• Farron-Leigh Sharp

Massage Therapy: the professional practice of therapeutic touch

Touch is the first sense we develop in vitro. At 3 weeks our sensory nerve receptors begin to allow the sensation of touch to travel from the outer surface of the body to the brain. Our sense of touch communicates temperature, pain levels, textures and pressure. Therapeutic touch in infants is shown to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, depression and obesity as observed in institutionalized children and premature neonates.

Massage Therapy is the professional practice of therapeutic touch, and it is in a state of flux in the province of Nova Scotia. Currently, provincial registering bodies are lobbying to the federal government to secure a registering college that would work to protect the public, as well as promote the benefits of massage therapy as a health care service. As we approach the end of the calendar year, some may find they have remaining massage therapy benefits. Perhaps some of you have never even used them! So what are the benefits of massage therapy? How can you make the most of massage therapy as health care, and help contribute to the conversation?

Massage therapy works to manipulate soft tissue. That can be muscle, connective, circulatory, nervous and lymph. The manipulation of these tissues can aid in reducing surgical pain, musculoskeletal injury, postural dysfunction, reducing fascial restrictions, lowering heart rate, reducing physical symptoms of anxiety and depression, as well as managing symptoms related to chronic illness. As we better manage our pain, stress and discomfort we increase our availability to our friends and families. We become better listeners and our quality of life increases. As the saying goes, you cannot pour from an empty cup.

If you happen to find yourself without benefits – or perhaps you’ve run out for the calendar year, check out Lahara Yoga Studios upcoming events. A series of massage therapy workshops are being conducted to teach the public more about the principles of massage, the benefits and how to incorporate more therapeutic touch in your life.

The benefits of massage therapy are far reaching – invest in yourself by finding a trained massage therapist to help manage your health needs. You can find a local massage therapist by visiting the Massage Therapist Association of Nova Scotia website, or by talking to your GP, ND, Chiropractor or any other health care professional.

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