Healthcare experts say body massage should be seen as a fundamental part of healthcare delivery, noting that it offers a lot of benefits in the management of chronic health conditions.
According to the experts, if body massage is professionally handled, it can help to induce muscle relaxation and the flow of blood as well as reduce pain from parts of the body.
The experts, President, Association of Clinical and Academic Physiotherapists of Nigeria, Dr. Chris Okafor, and an alternative medicine practitioner, Mr. Augustine Oresanya explained that some health benefits of massage have been validated by research, adding that other benefits are based on clinical experience.
According to the experts, body massage offers benefits for the management of many chronic health conditions in a potentially cost-effective manner.
They stressed that massage therapists work most effectively with patients who have chronic conditions.
Speaking in an interview, Dr. Okafor, said massage is used in treating joint and muscle conditions that need to be assisted.
Okafor who is a Senior Lecturer, Department of Physiotherapy, College of Medicine, University of Lagos told our correspondent that massage is used to manage acquired health conditions, adding that it reduces the effect of disability.
The physiotherapist said, “Massage is soft tissue manipulation and mobilisation.
“It is the professional handling of the soft tissue to aid the movement of blood and to aid the free flow of blood supply to the tissues.
“The aim is basically to either relax the muscles that may have been under pressure and tension or soften the tissues that may have been rendered tight or not free. This may be as a result of pathology, infection, or trauma caused by an accident that led to disruption of the normal flow of blood in the tissue.
“So when massage is applied in form of mobilsing the soft tissue, you will create an avenue whereby blood will flow naturally to the end tissues where they are needed.”
Okafor noted that massage should be handled by professionals who know what to do with it and also know the right application and procedure for any health condition requiring massage.
“If it is professionally handled, then you know that you are dealing with therapeutic massage whereby you can use massage to induce muscle relaxation, induce blood flow and reduce pain.
“Massage stimulates individuals that are weak and can’t function normally. Massage can be used to stimulate sluggish or weak tissue. That is why you need a professional to administer it. They know the extent of what they can give and what the patient can tolerate.
“When massage is wrongly applied, rather than causing amelioration of pain or healing, it will aggravate the symptoms of the individual.
“When non-professionals are involved, you will find out that things will go wrong. It may increase the blood pressure,” he said.
Also, an alternative medicine practitioner, Mr. Augustine Oresanya says he uses massage to treat all kinds of ailments.
Oresanya stated that massage is important in healthcare delivery citing the various health conditions that could be effectively managed when massage is deployed.
“I use massage in treating various ailments. The most important benefit of massage is that it improves blood circulation and helps all parts of the body to function well.
“Massage helps in healing ailing parts of the body. It also helps in the management of neurological conditions like lack of sleep, stroke, cerebral palsy, Parkinson’s disease, headache can be treated with massage. It also helps in orthopaedic cases like arthritis and rheumatism,” he said.
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