A disability is defined as an abnormal condition that interferes with the way an individual performs their daily tasks without requiring assistance. There are many types of disabilities, all with differing natures. There are mental, or cognitive disabilities, emotional disabilities, and physical disabilities.
Studies have shown that massage therapy for people with disabilities or special needs does open new avenues where they can make better contact with their environment. People with severe learning disabilities can develop communication channels through interactive massage that encourages them to imitate massage movements on the hands of the therapist. Therefore, it can improve interaction, responsiveness, participation, and sensory awareness.
It is important to know that there many types of massages, each with different benefits…
Types of Massages
There are numerous types of massages. However, these three are the most beneficial for people with disabilities.
Deep Tissue Massage
In the past, this type of massage was most popular among athletes. It is a great way for them to recover from the daily strenuous activities placed on their bodies.
Deep tissue massage has numerous benefits for people with disabilities too. There are techniques within the deep tissue massage therapy that help alleviate both psychological and physical stress. Researchers have also shown quicker recovery if it is paired with other forms of treatment.
The main goal for this type of technique is to ease discomfort, eliminate pain and accelerate the body’s ability to heal itself. It is also a relaxing method that releases muscles and lengthens them.
How Does It Work?
Well, deep tissue massage works by manipulating the deep layers of tissue in the body. This includes the facia and its supportive tissues that make up the joint and muscles. It can be done slower or faster.
When performed, the person will lay down on their stomach or in one position. Then, the pressure is applied to the target areas by a trained professional.
The techniques used allow for stimulated blood flow, pressure relief and reduce muscle tension. It also produces serotonin and oxytocin which are happy hormones that help deal with psychological stress.
In most cases, the professional will only focus on the major muscle group, tendons, and joints that are prone to injuries and strain. Most of these areas include the neck, lower back, shoulders, hips, and neck. It helps prevent injuries. Improve muscle recovery, treatment of pain and disability.
The main benefits of deep tissue massage include:
- Treat chronic back pain
- Reduces high blood pressure
- Reduces stress, muscle tension, and anxiety
- Improves performance and athletic recovery
- Breaks up formed scar tissue
- Improved arthritis symptoms
- Helps during labor and childbirth
Therefore, do not think of deep tissue massage as only a leisure activity, it has several health benefits to people with disabilities.
Active Release Therapy
Active release therapy (ART) was developed over 30 years ago and has helped improve the performance of both disables people and athletes. It is almost similar to deep tissue massage and Myofascial release, although it definitely has its differences. It is mainly involved in the manipulation of soft tissue and reduces the stress placed on the nerves and joints.
There are conditions that would normally use medication but that ART can treat naturally. Most of these conditions include ailments that affect the ligaments, main muscle groups, fascia, and tendons. These conditions, if left untreated lead to the formation of scar tissue, pulls, tears and inflammation especially for overused muscle groups.
The main aim of ART is to restore normal mobility and glide between the nerves and muscular tissue. It will also stimulate the lymphatic system by pushing the joint fluid throughout the body an action that almost instantaneously reduces inflammation.
Adhesions are dense scar tissue that occurs over a long period of time. ART techniques are specialized to break these and prevent further buildup. Due to this build up, the muscle groups have trouble moving normally and remain inflexible.
These scar tissues are normal and occur after injuries to keep the tissues stable. However, when they grow too much, they act as a glue that can pinch nerves and compress.
The nerves can be entrapped with scar tissue which causes a lot of pain to develop. The more the scar tissue forms, the more the nerves and tendons in those joints are compressed and strained.
Benefits of Active Release Therapy
Active Release Therapy has the following benefits:
- Deal with microtrauma. This is the gradual wear-down of tissue which causes inflammation and aging
- Helps with hypoxia which often causes the muscles to not get nutrients and oxygen
- Acute injuries that occur during accidents and intense exercises.
- Improve flexibility in muscles and joints
- Improves nerve damage. Especially that which results from conditions like ALS and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
If you are suffering from hamstring injuries, adductor strains or carpal tunnel syndromes among others, ART will fasten your recovery.
Acupressure Massage Therapy
Acupuncture is a serious element of traditional Chinese medicine. It is a popular alternative to medicine in the recent past. There are many studies that show that it can have advantages to people with cognitive and physical disabilities.
For most people, acupuncture is not a massage therapy that they take seriously. However, there are researches that show that it might be the right form of treatment for people with psychological and physical disabilities. According to these studies, psychological disabilities are often linked to back-related disabilities.
How They Work
This type of therapy involves the use and stimulation of specific points on the skin. This is done by inserting needles, pressure, applying heat or a massage.
It is often combined with several other Eastern therapies. The most popular ones include food therapy, meditation, herbal treatments, and exercises. The needles will rarely draw blood and they cause minimal discomfort. It can be used to treat both physical and psychological problems like:
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders
- Panic Disorder
- Nerve Problems
- Improves Sleep
- Improves Digestion
- Promotes Healing of Muscles, Nerves, And Joints
Acupressure massage therapy comes in different forms. Therefore, always liaise with a professional practitioner for the best results.
These Types of Massages Can Help Disabled People Feel Mentally, Emotionally and Physically Rejuvenated
The best part is that when done by professionals, these types of massages can help improve the quality of life. There is a lot of research and evidence to prove that.
However, you have to make sure that you hire a qualified professional to do it. You also need to talk to your doctor before getting any type of massage.
If you need more information on how to improve your health and well-being, visit our blog.