Craig Joseph

Craig L. Joseph IIR MAR.
is a fully qualified practitioner who hosts the appropriate insurances.


What is Massage ?

Massage is a "hands-on" therapy in which muscles and other soft tissues of the body are manipulated to improve health and well-being. Varieties of massage range from gentle stroking and kneading of muscles and other soft tissues to deeper manual techniques. Massage has been practiced as a healing therapy for centuries in nearly every culture around the world. It helps relieve muscle tension, reduce stress, and evoke feelings of calmness. Although massage affects the body as a whole, it particularly influences the activity of the musculoskeletal, circulatory, lymphatic, and nervous systems.

Massage can be used for more than simply removing tension, though the benefits to relaxation are considerable (reduced stress, for one.) All types of massage involve using the hands, feet, elbows etc to manipulate the muscles of the body.

Back Massage

Like Martial Arts, there are a number of styles of massage. These styles vary with the form of manipulations, use of pressure points, goals of the massage, exact form of the manipulation, and various other factors.
Some of the many side benefits to a good massage are: improved feeling of well-being, improved immune system, improved healing (eg: sports injuries,) and so on.
Plus it just feels really good.

What is massage good for ?

In general, massage is believed to support healing, boost energy, reduce recovery time after an injury, ease pain, and enhance relaxation, mood, and well-being. It is useful for many musculoskeletal problems, such as low back pain, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, and sprains and strains. Massage may also relieve depression in people with chronic fatigue syndrome, ease chronic constipation (when the technique is performed in the abdominal area), decrease swelling after a mastectomy (removal of the breast), alleviate sleep disorders, and improve self-image. In the workplace, massage has been shown to melt away stress and enhance mental alertness.

Clinical studies have found that massage relieves chronic back pain more effectively than other treatments.

Clinical studies have also shown that massage may be an effective treatment for young children and adolescents with a wide range of health problems, including the following:

  • Autism:
      Autistic children, who usually don't like being touched, show less autistic behavior and are more social and attentive after receiving massage therapy from their parents.
  • Atopic dermatitis/Eczema:
      Children with this scaly, itchy skin problem seem to experience less redness, scaling, and other symptoms if receiving massage between flares. Massage should not be used when this skin condition is actively inflamed.
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD):
      Massage may improve mood in children with ADHD and help them feel less fidgety and hyperactive.
  • Bulimia:
      Studies have shown that adolescents with this eating disorder feel less depressed and anxious after receiving massage therapy.
  • Cystic fibrosis:
      Massage may reduce anxiety and improve respiration in children with this lung condition.
  • Diabetes:
      Massage may help regulate blood sugar levels and reduce anxiety and depression in children with diabetes.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis:
      Children with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) have been shown to experience less pain, less morning stiffness, and less anxiety as a result of massage therapy.

Are there any risks associated with massage?

In general, massage is considered relatively safe. Pain or other rare negative side effects are generally caused by an extremely vigorous massage technique.

Even though massage is a useful technique to help regulate blood sugar over time, if you have diabetes you should check your blood sugar after a massage session because it may be too low just following a treatment. Plus, if you have diabetes and you are receiving massage on a regular basis, you should check your blood sugar frequently to evaluate for any changes over time.

Should anyone avoid massage ?

Massage should be avoided by people with heart failure, kidney failure, infection of the superficial veins (called phlebitis) or soft tissue (called cellulitis) in the legs or elsewhere, blood clots in the legs, bleeding disorders, and contagious skin conditions. If you have cancer, check with your doctor before considering massage because massage can damage tissue that is fragile from chemotherapy or radiation treatments. People with rheumatoid arthritis, goiter (a thyroid disorder characterized by an enlarged thyroid), eczema, and other skin lesions should not receive massage therapy during flare-ups. Experts also advise that people with osteoporosis, high fever, few platelets or white blood cells, and mental impairment, as well as those recovering from surgery, should avoid massage.

Tell your massage therapist about any medications you are taking, as massage may influence absorption or activity of both oral and topical medications.