Everything You Need to Know About Massage Therapy

Massage Therapy: An Introduction

If you are stressed and are grappling with pain and muscle tension and soreness, consider giving massage therapy in Des Moines a try. Performed by a certified massage therapist, massage therapy involves manipulating the soft tissues of the body-tendons, ligaments, connective tissues, muscles and skin.

In addition to reducing stress and tension, massage therapy can fast-track recovery from an injury, may help reduce the symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress and supports overall wellness.

A massage therapist is trained to use varying degrees of pressure and different movements in order to effectively target the affected area.

More and more medical centers are offering massage therapy in conjunction with traditional treatments. Studies have found massage to be useful for digestive disorders, nerve pain, fibromyalgia, myofascial pain, low back pain and stress related insomnia.

Types of Massage Therapy

Massage therapists practice a wide variety of massage therapies in order to best serve their patient’s unique needs. Here are some popular massage therapy styles.

Deep Tissue Massage

Muscles can get stiff and tight from repeated use. Deep tissue massage is used to relax stiff and tight muscles. During a deep tissue massage, the therapist uses slow, deliberate strokes to target layers of tendons, muscles or other tissues deep under the skin.

The objective of deep tissue massage is to release pressure from the deepest layers of muscles and connective tissues. It is a good option for people with sore muscles, injuries, and chronic muscle pain. A typical deep tissue massage therapy session lasts 60-90 minutes.

Swedish Massage

Swedish massage is a full body massage. It uses gentle pressure and is incredibly relaxing, making it perfect for first-timers. Swedish massage therapists use a combination of long flowing strokes, passive joint movement techniques, kneading strokes, light, rhythmic tapping strokes and deep circular motions to help release muscle knots. Some common strokes used in Swedish massage include Petrissage, Friction, Tapotement and Effleurage.

Many studies have found that Swedish massage may help calm the nervous system and encourage a relaxed emotional state of mind directly affecting muscles.

Sports Massage

Sports massage can reduce exercise-induced muscle soreness. It is a good option for people who have a repetitive use injury to a muscle. Many professional athletes use sports massage to help recover from sports injuries. There are several benefits of sports massage. It helps improve flexibility and athletic performance, relieves pain, releases muscle tension and reduces anxiety.

Depending on the nature and extent of your problem, your massage therapist may perform a full body massage or target specific parts that need the most attention. The professional may alternate deep pressure with gentle strokes, depending on your needs. A typical sports massage session lasts between 60 and 90 minutes.

Pregnancy Massage

During pregnancy, a woman’s body undergoes drastic transformation. Pregnancy massage can help reduce body ache, stress, and ease muscle tension-some of the most common complaints during pregnancy.

In pregnancy massage, mild pressure is applied to the lower back, legs, and hips. During the massage, you will either lie on your side or a table with a cutout for your belly. Pregnancy massage sessions usually last 45-60 minutes.

Post-Surgery Massage

Post-surgery massage utilizes a combination of different massage techniques to target the lymphatic system. These techniques are designed to improve blood circulation and promote recovery.

The lymphatic system processes waste and collects excess fluids from tissues. After surgery, these liquids can harden and can cause excruciating pain. Post-surgery massage can help prevent fluids from hardening by promoting circulation and reducing inflammation.

Given the fact that the first six weeks post-surgery are extremely important, the earlier you start seeing a massage therapist after a surgery, the better. Many doctors recommend their patients to see a therapist 10-14 days after their surgery. Depending on your condition, you may have to wait for three weeks post op to get your first massage.

Benefits Of Massage Therapy

Some health benefits of massage therapy include

Reduces stress and anxiety: Several studies have concluded that massage can increase the body’s parasympathetic response and can help manage anxiety. It also reduces chronic stress and irritability. A 60-minute session can lower cortisol levels in the body by up to 30%. A study found that participants who received massage therapy for 12 weeks reported a 50% reduction in their anxiety symptoms

Improves immune function: A study found that regular massages can increase the production of white blood cells, strengthening the immune system. Massage helps reduce the levels of cortisol, a stress hormone in the body, flushes toxins and improves blood circulation throughout the body

Can help relieve pain from illness: Many cancer patients turn to massage therapy to manage the pain from the treatment and illness. Studies have found that massage therapy may help with cancer related fatigue and anxiety

Helps improve sleep quality: Massage therapy can help increase the production of melatonin, the hormone that regulates sleep and increases the levels of serotonin and dopamine. This leads to better sleep quality. Massage therapy has been shown to help with insomnia related to menopause and congestive heart failure

Reduces fibromyalgia pain: Massage therapy may help ease fibromyalgia pain and alleviate other symptoms of the chronic illness

At Ascent Chiropractic. We are committed to patient-centered care. Our therapists have extensive experience developing customized treatment plans to fit the unique healthcare needs of our patients. We use a whole-body approach to care. Our treatment plans focus on strengthening and stabilizing the body so our patients can continue to enjoy their favorite activities. To learn more, call (206) 241-3836.


17651 1st Ave S, Suite 101
Normandy Park, WA 98148

Phone: 206-241-3836
Fax: 206-241-3967


Monday 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
Tuesday 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
Wednesday 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
Thursday 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
Friday 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
Saturday Closed
Sunday Closed

Achieving Ascent Chiropractic does not happen overnight. However, through regular chiropractic adjustments and lifestyle changes your body can be stronger, more active, and pain-free. Work with us to correct the cause of your body’s dysfunction.

Area We Serve

Des Moines