Massage therapy can be a wonderful way to decrease your pain levels, but if you've been seriously injured, you might not want to try it. Massage typically uses pressure and motion to increase flexibility and reduce pain, but massage therapists generally apply said pressure directly to the affected area. If you've got open wounds or broken bones, or if you're recovering from surgery or another kind of trauma, it's understandable that you'd hesitate. However, there are some massage methods that can help reduce your pain without applying any pressure directly to the affected area. Here are three forms of massage that might be able to help you.
Acupressure is a form of massage that originated in China, based on the same healing system as acupuncture. Massage therapists who perform acupressure believe that by applying pressure to specific acupoints on your body, they can send healing qi through the body to distant locations. This qi travels through meridians, which are very similar to veins or arteries. The great thing about acupressure is that the massage therapist can apply pressure nowhere near the part of your body that needs healing, and it can still help.
Reflexology follows a similar premise as acupressure, except that it's limited to your feet. Massage therapists who perform reflexology can treat pain all throughout your body by applying pressure to the soles of your feet. Providing that it isn't your legs or feet that are injured, reflexology can be a good choice to get some pain relief without causing further harm to your body.
Reiki massage, sometimes just called Reiki, can be used with or without pressure applied to your body. Reiki practitioners channel energy through themselves into their clients, which is purported to cause a relaxing, rejuvenating, and comforting experience. Reiki can be used hand-in-hand with the aforementioned therapies or by itself. Reiki is particularly useful if you have extreme trauma in your body, because it doesn't require any touching at all. Reiki practitioners can place their hands on the client or keep them slightly above their client to channel the energy, depending on what the client is comfortable with. In addition, Reiki practitioners claim that the energy will go to the parts of the body that need it the most, so they never have to touch the injured part of your body for you to benefit.
These three methods can be used individually or together to help provide relief to the parts of your body that are hurting without making it worse. Talk to a massage therapist to find out what types of therapeutic massage might be right for you.