At a glance, acupuncture and massage may be two different treatments. But when combined together, both can help you obtain overall wellness.
Acupuncture uses thin needles to restore your body’s healthy energy flow while massage manipulates your soft tissues to help ease muscle tension. Both may use different methods and philosophies for healing, but they do share a few benefits that can help you obtain your health goals.
So, if you’re hesitant about booking your appointments, maybe knowing these benefits will help you consider making that call.
The most common reason that people seek acupuncture is its ability to relieve muscle pain. Inserting needles at various acupuncture points of the body stimulates your central nervous system to increase the production of endorphins. These hormones are your body’s natural painkillers, so you feel less pain after your session.
On the other hand, massaging your target areas increases your blood circulation. Thus, interrupting your pain cycle and releasing endorphins to eliminate pain.
Similar to acupuncture, massage therapy can be effective for alleviating acute and chronic pain as long as you do consistent treatments.
Acupuncture and massage reduce stress
Dealing with constant pain can be mentally and physically draining. Good thing, acupuncture and massage can help reduce your stress levels.
Acupuncture can do this by releasing serotonin to calm your nervous system. In fact, a pilot trial shows that it’s effective in decreasing your stress level compared to receiving sham acupuncture.
Meanwhile, massage therapy can reduce stress levels by lowering your heart and relaxing your muscles. It also boosts the production of endorphins – your body’s “feel good” hormones so you feel lighter after your session.
However, you can still enjoy the relaxing effects of acupuncture and massage even if you’re not dealing with chronic pain. It helps you take a break from a high-stress lifestyle, so you feel relaxed and rejuvenated after your treatments.
Alleviates anxiety and depression
If you’re dealing with anxiety and depression, acupuncture and massage can be safer alternative treatments for managing your symptoms. Acupuncture and massage don’t produce harmful side effects compared to taking medication.
Both treatments do this by lowering your stress hormones and increasing your serotonin, so you notice a boost in your mood. With consistent treatments, it can also result in a decrease in your depression and anxiety symptoms.
4. Enhances sleep
If you have trouble getting a full night’s sleep, no matter how much you toss and turn, you might want to try acupuncture and massage. Both treatments can help manage insomnia and provide you with better sleep quality.
A recent study shows that receiving acupuncture has a positive effect on your sleep process, such as:
- Prolonging sleep duration
- Improving sleep efficiency
- Reducing waking up after sleep
- Enhancing sleep quality
On the other hand, massage can help support acupuncture for treating insomnia by managing anxiety and physical discomfort. It also increases the production of serotonin and dopamine to relax your body, kick-starting the release of melatonin – a hormone that helps you sleep.
Acupuncture and massage manage musculoskeletal symptoms
Perhaps the greatest thing about acupuncture is its ability to manage the symptoms of several musculoskeletal diseases, such as:
- Tennis elbow
- Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder
While massage therapy may not have the same extensive list of symptoms to treat, it’s still effective for managing a few musculoskeletal conditions – like back, neck, and hip pain. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, your masseuse can use a deep tissue technique to help smooth out the tightness or soreness in your muscles.
However, if you want to use acupuncture and massage to help manage your musculoskeletal symptoms, talk to your doctor first to find out whether the treatments are beneficial for your condition.
Can you get a massage after acupuncture?
Yes, you can get a massage before or after your acupuncture treatment. You only have to watch out for how you feel after your massage. If your muscles feel sore or tired, it’s wise to skip your acupuncture session since it may further your pain instead of reducing it.
To make sure this doesn’t happen, you can book your acupuncture and massage appointments on different days. So, your body has time to recuperate and get the most out of each therapy’s benefits in the long run. You can also talk to your practitioner to help you figure out an effective treatment plan that targets your health concerns and conditions.
Do you want to book an acupuncture treatment?
If you want to complement your massage treatments with acupuncture, book your sessions with a professional therapist or consult our friends over at Lycoming Orthopedic & Sports Acupuncture for a free consultation. They have licensed acupuncturists aiming to create personalized treatments that help you attain your health goals. They also offer cupping, electrostimulation, dry needling, and soft tissue mobilization services. For questions or inquiries, feel free to visit their website.