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The Valley Reporter
P.O. Box 119
Waitsfield, VT 05673

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The power of preventative care

Massage therapy is considered an important part of natural health care and widely recognized as a preventative medicine. Massage is the manipulation of the body's soft tissue with specific techniques to promote or restore health by flushing out accumulated toxins and increasing flow of nutritious blood to otherwise blocked areas of the body. 

Massage treatments are suitable for everyone from premature babies and pregnant women to the overtaxed housewife, from the dedicated employee to the elite athlete, from the adolescent teen or stressed college student to the elderly grandparent. Massage therapy is also an important addition to one's health care team when facing serious disease or disorder.

Massage therapists use their hands, forearms and elbows to detect and treat problems in the muscles, ligaments and tendons in the body's soft tissue. Massage therapists believe that regular massage can help restore health after a motor vehicle accident, sport injuries, muscle sprains, repetitive motion conditions and emotional stress. By adjusting techniques, the massage therapist can either relax or stimulate muscle tissue to increase circulation so blood flows freely, carrying oxygen and nutrients to the areas needed and promote healing in the body.

Posture is the most frequent culprit that needs to be addressed through massage therapy. We all have slight postural imbalances due to our basic physical structure, muscle imbalances, and the repetition of positions within our day. Even in the most ergonomic setting, one is still subject to the force of gravity acting upon their posture as it remains largely in the same position throughout the day. The same could be said with any career where there is little or no variety in activity, causing stress for the same muscle groups, joints and supportive tissues (fascia, tendons and ligaments).

Muscle imbalances build up over time. They predispose us to injuries, or bouts of both chronic and acute pain. Muscle spasms, muscle tension or contracture, nerve impingements and even symptoms related to our internal organs or head (i.e., migraines) may be the result of such postural issues.

Whenever an area of the body is overworked, even through healthy sports activities, we also have the potential to develop strain simply due to the high load and expectation on those frequently used muscle groups. Without proper and regular stretching, our muscles may continue to be short and taut, predisposing them to injury. Even healthy and active muscles can be subject to repetitive strain.

It often takes time for changes to occur in our bodies. Experience shows us that often the first massage session can release a large amount and in many cases most of the pain that the client is experiencing at that time (depending on the condition, of course!). However, there is a much better chance of affecting the actual cause of the pain with subsequent visits instead of just providing temporary relief for the issue.
Massage therapy is considered a vital part of natural health care and widely recognized as a preventative medicine. Massage is safe and effective for everyone.


Trish Hopkins lives in Waitsfield.


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