Research indicates that police officers exposed to those sudden, intense and sometimes life threatening situations, encountered during line of duty, can cause uncontrollable changes to the body. These changes may affect physiological, sensory and cognitive processes that may prevent timely responses in very serious situations, thus causing tactical implications during critical decision making processes. Medical studies also indicate that prolonged or frequent occurrences of this stimulation (stress) could subject an officer to future mental and physical health issues, if not addressed (Drzewiecki, 2002).
Massage is one way to address and reduce physical and emotional stress. Massage can have a variety of benefits including soothing sore muscles, promoting f lexibility, increased energy, and prevention of illnesses. But there are so many types of massage that offer a variety of benefits, how do you choose one that is best for you? Our guide will help you tailor a massage to your unique problems and goals.
Swedish massage is a term for the most basic and most common type of massage. It involves long soothing strokes that target superficial layers of muscles that relax the client. This modality is great for reducing stress. Swedish may also help fight colds and flu. The New York Times published a study conducted by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine that suggests participants who received a 45-minute Swedish massage experienced increases in the number of lymphocytes, (white blood cells that help fight infections).
Sports massage is a modality that focuses on muscle aches, pain, and injury that commonly occur in recreational events. Sports massage is beneficial before a sporting event to warm up muscles and get blood f lowing, after an event to avoid muscle soreness, or on its own to rehabilitate an injury and relieve pain. Trigger Point Therapy can also be used in a sports massage to release tight areas within muscle fibers (commonly referred to as “knots”). Additional benefits of sports massage include increased f lexibility and range of motion, decreased muscle stiffness and reduction of scar tissue.
Cranial Sacral Therapy
Cranial Sacral therapy (commonly referred to as just cranial), is a modality that focuses on the bones of the skull, face, sacrum, and spine. The goal of cranial is to regulate the f low of cerebrospinal f luid and release compressions in the bones of the head. Cranial is good for alleviating headaches, migraines, correcting disorders of the jaw, and relieving tension in the head and neck.
Ref lexology involves manipulation of the hands and feet using finger pressure on specific ref lex areas. The idea behind ref lexology is that the human body is mapped out on the hands and feet and by working specific ref lex points, you can have an effect on the corresponding organ. This can help problems of the digestive, reproductive, respiratory, lymphatic, and immune systems as well as help with foot and ankle pain, plantar fasciitis, and some forms of arthritis. Structural Integration (or Rolfing): Structural Integration aims lengthen myofascial tissue and to align the body in gravity. This is done through assessment of the body’s position and deep, slow strokes that seek to balance the body from the ground up. This can improve posture, balance and coordination, provide relief from repetitive injuries and chronic back pain and eliminate sciatica pain.