Alternative Care Health

An alternative care health and Wellness approach that is growing in popularity, is massage therapy.

Massage therapy has increased in recognition as a viable and effective form of alternative therapy; so much so, that the federal government and medical community now consider it complementary health care medicine.

What is massage therapy?

Massage therapy is essentially an alternative care health approach that relies on the manipulation of the body's muscle group and soft tissue for the purpose of attaining therapeutic benefits.

This alternative approach which should be carried out by a licensed massage therapist, utilises a combination of kneading, stroking, pounding, pressing, squeezing, bending, tapping and wringing manipulations to produce a series of desired effects.

For instance, it is claimed that the above actions lead to the movement of fluid, which produces a physiological change in the body. This changes in turn alters the biomechanical make-up, leading to psychological effects. This series of changes within the body apparently leads to many benefits including an enhanced immune system.

Treatment may also include other approaches such as the therapist creating movement within the joints; applying heat or cold; as well as advising you on appropriate exercises to help you improve muscle tone and your range of motion.

As an alternative therapy, massage is rapidly becoming a popular health care treatment for a wide range of ailments and conditions. These range from stress-reduction, pain relief, to physical rehabilitation of injuries.

A 2005 fact sheet by the American Massage Therapy Association states that 47 million Americans used massage as an alternative care health approach in 2005, which is 2 million more than in the previous year.

Qualification and competence of massage therapy schools/therapists

It is estimated that there will be a significant increase of between 20-35% in the number of massage therapists by the year 2012. This accelerated increase is being attributed to the recent changes in state laws that now recognise this alternative care health approach and its practitioners as bonafide health care contributors. State requirements now means that all certified therapists will have undergone a program of study at a massage therapy school.

The now more stringent tests that massage therapists will have to pass in order to qualify for a practitioner's license, will offer peace of mind to many women who may have in the past considered massage therapy as an alternative care health remedy. It is heartening to know that when you identify a massage therapist, he or she will have successfully completed an aprenticeship or will have completeed a program of study at a state approved massage therapy school.

Benefits of massage therapy as an alternative care health approach

It's important to point out that massage therapy is not a cure, but should be viewed as one of the many Wellness remedies or Wellness Products for alleviating pain or to bring relief to, or help rehabilitate a number of physical conditions.

Massage therapy is perhaps the most well-known and practiced alternative care health treatment used for sports-related injuries or sore muscles. It works on the premise of focusing on the specific muscle groups, relevant to an individual's sporting activities.

However, this health care treatment doesn't just stop there. In fact, there are literally hundreds of different types of alternative health care approaches using massage, with just as many techniques which could benefit a host of womens health needs.

The range of benefits from this alternative care health approcah include:

  • Increased levels of relaxation

  • Lowered blood pressure

  • Alleviating pain

    In addtion, an analysis of a number of massage therapy studies, by the University of Illinois, have shown that massage has a significant overall effect on people and especially in the reduction of state anxiety, blood pressure, heart rate, trait anxiety, depression and pain.

    Alternative care health using massage therapy

    Do not confuse massage therapy with reflexology. There is a distinct difference. Unlike massage therapy, Reflexologists (who do not have to be licensed practitioners), follow the practice of massaging the palms and feet to influence what then occurs in other parts of your body.

    A licensed Massage Therapist on the other hand, may also have additional competency in reflexology and/or various other alternative health care techniques that are widely practiced in Eastern alternative medicine.

    If you're just looking for a massage as a means to help you feel better, or to bring relief to any womens health issue, or even to help you relax, then you'll readily find therapists are available in your local spa or fitness center. It goes without saying that word of mouth recommendations are usually your best chances of securing a good one.

    In addition, there is also a range of massage products on the market, ranging from massage mats, and aids for relieving chronic back pain, to electric massagers and thumpers.

    However, if you identify you have a condition that is causing you discomfort or pain, your first port of call must be your doctor. S/he is best placed to assess and diagnose your alternative care health or womens health needs. Where necessary your doctor will likely refer you onto a licensed alternative care health practitioner, appropriate to meeting your needs.

    For some guidance tips on what you should expect from a good massage therapist, Alternative Health Care: Massage Therapy Tips.

    "Some people have learned to earn well, but they haven't learned to live well" . (Jim Rohn)

    The information on this site is purely of educational value and is not intended to replace your seeking medical advice. You must consult your doctor over all your health concerns.

    Subscribe to receive your Free 5 Part Mini Course on setting your personal goals, via email. Don't worry, there's no strings attached and I won't bombard you with unsolicited mailings - that's a promise.

    Contact Me

    Return From Alternative Care Health To Health Womens Healthy Living Goals Home Page