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Benefits of Massage Therapy for Individuals with Medical Needs and Disabilities

Massage therapy has been used for the treatment of muscle soreness and tightness. It can be used to alleviate inflammation, increase circulation, and induce muscle relaxation. Athletes and stressed individuals are not the only people that may benefit from the therapeutic effects of massage.

Massage has shown positive effects in peopleFarmington MI Massage Therapist with disabilities, improving organic, intellectual, social, and emotional aspects of their lives. Massage therapy, when paired with chiropractic care and exercise therapy, may have positive implications for future management of certain disabilities.

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

For children with Autism, massage may provide relaxation, decreasing stress and calming muscle spasms. It can also help a child become more accustom to tactile stimulation and aid in body awareness as well as promote more on-task and social relatedness behavior. Massage may also decrease sleeping issues and increase trust and bonding with caregivers.

Cerebral Palsy (CP)

For children with Cerebral Palsy, massage may improve sleep patterns, increase or reduce muscle tone, improve digestion and relieve constipation. It can also reduce spasticity, encourage muscle flexibility and encourage motor function and increase range of motion in joints.

Down Syndrome (DS)

For Children with Down Syndrome, studies show that massage may help increase muscle tone, promote more on-task related skills, may provide relief from constipation and aid in body awareness.

Massage therapy can also benefit people with other neurological disorders or neurodegenerative disorders. Patients with Parkinson’s disease have many health-related problems that restrict their quality of life. They may experience difficulty walking, stiffness in extremities, muscle pain, fatigue, and hypophonia. Hypophonia affects the vocal musculature and may cause difficulty speaking. The patients in one study received a thirty-minute massage from an experienced licensed massage therapist. Many of their symptoms improved. Patients that complained of stiff shoulders were able to gain full range of motion.

Massage therapy, what is it?

Massage therapy is a type of soft tissue manipulation that includes rubbing, kneading, pressing, tapping and vibration on the muscles, using the massage therapist’s hands, to promote well-being. Massage therapy has shown to be beneficial in the treatment of many ailments and injuries.

Some of the benefits include: increased blood and lymph circulation, increased range of motion, stimulate (but not strengthen) weak muscles, positively affect the central nervous system, reduce aches and pains, can prevent or delay muscle atrophy and contractures due to inactivity and muscle tightness, and reduce stress.

Who specifically can benefit from massage?

Almost anyone can benefit from massage. General massage benefits people who suffer from chronic pain, tight muscles or increased muscle tone or low muscle tone and stress. People with repetitive movement problems such as wringing, rocking and other types of nervous movements, and people who suffer from excitability problems such as outbursts and inability to calm are great candidates for both general massage and craniosacral massage.

Massage therapy can be a very beneficial service for people with special needs. Not only does it feel great but it can also greatly improve health and quality of life.


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