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Massage therapy may help to escape pain

Stop by the Health 1st Wellness Wednesday table between 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Sept. 3 in the Children’s Hospital lobby to receive a free massage.

by Ashli Golden
Licensed massage therapist
Watching people walking or just sitting around on campus provides an opportunity to examine how pain presents itself.
When pain exists or strikes, it can overtake one's senses. Watching a person in pain crossing the street reveals the three-dimensional effect: in the posture, facial expressions, and the victims' movements.
Despite the marvelous design of the human body, pain is inescapable.
Pain, defined in the According to American Heritage Dictionary, is an unpleasant sensation occurring as a consequence of injury, disease or emotional disorder. It can root itself in the mind and disguise itself in the body.
Pain is real. Muscles, bones and nerves react according to a stimulus. The complexity of what happens to these infrastructures depends on the multitudes of ways average people live and function.

Pain does not discriminate. Whether male, female, an adjudicator, autistic, barista, cellist, dancer, dentist, esthetician, father, guitarist, janitor, mortician, mother, nurse midwife, palsy patient, pathologist, Olympian, soldier, student, tech support, tri-athlete, or violinist— the probability of experiencing some sort of pain is absolute.
Pain manifests differently in every body. Each human being has a central nervous system that attempts to communicate to the muscular system in such a way that promotes mobility via the skeletal system. When pain is present, there is an imbalance. It’s like this: an impingement of nerves that results from tight muscles and then the bones move in accordance. On the other hand, a bone may be moved out of place and then the muscles follow toward impingement of the nerves. The central nervous system is then stimulated beyond belief and something has to change.
For example, a child may dislocate a shoulder; a teen may experience temporomandibular joint and muscle disorders; a parent may suffer from thoracic outlet syndrome, and grandparents may have kyphosis, or a hunch in their back. The amount of time lived on this planet determines each persons’ exposure to the compressive, shear and tensile forces surrounding everything under the sun.
Every situation is unique and handled differently. Those with access to health care may reap the benefits of receiving medicine, in/out patient care, pre/post rehabilitative therapy, or even surgery if necessary. Regardless of the pain level, the primary goal of the recipient is to continue living as normal a life as possible.
Relief is at hand
In an attempt to assist pain management over the long term, therapeutic massage has become part of the medical hierarchy because of its helpful healing property. A session includes multiple minutes of one-on-one time with a soft tissue specialist during which communication is established specifically and intentionally to meet the needs and goals of the client often while under the care of a physician.
Massage therapy sows many benefits to every system of the body. Whether partaking in preventative maintenance care or coping with a post-traumatic experience, massage therapy speaks to the body in an indescribable language. Because it promotes an increase of blood circulation and decreases blood pressure, it helps reduce recovery time of muscle soreness between exercise bouts for those muscles. With the increase of blood flow, red and white blood cells, platelets, oxygen and nutrition stimulates a boost to the immune system. Acceleration in digestion and removal of waste products filter the body faster as well. A decrease in fibrous adhesions and reduction in scar tissue helps smooth muscle tissue helping joint mobility. Respiratory muscles are strengthened and lengthened, which help ventilation in people with diseases like asthma and cystic fibrosis. Mental functioning and sleep can also improve as the body receives stressless rest.
In a world of innovative technology, tissues must be nurtured. With all the benefits of massage, pain can be reduced, or at least managed, in many cases. A longer lasting impression from therapeutic massage, and the escape from pain, will help you get back life as you prefer it.
To deal with your tissue issues, contact the team of therapists located onsite in the Harper Student Wellness Center, or for information, visit or call 852-9939.

Editor's note: The preceding column was brought to you on behalf of Health 1st. Striving to bring various topics and representing numerous employee wellness organizations and committees on campus, this weekly column seeks to provide MUSC, MUHA and UMA employees with current and helpful information concerning all aspects of health.

Friday, Aug. 29, 2008
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