Recovery After Surgery: Why Massage Therapy Helps

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recovery after surgery

Recovery after surgery is not an easy road. Your body can react in a lot of ways, especially after major surgery. For a more comfortable and often faster healing process, many go in for therapeutic massages.  Options like the lymphatic brushing massage from Skin Apeel greatly ease post-anesthesia pain. This treatment can make recovery after surgery easier than you expect.

The lymphatic brushing massage’s sweeping strokes help remove metabolic wastes and toxic influences on the skin. If you are self-applying this type of treatment, always do so on dry skin. You should follow treatment with a warm shower or cool rinse.

You want to sweep in the direction of lymph flow. This is toward the shoulders, and up towards the belly button from the lower body. Self-applied lymphatic brushing takes only a few minutes.

This specific massage therapy and other can also shorten your recovery after surgery.

Massage History

In recent years, the medical community has acknowledged massage treatment as quite effective. However, this treatment has a much richer history than its use in the United States, starting in the 1960’s. In this country, nurses massaged elderly to prevent delirium. Delirium arises in the elderly from anesthesia and other postoperative drugs.

In truth, massage treatment started in India 5,000 years ago for the purpose of physical healing.

Written evidence of the therapy exists in ancient Chinese history. To the ancient Chinese, it was a way to neutralize spiritual and bodily energy. The Chinese also employed the treatment as a method to heal sickness.

Much of the western part of the globe still considers these tactics part of alternative medicine. Even in the United States, many people only resort to massage therapy when other medicines have failed.

However, the treatment presents numerous post-surgery benefits. What’s more, it is low-cost option for your recovery after surgery.

  1. Decreased Pain During Recovery After Surgery


Massage therapy can carry the same strength of pain relief as morphine. In fact, studies have shown that massage can have the same effect as a drip of the pain-relieving drug. Massages release endorphin-chemicals into the body. These chemicals create a pain-blocking sensation. Soon, the patient begins to feel a sense of well-being throughout the body.

  1. Reduced Stress and Anxiety


Major surgery causes a lot of stress. This stress can be independent of the pain caused by the surgery itself. Studies have shown that massage therapy reduces stress and anxiety. In particular, the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine published a relevant finding. It discovered that acupuncture, Swedish massage, and shiatsu foot treatment helped depression and pain in postoperative cancer patients.

Another 2011 study by the Isfahan Chamran Hospital in Iran discovered that massage therapy improved the mood of patients after open-heart surgery.


  1. Swelling Prevention


Swelling is common in the aftermath of surgery. Lymphatic massage therapy corrects the lymphatic drainage system clogged by fluid cellular waste. Clearing the waste, lymphatic therapy allows for proper blood circulation. This therapy also relaxes the muscles. Relaxed muscles allow for effective oxygen distribution to the organs and skin. strengthening the immune system.  A stronger immune system means a stronger you!

  1. Increased Blood and Oxygen Flow


Why is post-surgery blood circulation so important? For one, it plays a huge role in determining the speed of recovery, together with oxygen circulation. Blood is the distributor of nourishment towards the afflicted area of your body. Healthy blood flow equates to a healthy, consistent stream of nourishment.

This evidence explains why massage treatment shortens recovery time, and in turn, hospital stays. When therapy does the work of increasing circulation, there is less of a need for drug administration. Without the need for drugs or postoperative intervention, patients are free to recover at home.

  1. Scar Tissue Prevention


Massage therapy breaks up both adhesions and scar tissue on the outside of the skin. Of course, the therapy also keeps muscles supple. In some cases, this means that scar tissue does not develop in the first place. By preventing scars, you maintain attractive skin.

  1. Promotes Flexibility and Motion


Massage treatment promotes greater flexibility in mobility in the joints and muscles. Patients’ joints and muscles often become stiff from sitting or lying in a hospital bed for extended periods. In this case, nurses often employ heating methods. Massage is another adequate solution to stiff joints and muscles, however.

Remember, it’s during the recovery process that you re-learn how to move naturally. Painful joints and muscles make re-learning movement difficult. Massage therapy can help you avoid this difficulty.

How To Optimize Massage Therapy

Massage therapy is a safe, time-tested method gaining traction in the U.S. The UCLA Center for East-West Medicine employs the treatment every year to treat the majority of its 14,000 post-surgery patients.

Yet, the truth hasn’t reached every corner of the health industry. After your surgery, you need to proactively seek out massage treatment. Otherwise, you may not receive it.

Home gadgets exist for patients unable to afford human treatment. The efficacy of these gadgets pales in comparison to the human touch. Yet, they still provide similar, if decreased benefits.

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