Back and neck pain? Constant headaches? Trouble sleeping? If you experience any of these, then you may want to consider a combination of massage therapy and chiropractic work.
Many chiropractors are noting the improvements in patients who combine both chiro and massage therapy. From pain relief to improved posture and even a reduction in stress and anxiety levels, this multimodal therapy approach can mean rapid recovery and improved wellbeing in all types of people.
If you’re interested to find out how combining both massage therapy and chiropractic work can help you in your treatment regimen, read on.
Difference between chiropractic and massage therapy
Both chiropractic and massage therapy aims to provide relief from chronic pain. But what sets the two modalities apart?
Chiropractors are skilled in musculoskeletal alignment, focusing more on the practice of spinal health. If the spine is out of alignment, it can cause all types of health issues including hormone imbalances, headaches/migraines, mood changes, poor posture and chronic muscle pain and tension.
A visit to your chiropractor will involve both a visual and physical assessment of the spine and surrounding tissue, as well as x-rays and blood work if needed. This will be followed by a quick and painless adjustment of the spine, where you’ll be asked to lie on a table so that your chiropractor can crack, pop, push and twist sections of your body to bring it back into alignment.
Chiropractors believe that correct alignment of the spine can help the nervous system and restore normal joint and muscle function.
While massage therapy is used for pain reduction and relaxation, it doesn’t always result in a medical diagnosis. Massage therapists focus on the muscular tissue and tendons and can deal with any muscle imbalances or tensions that may be the cause of chronic pain or poor posture.
Like chiropractors, massage therapists focus on manipulating the soft tissues of the musculoskeletal system to reduce pain and inflammation. However, unlike chiropractors, massage therapists aren’t licensed to perform spinal adjustments.
For that reason, massage therapy can be a great add-on to regular chiropractic visits, as a chiropractor can diagnose an ailment (such as a herniated disc) and a massage therapist can provide relief from the radiated pain and any emotional stress caused by the ailment – helping to boost the healing process.
Benefits of combining chiropractic and massage therapy
1. Better outcomes and alignment
While chiropractic treatment focuses on spine alignment and musculoskeletal health, massage therapy targets the musculoskeletal structure such as the soft tissues, muscles, tendons and fascia in the body. When combined, patients have a better chance of pain alleviation and even eradication of chronic pain or tension-related ailments such as migraines and insomnia.
2. Pain relief and prevention
Both massage and chiropractic therapy will help to get rid of chronic pain and further prevent pain from reoccurring.
Massage helps to relax the muscle tissue surrounding the musculoskeletal structure. If a patient is experiencing misalignment in the spine or some sort of joint mobility issue, they are likely to be suffering from tight, restricted muscles. With combined chiro and massage, pain will be greatly reduced and prevented as both practitioners work on correcting the function of the spine or joints as well as loosening the muscle tissue supporting these structures.
3. Improved circulation
When used together, chiropractic and massage therapy can improve circulation in the body by increasing healthy blood flow and relieving muscle tension.
An increase in blood flow helps to make the muscles more elastic, improving range of motion and facilitating correct muscle and joint function. Improved circulation also helps aid lymphatic drainage, correcting the nervous system and increasing the body’s natural immune function.
4. Reduced stress
Massage therapy has great potential to improve mood and reduce stress & anxiety. Used in conjunction with chiropractic work, the body is alleviated of physical tension and stress, allowing the nervous system to regulate and the mind to become more relaxed.
On top of that, visiting a chiropractor and massage therapist boosts endorphins – your body’s natural mood regulators. Being in a safe and supportive environment while receiving tension-melting treatment is a great recipe for improved wellbeing and a more positive mental state.
5. Quicker recovery
Patients who combine both therapies have a much better chance of recovering from pain faster. Choosing both modalities as part of a single holistic health plan gives you a more thorough treatment. Since both the muscles and the skeletal system of the body rely on each other for optimum function, combining both massage therapy and chiropractic work ensures all areas of the body are healthy.
For athletes, regular chiro and massage will improve your post-recovery and help you bounce back from injury quicker. Tendons will remain more relaxed and any imbalances in either the muscles or the spine will be corrected to support injury prevention.
Combining chiropractic care with massage therapy
Correct spinal alignment is crucial to a healthy spine, neck and head. Since these major skeletal structures are supported by muscles and tendons, it makes sense that a treatment plan combining both chiropractic and massage therapies can help keep the body in top health.
Discover Massage Australia can support you in growing your massage business. Learn different massage modalities with our range of massage courses, and get insider advice on how to work with other health practitioners to deliver the best treatment results for your clients.