Are you looking for massage in Federal Way WA? There are many benefits to massage therapy, and many different forms of massage. Our team at Life and Health Chiropractic and Massage Centre in Federal Way wrote this article to help you better understand the services we have to offer. Please don't hesitate to call us with any questions that you have.

5 Things To Look For In A L.M.T.

  • Is the therapist licensed and insured?
  • Is the facility providing the massages licensed by the state?
  • Massages should be overseen by a physician.
  • Make sure your comfortable with the massage therapist that your working with.
  • Therapists should be current in continuing education credits.

Benefits to Massage Therapy

  • Relieve Stress
  • Promote Relaxation
  • Improve Posture
  • Improve Circulation

What Conditions Do Licensed Massage Therapists Help?

  • Neck and Back Pain
  • Headaches and Migraines
  • Carpal Tunnel
  • Numbness and Tingling
  • Fibromyalgia


Swedish Massage

The term "Swedish Massage" refers to a variety of techniques specifically designed to relax muscles by applying pressure to them against deeper muscles and bones, and rubbing in the same direction as the flow of blood returning to the heart. This form of massage was created at the turn of the century by Henry Peter Ling in Sweden. It involves the use of kneading, stroking, friction, tapping, and vibration and may provide relief from stiffness, numbness, pain, constipation, and other health problems.

The main purpose of Swedish massage is to increase the oxygen flow in the blood and release toxins from the muscles. Other possible benefits include stimulation of circulation, an increase in muscle tone, and a balance of the musculo-skeletal systems. Swedish massage shortens recovery time from muscular strain by flushing the tissues of lactic acid, uric acid, and other metabolic wastes. It increases circulation without increasing heart load.

The usual sequence in which a Swedish massage strokes are conducted are Effleurage, Petrissage, Friction, Vibration, Percussion, and finally passive and active movements (bending and stretching).

Pre-Natal / Pregnancy

Pregnancy massage has been found to reduce stress, decrease swelling in the arms and legs, and relieve aches and pains in muscles and joints. It's a popular complementary therapy during pregnancy for back pain, when choices for pain relief, such as medication, are often limited. Not only can massage be physically beneficial, but the human touch can be comforting and provide emotional support during pregnancy.

Trigger Point Massage

A trigger point is a tight area within muscle tissue that causes pain in other parts of the body. A trigger point in the back, for example, may trigger pain in the neck. The neck, now acting as a satellite trigger point, may then cause pain in the head. The pain may be sharp and intense or a dull ache. Trigger points are caused by muscle overuse or injury, and because the aches are associated with moving parts, the pain is commonly mistaken for arthritis.

Trigger point work is specifically designed to alleviate the source of the pain through cycles of isolated pressure and release. In this type of massage the recipient actively participates through deep breathing as well as identifying the exact location and intensity of the discomfort.

The result of trigger point massage is the elimination of toxins in the muscles and the release of energizing endorphins. A significant decrease in pain is often found after just one treatment.

Deep Tissue Massage

Deep tissue massage is a type of massage therapy that focuses on realigning deeper layers of muscles and connective tissue. It is especially helpful for chronically tense and contracted areas such as stiff necks, low back tightness, and sore shoulders. Some of the same strokes are used as classic massage therapy, but the movement is slower and the pressure is deeper and concentrated on areas of tension and pain.

Sports Massage

Sports massage was originally developed to help athletes prepare their bodies for optimal performance, recover after a big event, or function well during training. Sports massage emphasizes prevention and healing of injuries to the muscles and tendons.

But you don't have to be in the Olympics to benefit from sports massage. Sports massage is also good for people with injuries, chronic pain or restricted range of motion. The massage therapist generally concentrates on a specific problem area. (Sore neck and shoulders, anyone?) This is the type of sports massage that you see in the spa.

Our team at Life and Health Chiropractic and Massage Centre in Federal Way is here to help you with all your massage therapy needs.


Research shows massage therapy to be an effective approach to treating Fibromyalgia. A 1996 report indicated that half-hour sessions twice weekly not only cut the pain by 38%, but also exerted a favorable impact on fatigue, mood, and sleeping problems. (Field Tm, et al. J Clin Rheum 2(1):218-22, 1996) The same promising results were found by a Swedish team as well. (Brattberg G. Eur J Pain 3(3):235-244, 1999) In a third study, objective measures of sleep quality and daytime energy levels were favorably improved. (Field T, et al. J Clin Rheum 8(2):72-76, 2002)

Muscle tension in the neck, shoulders and upper back can lead to severe, chronic tension headaches…a problem for many FMS patients. Massaging the muscles in these regions for thirty minutes twice weekly for one month showed that this technique could reduce head pain for the small number of patients in the study. Both the frequency and duration of the tension headaches were cut in half. (Quinn C, et al. Am J Public Health 93(10):1657-1661, 2002)

Low back pain, another regional problem for people with FMS, appears to be favorably aided by massage therapy as well. A study comparing the effectiveness of professional massage, acupuncture, and education/self-care found that massage therapy was the best treatment for low back pain. (Cherkin DC, et al. Arch Intern Med 151(8):1081-1088, 2001) Looking at the long range effectiveness of massage, the benefits of this treatment may last for more than one month, and in some cases, up to a year.

Types of Massage Treatment

There are many forms of massage, but FMS patients usually begin with light touch, stroking, and Swedish type massage techniques that go by various names. Other treatments that have proven to provide relief have been craniosacral therapy and acupressure modalities such as Jin Shin Do, or trigger point work, using light to moderate finger pressure on particular muscles to release the tension. The muscles released are not necessarily where the pain is, but they are causing the deferred pain pattern, and once released the pain subsides.

How Does Massage Work?

Besides relaxing your tight muscles, how does massage therapy really work? Pain inhibitory mechanisms in the spinal cord cause the release of pain fighters such as serotonin, norepinephrine, acetylcholine, and endorphins. It is most likely that massage works by activating these substances. A 2002 study linked massage to the activation of the endorphin system. (Lund I, et al. Eru J Neurosci 16(2):330-338, 2002)

Improved circulation, especially in the muscle regions that are relaxed by massage, may be another reason for reduction of FMS symptoms. This aids muscle function and enhances range of motion. Finally, massage may influence sleep at the level of the brain. This could represent one mode by which massage increases energy levels and reduces daytime fatigue.

Therapy Schedule

Patients who suffer chronic pain or headaches usually visit their massage therapist once every two weeks. However, most would go more frequently if time and money permitted. As your therapist for tips on maintaining your condition in between treatments.

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Life and Health Chiropractic and Massage Centre

720 S 348th St A-1B
Federal Way, WA 98003

(253) 944-7620