strength and resiliency reducing the impact of the arthritis on bones and joints.
While 30 minute sessions work well for individuals who have one or two affected joints, those who experience arthritis over several areas may need up to 60 minutes to provide sustained relief. Once again, studies have shown that massage performed for 60 minutes on a regular basis for eight weeks or longer, showed a dramatic improvement over patients who did not receive the therapy.
While 30 minute massages are beneficial for small areas, a full hour is often needed to address issues that affect the body extensively. A full body, one hour massage not only reduces inflammation and relieves pain, it also helps to flush toxins and contaminants from the system. Keeping the body hydrates eliminates acids and metabolic by-products from building up in body tissue which can lead to cramps and muscle spasms.
Visiting a massage therapist on a regular basis will help keep muscle tissue toned and flexible. As for how much massage is needed to accomplish a sufficient healing response, it will depend on the client and their existing health conditions.