Explore the Health Benefits of Massage Therapy
By Charles Hopkins
Published 04/22/2006 | Self Improvement
Massage has been used as a therapy to ease human aches and pains and create relaxation for thousands of years. The instinct to rub and stroke muscles that are tense and tired has been refined and studied so that massage therapy performed by a professionally trained practitioner can promote health and well being, relieve stress and help heal injured areas of your body.
WHAT IS MASSAGE THERAPY GOOD FOR?
Have you thought about seeking massage therapy for healing or relaxation? There are many techniques of massage therapy to choose from. Some therapies, such as those used for athletes, are focused on healing injured tissue by increasing circulation and preventing injury that can be caused by tense muscles.
Other therapies combine massage with soft music, dim lighting and soothing aromatherapy oils to relieve stress and enhance feelings of well being.
Massage therapy can also provide relief from many common ailments from morning sickness to migraines.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF MASSAGE THERAPY?
Massage helps with the circulation of blood and the release of toxins. Massage increases the circulation of oxygen through the body, helping to heal muscles and reduce tension. The increased circulation can also increase lymphatic drainage helping to rid the body of excess fluids and waste.
The physical manipulation of muscles can break down any scar material, thickening or inflammation of the tissues which can increase mobility and reduce stiffness. The additional mobility and toning can help prevent injury, especially for athletes who use massage therapy as part of their regular training.
Proper techniques of massage therapy can also help relieve constipation and gas and encourage proper digestion.
Relaxation of the physical body can also reduce the effects of stress physiologically. After a session of massage therapy you may feel relaxed, refreshed and feel greater self-esteem.
EASTERN AND WESTERN MASSAGE
The type of therapy you choose will be based on your personal preference or the purpose of the therapy. One of the most common forms of massage is based on Swedish massage which involves the manipulation of the soft tissues of the body with the masseuse's's hands. Swedish massage is often used for general relaxation and increasing mobility of the joints but can also be adapted to target specific problems.
The other common form of massage has Eastern origins. These techniques are performed by putting pressure on specific areas of the body with fingers or other blunt objects (acupressure) or needles (acupuncture). These techniques are used to relieve ailments such as: headaches, nausea, depression, pain, digestive disorders as well as stress and other ailments.
There are many variations on these techniques and what appeals to one person may be very different for someone else. Feeling comfortable with the technique as well as the practitioner is important in experiencing the full benefits of the massage. Whatever method you choose you are wise to take time to find the right person for you; determine if the practitioner is trained, qualified, insured and has recommendations before starting treatment and feel comfortable with the setting you will be receiving your massage in.