How do you honor the woman who made life possible — and get her to stop for a moment of caring for others to care for herself?
Mothers cannot give from a depleted source. Every mother needs emotional, mental, physical and spiritual validation, nourishment and support. When a mother is respected and well cared for, she and her whole family will benefit. — A Motherwoman Principle
While a therapeutic massage might be on your mother’s wishlist; it’s likely shoved under her elusive pile of work — from her day job to the cooking, cleaning, and laundry to handling the bills to carting her kids to sports practice. You name it.
But if you give her the gift of a massage, how could she say no?
A therapeutic massage can be a unique gift to your mother and future mothers to offer them the much-needed relaxation, rejuvenation, and relief from any pain they acquire in their day to day activities.
Here are just a few reasons why a therapeutic massage would benefit your mother (or you) this Mother’s Day.
What is a Therapeutic Massage?
A therapeutic massage is a manual and non-invasive technique applied to soft body tissues (muscle, ligaments, tendons, and connective tissue) to manipulate pain symptoms, stress reduction, and improve quality of life.
The light superficial pressure during a therapeutic massage on the lymphatic vessels of the affected area helps release excessive interstitial fluid through venous blood flow. It is an effective way to reduce inflammation by triggering the excretion of accumulated fluid in the lymphatic system, a vital part of the immune system responsible for ridding the body of toxins and waste.
That’s why drinking water after a massage is imperative in order to flush the toxins that were just released. Otherwise, your mother (or you) may experience a pounding headache, mild nausea, or other cold and flu symptoms as the body fights to release the toxins. It’s not exactly the rejuvenation your mother may want, but a good massage therapist will give aftercare advice — or even serve the patient water or tea right after the massage.
My Tu ina therapist serves me tea as he interviews me about my lifestyle, pain levels, and such before a massage. Afterwards, he makes sure I drink a glass of water before I leave. While not all massage therapists will give patients this level of personal care, they will at least give pre and post-massage advice.
Benefits of a Therapeutic Massage
Therapeutic massage brings relief from physical and mental tension by activating the parasympathetic nervous system (Your nervous system running on autopilot). Likewise, it helps reduce muscular tension. Thus, anyone can benefit from a massage — from a newborn baby down to your grandmother.
So how can you or your mother benefit?
- Massages stimulate the release of endorphins by enhancing neurohormones (e.g., oxytocin, the bonding hormone). This refreshes the body-mind, promotes positivity, enhances the libido, and can regulate the appetite.
- Massages improve joint flexibility. A calf muscle massage can improve the flexibility and balance of the ankle joint, whereas a shoulder massage can treat pain and increase the range of motion in the shoulder joint.
- Massages stimulate the immune system by increasing the activity level of the white blood cells (lymphocytes) and prevents infectious diseases.
- Massages improve overall muscle functioning. It reduces edema (excessive water retention), improves blood circulation, and further removes fatigued substances within the muscle.
What Can a Therapeutic Massage Treat?
Low-back Pain: Almost 60–80% of people complain of low back pain. However, the female low-back pain incidence rate is heightened due to fluctuations of the menstrual cycle, pregnancy and childbearing, child-rearing, and perimenopausal symptoms. While the mainstay in treatment used to be pills, randomized trials reveal that a therapeutic massage can be a cost-effective and safe way to manage chronic low back pain symptoms.
Head, Neck, and Shoulder Pain: Neck and shoulder pain is highly prevalent in affluent countries, largely due to office culture. Massage therapy can be an effective way to provide immediate relief from neck and shoulder pain by releasing the tension and muscles spasms that build up from poor posture or overextending the muscles during workouts or another exercise. These massages also increase circulation by delivering more oxygen to the brain, which can reduce tension headaches and migraines.
Arthritis: The painful stiffness of arthritis can be alleviated with a self-massage or professional massage therapy on the affected joints. And when the pain is released, the range of motion can be increased. Researchers at the University of California have also reported that Swedish massage therapy can positively affect key hormones (e.g., arginine-vasopressin, cortisol, and cytokines ) and white blood cells — all of which can alleviate arthritis symptoms.
Anxiety and Depression: Relaxation is one of the key reasons for frequent visits to a massage therapist. You don’t have to read the research to understand that it helps reduce anxiety and associated symptoms. Nearly everyone has felt their body turn into butter from a gentle touch on the shoulders. Just 15-minutes at even one of those mall massage chairs can help one shake off the day-to-day stressors.
Fibromyalgia: While Fibromyalgia is still a misunderstood syndrome that largely affects women, treatment is still possible. The all-encompassing pain and tenderness around the body, depression, and anxiety can be temporarily relieved with massages.
Common Types of Therapeutic Massages
There are multiple types of therapeutic massage techniques from a variety of ancient and modern medicinal systems. They have been introduced in the modern, Western world due to the myriads of potential health benefits. Here are the most common:
Craniosacral Massage: A craniosacral massage is a non-invasive manual procedure involving a gentle, palpation-style touch applied between the cranium (skull) and the sacrum region of the body (the triangular bone at the base of the spine) to check and diagnose the body. This type of massage combines gentle kneading, tissue adjustments, deep breathing, healing touch, and other relaxing techniques.
Deep Tissue: Through this technique, underlying deep tissues are manipulated by slowly stroking and providing deep finger pressure within the muscles and connective tissues. It is a go-to therapy to release pain in the upper and lower back, neck, legs, and other achy parts
Swedish Massage: A Swedish massage is probably one of the gentlest massages meant to relax the body. The massage therapist lightly rubs the body down with gliding strokes, which returns the blood back to the heart. Oxygen gets pumping back in the blood, which decreases muscles toxins, improving both circulation and flexibility while also easing tension.
Shiatsu: This is a traditional Japanese massage applied through finger pressure on specific areas of the body to activate the body’s own healing process.
Thai Massage: Thai massage is a deep massage technique to provide extended pressure along with reflexive manual yoga-like stretching on the ten major energy channels of the body. This is thought to release the blocked energy in the body associated with illness and discomfort. Likewise, practitioners believe that it promotes awareness and vitality. It is great for promoting mobility as well.
Tui Na: Tui Na is a healing technique of traditional Chinese medicine quite similar to Thai massage, combining acupressure through the fingers and stretching to harmonize the vital energy (chi), by balancing the yin and yang (active and passive activity) of the organs. This technique can help reduce pain symptoms and improve one’s overall health.
Prenatal Massage: Just like it sounds, a prenatal massage is a massage for pregnancy. It can be used to combat depression, anxiety, headaches, swelling, and pregnancy-associated leg and back pain.
Hot Stone Massage: Different sized, mildly heated stones are applied for 90 minutes to melt out stress and tension, providing gentle relaxation.
Massage with CBDMEDIC™ Massage Oil at Home
Mother nature holds many natural gifts that can aid healing and relief. CBDMEDIC™ has made use of these ingredients for a pain-relieving massage oil that can be used at home or during a professional massage. This formulation blends naturally-derived pain-relieving active ingredients menthol and camphor along with other essential oils and emollients including CBD-rich hemp oil, coconut oil, jojoba oil to offer soothing relief. In combination therapy, the addition of jojoba oil increase the rate of absorption of other ingredients through the skin during topical application, which promotes fast-acting, long-lasting relief.
In the case of chronic and persistent pain symptoms, CBDMEDIC™ also offers a range of pain relief products that can be used before, during, and after the massage therapy.
No matter what your mother (or another loved one) needs, the gift of a massage is priceless.