The Incredible Benefits of Registered Massage Therapy
The Benefits of Registered Massage Therapy
“I’ve gotta go,” you announce to your friends who you’ve been visiting with in the local coffee house. “I have a massage appointment.” You sip your last few dregs, set down your cup & pull on your coat.
“No way! Really?” says one of your friends.
You glance up from your fastening your buttons to see several of your friends smirking.
“Just a little bit indulgent, don’t you think?”
“No, honestly,” you answer. “I have this neck thing…".
WHAT'S IN IT FOR YOU?
Sure, receiving a massage feels fantastic & the beneficial effects can last for weeks afterward. But what does a massage really do?
Actually, the physiological effects of massage have been well documented through both historic & contemporary research.
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Massge Therapy Stretches the Individual Muscle Fibres
As the massage therapist’s hands move over the muscles, the individual muscle fibres experience a slight stretch. This inhibits muscle spasm & encourages circulation.
Massage Therapy Increases Circulation to The Tissues
Increased blood-flow to the muscles has the effect of delivering life-sustaining nutrients & sweeping away the waste. If massage is used to treat an injured area it has the extra benefit of taking away the waste produced by the injury & bringing in the nutrients that facilitate rebuilding & healing.
Massage Therapy Decreases Pain & Speeds Recovery After a Workout
Many of us have suffered through the muscle soreness that flares up within twenty-four to forty-eight hours after a workout. Have a massage before you start to feel this pain! You will experience a decrease in the delayed-onset-muscle-soreness resulting from your workout. As well, your tissue recovery process will be enhanced.
Massage Therapy Prevents Injury
Massage is also preventative. When your muscles are loosened, this allows increased circulation. Increased circulation will contribute to ease of movement & improve your tissue health. This diminishes the chance of injury.
Massage Therapy Restores Ease of Movement
Collagen fibres & elastin fibres are found in varying amounts throughout our soft tissues. Through both aging & injury, there is an ongoing cross-linking of both of these fibres. The cross-links are usually laid down in an irregular manner causing us to lose extensibility & resiliency.
There is a theory that regular massage therapy orients the cross-linking collagen & elastin fibres in a more organized & linear direction. This linear direction is more in keeping with the body’s stress-lines. Thereby leaving the soft-tissue more pliable & mobile.
An even more optimistic school of thought is that massage therapy actually breaks down & rids the soft-tissue of the excess cross-links, thus freeing movement.
Not many studies exist to scientifically prove either of these theories. However, there is a definite release of tension & increased extensibility that comes with receiving massage therapy. So, although massage therapy cannot actually lengthen your muscles permanently, it definitely sets up your muscles’ readiness to be stretched. In this way, massage therapy dramatically increases the benefits of stretching.
Massage Therapy Decreases Body’s Cortisol Levels
Stressed out? Unfortunately, stress triggers your body to increase cortisol levels in the blood stream beyond what is healthy. Over a prolonged period of time, excess cortisol will produce negative effects on your body.
The Negative Effects of Stress:
- Impaired cognitive performance
- Suppressed thyroid function
- Blood sugar imbalances
- Decreased bone density
- Decrease in muscle tissue
- High blood pressure
- Lowered immunity
- Lowered inflammatory response
- Increased abdominal fat
- Loss of collagen in the skin & inhibition of further collagen formation
Massage therapy activates your body’s relaxation response. This relaxation response directly reduces cortisol levels in your bloodstream.
Massage Therapy Decreases Anxiety & Heightens Mood
Other effects, such as decreased anxiety & heightened mood, are not well understood. However, it is thought that some of the physical & psychological outcomes with massage may be due to the release of endorphins. Endorphins are your body’s natural painkillers!
Registered Massage Therapy in B.C. is a Regulated Health Care Profession
So how does that benefit you?
In two ways; your Registered Massage Therapist is both knowledgeable & accountable.
British Columbia’s Registered Massage Therapists are the most extensively trained in North America. Some even argue, the World! Education curriculums are solidly based in accepted medical theory. This includes a thorough study of physiology, anatomy & pathology (diseases & injuries). There is a definite bent toward orthopaedics. Practical training includes the treatment of chronic diseases, orthopaedic injuries & the effects of long-term stress.
The standards set out to become a Registered Massage Therapist in B.C.:
- Graduate from an accredited school, meaning the completion of a 2200-hour program (the equivalent of five university semesters)
- Obtain at least 70% on a rigorous two-day provincial examination
- Obtain First Aid & CPR certification
- Supply three letters of reference for personal character
- Pay a hefty fee
- Have a Solemn Declaration notarized
Once the student is accepted & becomes a Registered Massage Therapist, to remain Registered he/she must keep up with continuing education, be insured & abide by:
- The Health Professions Act
- The Human Rights Act
- The PIPEDA & The PIPA
- And the regulations & bylaws of the College of Massage Therapists of B.C. Which among other important points include the following:
- The Registrant must act in the best interest of a patient
- Only provide a treatment if the Registrant has a reasonable expectation that it will be of benefit to the patient
- A Registrant shall maintain confidentiality of patient information
This is a serious commitment on the part of each Registered Massage Therapist. As well, serious protection for the public on the part of the College of Massage Therapists of B.C.
Registered Massage Therapy in British Columbia
Registerd Massage Therapists’ Association of British Columbia:
The Registered Massage Therapists’ Association (RMTBC) is non-profit Association for Registered Massage Therapists in British Columbia.
College of Massage Therapists of British Columbia:
The College of Massage Therapists of British Columbia is the regulatory body for registered massage therapists in BC. This governing body protects the public. They act on behalf of all British Columbians to ensure registered massage therapists always deliver safe and effective treatments.
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- Sylvia Leong RMT CPT ARS
- LEONG Orthopaedic Health
Tackling health & lifestyle concerns with the written word.
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© 2014 Sylvia Leong
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