Everyone experiences physical pain at some point in their lives. It’s often a temporary state caused by a specific injury or illness which will disappear relatively quickly and easily. For many people however, pain can persist well beyond the ‘healing’ of an injury, or may not have an obvious cause to begin with. Pain that lasts more than 12 weeks is considered chronic, though for many it can be a daily struggle for months or even years.
There are numerous conditions that can cause chronic pain, but some of the ones we see most frequently include:
- Headaches (including those as a result of motor vehicle accidents or whiplash)
- Peripheral neuropathy (nerve damage)
- Lower back pain
One of the most frustrating things about chronic pain is that the part of your body that is in pain is no longer ‘useful’. For example if you break your ankle, the pain is acute and serves as an excellent reminder to not put much weight on that ankle. Chronic pain, however, has outlived its ‘warning’ function or persists long after an underlying injury has been physically healed. It is often accompanied by fatigue and/or exhaustion, reduces overall immune system functioning, and can lead to heightened stress, anxiety, and depression.
Massage therapy can be an effective tool for reducing pain and its accompanying issues even before the therapist begins treating the specifics of your condition, as massage helps to release endorphins such as serotonin, one of the body’s natural anti-pain chemicals. Massage therapy also increases circulation, which in turn can reduce inflammation, increase range of motion, and help overly tense muscles to relax. Additionally, as discussed in our article on acupuncture and insomnia, massage therapy can also help to increase deep, restorative sleep. All of these treatments not only help to decrease the physical sensation of pain, but also allow your body to safely relax, thereby lowering levels of stress, anxiety, and depression.
When it comes to treating specific types of chronic pain, our registered massage therapists have a great deal of experience dealing with different conditions and a variety of techniques to draw upon. The amount of pressure used by the therapist, and the depth of the tissues they are working on can always be adjusted to fit your comfort levels.
Our Massage Therapists
Bobbie Lu-Kopf: Bobbie has been a Natural Health Practitioner and Registered Massage Therapist for 19 years. In both private treatment sessions and classes she draws on her education and experience to create a wealth of complementary healing modalities. She effortlessly integrates traditional Chinese philosophies of health and mindfulness with Western practices.
Urszula Rutka: Urszula trained as an occupational massage therapist in Poland before continuing her studies in Canada. A life-long learner, she is highly proficient in many different modalities, and is particularly interested in helping those suffering from TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorders.