Massage benefits people of all abilities both physical and developmentally, yet it’s not a topic that is traditionally covered in massage posts. People get massage therapy for many different reasons including self-care and stress-relief — massage should not be a luxury, but a therapy that people of all abilities can participate and benefit in.

At Escapes Massage Therapy, we offer affordable massage to everyone in the San Antonio area with services including facial, Swedish, deep tissue, hot stone, and many others! Join us in our post today as we discuss the perks of massage for all abilities.

Why a Physical Disability Shouldn’t Keep You From Massage

If you were born with or developed a physical disability later in life (disease or injury), there are chronic issues you manage on a daily basis including musculoskeletal issues and chronic pain, which is where massage therapy can play a huge role in your overall quality of life. Massage therapy can help with a physical disability in the following ways:

  • Pain management – Because chronic pain is part of managing a physical disability, massage is wonderful for pain management. Although the pain may never fully go away, living with less pain is hugely beneficial.
  • Mobility and range of motion – Because there are parts of the body that lack movement as a result of your disability, massage can address muscle stiffness, increase range of motion, and work on muscle atrophy. While it may not correct paralysis, it can help improve the function.
  • Lymph movement – When you’re lacking physical movement, it’s important to work and move the lymph. You’re also more prone to swelling in the lower extremities, and massage can address both by improving your overall circulation.
  • Mood disturbances – Managing a physical disability is very trying and frustrating on a daily basis, making anxiety and depression common in those with a disability. Massage therapy is a great way to reduce stress and anxiety and help cope with mental health issues.

In research from a study titled Treatment for Chronic Pain in Persons With Spinal Cord Injury, 100 participants were included. After receiving seven alternative treatments for pain, participants reported that massage was one of the most effective and long-lasting.  

Why a Developmental Disability Shouldn’t Keep You From Massage

Massage is terrific for those with a developmental disability as it can help address both physical and emotional components. Massage can benefit the following types of developmental disabilities including:

  • Autism – For those with Autism Spectrum Disorder, massage may help with relaxation, stress-relief, sleep concerns, and muscle spasms. It is also a great way to expand social interactions, body awareness, and tactile stimulation.  
  • Cerebral Palsy – Those with cerebral palsy can benefit from massage by supporting better sleep, improving digestion (including constipation),  and increasing flexibility and mobility in muscles and joints.
  • Down syndrome – In those with Down Syndrome, massage promotes better digestion, muscle tone, and task-related skills with improved body awareness.
  • Neurological disorders – Those who experience difficulty walking, muscle pain, fatigue, and soft speech (hypophonia) may have a decrease in quality of life because they can’t live out their day-to-day activities without any issues. Those who receive massage therapy on a regular basis with conditions such as Parkinson’s see improved quality of speech and decreased muscle stiffness.

Tips For a Great Massage at Escapes Massage Therapy

Before you book a massage, talk with your medical provider about massage and ensure nothing is contraindicated. With this information, you can relay it to your massage therapy and they can tailor your message accordingly.

  • Inform the massage therapist about your disability so they can adapt their positioning such as if a massage table or chair is better and if they’ll require assistance moving you to and from the table.
  • Work together and establish a plan for dealing with possible health emergencies such as a seizure.
  • With proper planning and communication with your massage therapist, massage therapy is a wonderful modality for improving sleep, mobility, digestion, and chronic pain.
  • Massage is for everyone — all abilities — and can address both physical and developmental disabilities beautifully and comfortably and improve your overall quality of life.  

Book your massage at Escapes Massage Therapy in the San Antonio area today for self-care and stress-relief — whatever body you’re in!