Massage Therapy: An Overview

Massage therapy is a very important aspect of physical health and rehabilitation. There are various benefits of massage which can help individuals to relax and heal emotionally and physically.

A massage is a method of healing that dates as far back as 4000 years ago within the Chinese culture. The Chinese used massage techniques to cure a large number of ailments and medical conditions. A massage is a physical remedy applied by a therapist with the finger, hands, palms and arms and can take on many variations. These variations range from gentle strokes to harder kneading. This manual technique serves many purposes and has adopted several tools and products which further enhance the experience such as massage stones and oils.

There are several kinds of massage therapy with each having their own benefits to the human body and mind:

○Aromatherapy: this type of massage incorporates essential oils extracted from plants and herbs. These oils are rubbed and massaged into the skin which enhances healing and relaxation.

○Reflexology: this refers to a specialized form of massage which uses the thumb and finger to apply pressure to the feet and hands.

○Lymphatic Massage: is a massage which incorporates light and rhythmic strokes to the body to restore the flow of lymph throughout the human body.

○Swedish Massage: refers to a massage technique. Therapists stroke the body in specific techniques and apply pressure to afflicted areas. This massage type enhances blood flow to the heat, removes waste from tissues, stretches tendons and ligaments and helps to ease emotional and physical tension.

○Shiatsu: is a gentler finger and hand massage which concentrates on specific areas of the body in order to help ‘chi’ or energy flow without hindrance.

There are also other types of massage treatments which concentrate on more specialized healing such as:

● Myofascial release: this concentrates on pressure and special body positions which are used to relax the muscles.

● Rolfing: applies to the fascia making it more flexible and helps to realign the body in order to conserve energy and function better.

● Craniosacral massage: is a technique that applies gentle pressure to the head and spine in order to correct the imbalances within the body and to help restore the flow of blocked cerebrospinal fluid.

● Trigger Point Massage: refers to a massage which concentrates on ‘trigger points’ in an effort to help alleviate spasms and pains in the muscle.

Other more specialized massage treatment include polarity therapy and sports massage.

Massage therapy benefits greatly on the human body and mind by reducing stress, relieving muscle tension and calming the spirit. Other benefits include the reduction of edema, encouragement of lymphatic flow, enhancement of circulation and flexibility and the stimulation of sensory receptors.

Massage therapy is able to help the body heal itself by simple and ancient techniques. However, it is not a cure for life-threatening diseases or disorders. It is also not adviced for everyone. For example, massage sessions should not be sought out if pregnant. Some therapists are able to avert massage from the abdomen of a pregnant women in order to not risk a miscarriage. Before seeking a massage it is best to speak with a medical practitioner to ensure you are a prime candidate for the healing abilities of massage therapy.

Author Bio: I write for TIR Massage Stone about performing hot stone massage therapy and obtaining a proper hot stone massage kit.

Category: Wellness, Fitness and Diet
Keywords: massage therapy,aromatherapy,therapists

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