Learning More About Massage

masTreating yourself to a massage may do more than just help you relax. In fact, there are many different forms of this procedure and multiple associated health benefits.

What Is Massage?

This procedure involves rubbing, moving, and applying pressure to a person’s skin, muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Some well-known types include Swedish, deep, sports, trigger point, hot stone, Thai, and Shiatsu. The Swedish technique is a gentle procedure in which the masseuse helps the client to relax by kneading muscles using long strokes. This method may also involve circular movements, vibration, and tapping. In the deep technique, the practitioner manipulates muscles slowly and with more force in order to reach underlying layers of muscle and connective tissue. The goal is to help a person recover from muscle damage. The sports technique is similar to the Swedish form; however, the intent is to prevent or help athletes recover from injuries. During the trigger point method, the masseuse focuses on relieving tension in tight muscle areas that have formed as a result of heavy use or injury. In the hot stone technique, the practitioner places heated stones on certain pressure points in the patient’s body. The specialist may leave the stones in place for a period of time or use them to manipulate the client’s muscles. The Thai technique requires the practitioner to use their own body to move the client into various positions. Acupressure, compressing muscles, and moving joints are all part of this technique. The Shiatsu technique requires the practitioner to apply rhythmic pressure at different degrees to the client’s acupressure points.

How Can It Improve Health Conditions?

Massage therapy has been shown to improve many health conditions, including reducing headaches. This therapy can help diminish the amount of migraines one experiences and help the patient to sleep better. This procedure encourages the body to release endorphins, which are natural painkillers. This explains why osteoarthritis and back pain can also improve in patients who are undergoing this therapy. Used along with traditional medicine, this therapy has also been shown to reduce cancer symptoms and alleviate treatment side effects such as nausea, fatigue, pain, and swelling. In addition, this technique can help relieve a patient’s anxiety and depression. Other conditions that have shown improvement after receiving this therapy include rheumatoid arthritis, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, fibromyalgia, dementia, chronic neck pain, and premenstrual syndrome.

What Are the Health Benefits?

In addition to improving many health conditions, massage therapy also has many other health benefits. It can enhance circulation, improve energy levels, boost immunity, and make joints more flexible. This therapy can also help preterm infants gain weight and help pregnant women experience a shorter, less difficult labor. It can help lower blood pressure, improve a patient’s performance during exercise, and it can lead to improvements in balance among senior citizens. In addition, this therapy can help counteract some of the adverse side effects of sitting too frequently.

With all of the health benefits and positive outcomes associated with massage therapy, there is no reason not to make this procedure a regular part of your life!