woman getting massage after chiropractor

Getting a Massage Before Or After Chiropractor: Which Comes First?

What Do Massage Therapy And Chiropractic Care Have In Common?


Wondering whether you should get a massage after seeing your chiropractic? We’ll tell you in a minute. But first, let’s look at what these two therapies have in common.


Both massage and chiropractic therapies have many benefits and should be incorporated into your lifestyle regularly as prevention, not only when you are experiencing a problem. 


If you have aches and pains, or have difficulty holding your spine in a straight position, visiting a qualified chiropractor can put a smile back on your face fast. Similarly, some musculature problems can be improved almost instantly by a competent massage therapist. 


Both of these distinct therapies present unique and complementary uses, and wonderful benefits for our health. But at the same time, they may have even more benefits when they are used as prevention.


If you need more convincing, know that the famous Bob Hope attributed his perfect health and productivity well into old age to the daily massages he was getting. He was not having a massage when he was feeling stiff or had pain throughout his body. He was having them daily, as a routine. But why?


Visiting Your Chiropractor When You Have No Complaints


Before looking into getting a massage after a chiropractor or vice-versa, we’ll discuss why combining chiropractic with massage will not only speed up recovery time if you are suffering from sore muscles, but will also help with other issues and overall well-being. 


Happiness Enhancing And Anti-Depressant Effects


It has been well observed that even a friendly touch or a hug can reduce anxiety, depression, and promote overall well being. Here’s why:


Skin is the largest organ in our body. When we are touched, we usually experience a sense of pressure at the point of contact. The signal is then sent to the brain via the nervous system, where it ends up stimulating an important nerve bundle called the vagus nerve. 


The vagus nerve has branches spreaded throughout the body into several internal organs, including the stomach and the heart. It influences digestion, respiratory rate, heart rate, and blood pressure, among many other functions. 


Lower Levels Of Cortisol


Another positive effect of a friendly touch can be seen in the lowering levels of the stress hormone Cortisol. 


Cortisol is secreted when we are experiencing a stressful situation. And while it doesn’t pose any issues when its levels are within normal range, when we are experiencing excessive stress in our lives, Cortisol may cause headaches, dry mouth, gastrointestinal problems, or heart palpitations. 


High Cortisol levels can also lead to unusual sweating, loss of libido, overeating, undereating, and anxiety symptoms. 


Higher Levels of Oxytocin


No matter if you are getting a massage after seeing your chiropractor, or you’d rather have a massage first followed by chiropractic, know that touch therapy will not only calm us down in stressful situations and reduce the excessive stress response. It will also stimulate the secretion of the “love hormone,” Oxytocin. 


Oxytocin became famous once it was discovered that it enhances bonding and the euphoria one feels when falling in love. 


Oxytocin has anxiety-reducing and antidepressive effects as well. While the oxytocin levels will rise as the result of a friendly touch, they will do so even more so with a massage or a good session of chiropractic therapy.


We, humans, are social creatures. Even a quick supportive touch can have many positive consequences, both physical and psychological. A prolonged physical experience that is carried out by a trusted chiropractor and/or a massage therapist will produce even better results. 


Massage And Chiropractic Care For Prevention


Massage therapy focuses on the soft tissues and muscles. Getting regular massages, even when you are feeling good, will prevent your body from developing issues. For example, a stiff muscle that doesn’t yet bother you will be addressed during the massage session so that it will never become a problem for you. 


Similarly, if you visit your chiropractor regularly, the small misalignments of your spine will be adjusted long before they become problematic. 


Just a reminder here! Chiropractic focuses primarily on the alignment of the spine and joints but can also treat soft tissue.


What If You Have Complaints And Are In Pain?


woman getting a massage first and chiropractic after


What if you are already experiencing an issue? Or maybe you are dealing with chronic pain that you couldn’t find a good solution for? Is getting a massage after seeing your chiropractor a good idea?


Massage Treatment First


Typically the first visit to a chiropractor will be to alleviate a problem. It can be back or neck pain, a posture issue, a stiff joint, and the likes. You probably suffer from a discomfort that just doesn’t improve with time or the modern medicine approach, and you are looking for an effective solution. 


At this point, you heard from a friend who had a similar problem and was cured after just a few visits to a chiropractor. So you start reading, doing your own research, and decide to give chiropractic care a try. 


In this case, you may be a little nervous, not knowing what to expect from your first visit to the chiropractor. Know that chiropractic adjustments are extremely safe and are high velocity, low amplitude manipulations that are completely pain-free. Yet, they may look scary to the untrained eye. And even though there’s no pain involved, the patient may be somewhat stressed before the first visit. 


In this case, seeing your chiropractor after a good massage session may be a good idea. Almost everyone is familiar with the concept of massage. Most of us have experienced it either as a leisure activity in a spa or even from a loved one.


Lots of people who get massages don’t do it to address a problem but for pleasure. For this reason, if you’re visiting a chiropractor for the first time and feel a little anxious, try getting a massage first. It will calm you down and take away your stress.


On the other hand, other than the psychological effects, getting a massage before chiropractic therapy will help loosen up the muscles surrounding the spine. Plus, it will alleviate minor discomforts that may occur after an adjustment.


Chiropractic Adjustment First


If you are not a novice in a chiropractor’s office, you will not have any anxiety related to getting chiropractic adjustments. You already know how great you will feel during and after your visit.


Not only you won't feel any discomfort. You will also get the great feeling that comes along with a chiropractic adjustment. 


Your body will release endorphins and other feel-good hormones, and your complaints before the visit will either be gone or eased. 


So if you decide to get a massage after a chiropractic session, make sure to first discuss it with your chiropractor, and ask for a complete check-up.


Your complaint may be caused by misalignments or muscle tension, and chiropractic adjustments will help treat these and release the pressured nerves to allow for optimal function. Your chiropractor may address the soft tissue problems as well. However, you might decide to combine massage therapy with chiropractic work for full benefits. 


If you are ready to give chiropractic care a try and experience for yourself the positive effects it has when combined with massage, we are looking forward to meeting you in our Los Gatos chiropractic office. Simply get in touch and make an appointment today!


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