Massage After Surgery?
The goal after any surgery is always to decrease pain.
Massage therapy can help with that through the release of the feel good neurotransmitters in the body.
However it's also important to help lessen scar tissue build up after surgery because this can limit range of motion and mobility in your body at the surgery site and also in surrounding areas.
This limited range of motion can cause structural problems months and even years after a surgery. Receiving massage to help lessen scar tissue is very beneficial for structural balance in the body and optimal range of motion.
There are many more benefits for massage post surgery and I have listed those below.
Post Surgery Massage Benefits
- Decrease in pain after the surgery
- Inflammation can decrease
- Increase in blood flow to surgical area(helps in healing). Edema after surgery requires special care and massage. Sometimes it is contraindicated.
- Boosting of the immune system. Needing because anesthesia and pain medication can weaken the immune system
- Breaking up of scar tissue and adhesions that can develop and cause pain and also limited range of motion down the line.
- Increase in mobility and range of motion
- Quicker recovery time
**Massage also helps with scar tissue if you didn't have massage right after surgery but have developed complications and imbalance due to scar tissue causing structural problems**
Best Types Of Massage To Receive After Surgery
It's important that a massage therapist take an in-depth medical history after someone has had surgery so that they provide the most efficient and safest massage.
Also the type of massage can also depend on how soon a person had their surgery before the massage and also what their pain level is and if they are on pain medication.
Some of the common types of massage used after surgery:
- Lymphatic drainage massage-Gentle massage for moving the lymph channels and helping decrease inflammation.
- Sports massage-Massage that addresses sports injuries and surgeries related to those.
- Deep tissue massage- Deep muscle massage. This type of massage can be contraindicated after certain surgeries due to sensitivity in the area.
- Craniosacral massage-A gentle type of bodywork that can help someone deeply relax and thus sleep better which is needed for optimal healing.
- Orthopedic and/or medical massage-Specific and focused massage techniques that help break up scar tissue and adhesions.
- Myofascial Release- Bodywork used to release bound up fascia, which is the connective tissue that binds muscles. Surgery can cause injury to fascia so unwinding fascia is important post surgery.
- Reiki- A form of subtle energy healing that can be very relaxing.
When someone has surgery, lets say on the shoulder, then the other shoulder will compensate and so massage on the opposite area of the body is important for bringing structural balance to a body that is out of balance due to surgery.
Many times, even if someone isn't a professional massage therapist but a concerned family member even just an intentional healing touch can be beneficial for someone after surgery.
It is beneficial to help the body and area of surgery recover as quickly as possible. Massage can help that process physically and physiologically.
Plus, massage just feels good. And that can help the mental state of someone recovering from surgery. When they feel good then that tells their body to feel good too.
Massage, bodywork and healing touch are all very powerful in helping someone recover post surgery and even into the later stages of the recovery journey too.