The Science Behind Massage Therapy: Alleviating Pain and Stress in Vancouver

Massage Therapy

Massage therapy is more than a “pampering” experience reserved for high-end spas and clientele. Massage therapy has numerous therapeutic benefits for your body and mind and can be found at health clinics throughout Vancouver! You no longer need to go to a high-end, expensive spa for a good massage. Registered massage therapist (RMT) services are often covered under your extended medical services plans!


Keep reading to learn about the benefits of massage therapy and how it can help you find relief from pain and stress in Vancouver. 

How massage therapy works

Massage therapy is an important tool in both preventative and curative healthcare. A massage therapist will use various techniques to rub and manipulate your skin, muscles, ligaments, and tendons to help you find physical relief from pain and discomfort and put you in a more relaxed state. 


A massage therapist’s pressure can be light or deep, depending on your injury and pressure tolerance. Your massage therapist helps loosen tight muscles and prompt circulation through these targeted movements. Always communicate with your massage therapist to find the correct pressure for your needs. 

Benefits of massage therapy

The benefits of massage therapy are both physical and psychological. It can be a treatment performed on its own or often part of a more holistic, integrated wellness plan with other practitioners such as your GP, an acupuncturist, physiotherapist, and others. 


Here’s a quick summary of the benefits many patients report after a massage:

Physical benefits of massage therapy

An RMT massage may help you find symptom relief from physical ailments and discomfort. Our goal is to help you return to your regular activities as soon as possible.

Massage to improve circulation

Massaging your skin helps promote the circulation of vital body fluids such as blood and lymphatic fluids, both essential to a healthy body and immune system. The friction from a massage can help remove blockages so blood and lymphatic fluid can more freely flow throughout the body. Lymphatic fluid helps remove waste and toxins from your body, so it can’t perform its duty if it’s blocked. 


Massage to reduce muscle stiffness, tightness, soreness

Muscle pain is common, especially as we work longer hours, sit at computers all day, or lazily lounge in non-ergonomic positions on the couch after work. This pain often goes away on its own, but if it doesn’t, a good massage can help you heal or keep the pain from recurring. 


Massage manipulates your muscles, helping them loosen so you don’t feel as tight and sore. This tightness is often found in our shoulders and neck (due to increased computer usage) and our backs (often due to prolonged improper posture). Muscle stiffness is also common in physically active people and can hinder their athletic performance or could lead to further injury if not treated. 


Massage to increase flexibility 

You can see a registered massage therapist to help you regain or increase flexibility and range of motion in your joints. A massage therapist can help you improve your range of motion to function better with your day-to-day tasks or achieve higher athletic performance by loosening the muscles and ligaments around the joint. 


Massages can also be preventative to help ensure proper flexibility and range of motion to minimize avoidable injuries while extending your joints or muscles during chores, day-to-day, or exercise. 


Psychological benefits of massage therapy

Massage benefits go beyond physical and have a profound effect on your mind as well:

Helps boost your mood

Massage may help reduce cortisol (the stress hormone) and release serotonin (the “feel good” hormone) in your body. This is why many feel calm and happy after a massage with their RMT.

Helps you sleep better

The calming effect of a massage can help you get a better night’s sleep. It may also be attributed to the fact that massage helps reduce your pain so you’re not lying awake at night, unable to sleep because of your pain or physical discomfort. 

Helps boost your energy

Likely due to the increase in your circulation that delivers oxygen to your body’s cells, you may feel a slight boost in energy after your massage. If your massage includes aromatherapy massage oil or candles with specific scents (like mint, bergamot, ginger, and jasmine), you may also feel an energy boost from these scents.

Conditions massage therapy may treat

Massage therapy is also often recommended to treat a diagnosed disease or injury. Your doctor may recommend a registered massage therapist for relief from:

  • Chronic headaches or migraines
  • Anxiety or depressive disorders
  • Digestive struggles
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Insomnia or sleep disorders
  • Nerve or muscle pain
  • Pre or postnatal care
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Sports injuries
  • Car crash injuries
  • Temporomandibular (TMJ) disorders.
  • Detoxification
  • …and more!

Do you think massage therapy can help you?

Visiting your local registered massage therapist is great for preventative and curative healthcare. We also often work with busy professionals or parents looking for an hour of quiet and a gentle massage for their self-care routine. 


The Oceana Massage team of registered massage therapists in Vancouver is ready to help you. We aim to create a relaxing and tranquil experience and help your body feel free again!


You can browse the availability of our practitioners through our online booking platform anytime. We look forward to seeing you in our Vancouver massage therapy clinic on West Pender Street soon. Book Now!