Massage works mainly with muscles. It utilizes various techniques to release tension in muscles anywhere in the body. While some massage can be done on a clothed body, it is preferable to work directly on the skin. Massage relaxes muscle and relieves body tension, while at the same time improving circulation. The sedative or stimulating effects of massage help to control general body tensions and lessen contractions, spasms, and muscle tightness. Massage can be divided into 2 general categories: therapeutic and relaxation.
Therapeutic massage is used on specific areas of injury or dysfunction. It is effective in relieving pain and restoring mobility. Usually the sessions are of shorter duration (20 - 45 minutes) and only specific areas of the body are treated. Massage lessens pain and helps facilitate movement. Regular visits can help disperse the edema that forms after injury to ligaments and tendons. Transverse massage separates muscle fibers, preventing the formations of adhesions and trigger points. For persons convalescing from bone fractures, massage can aid with tissue repair and reduce inflammation and swelling of joints. Muscle Tone massage increases blood supply and nutrition to the muscles and improves muscle tone.
Relaxation massage recognizes the importance of releasing tension throughout the body. We donít often even realize how much tension we hold in certain areas until we have the experience of it being released. A full-body massage takes anywhere from 1-2 hours. This kind of massage is sometimes called holistic massage or holistic bodywork. While it physically works on the muscles, there is an implicit awareness that there are always emotional, psychological and spiritual aspects present. Depending on the client, the therapist may talk about any or all of the factors that are influencing the client at the time. Essential oils may be used to assist in the treatment.
Benefits of Massage
Stress Relief and Relaxation: Adverse effects of stress may manifest in any number of ways, including ulcers, changes in blood sugar, hypertension and headaches. Massage reverses damaging physiological effects by inducing a relaxation response, increasing circulation and limbering tight muscles, restoring the balance between body and mind. A massage offers an opportunity to simply "let go" and enjoy the pleasure of deeply relaxing and feeling good! Acceptance of nurturing and caring touch increases calmness and reduces stress. Bodywork can also provide release of emotional blocks, enhancing psychological well being.
Improve Circulation: Massage acts as a 'mechanical cleanser', moving lymphatic fluids to help with the elimination of wastes and toxic debris that builds up in the body. Massage dilates the blood vessels and increases the number of red blood cells, thus, improving circulation to muscles, organs and joints. This increased circulation also improves skin condition and texture. Muscle Aches lessen due to increased circulation and passive mobility. Joint stiffness is reduced by increased blood supply to the area. Arthritis may be alleviated when an area is flushed with fresh nutrients and oxygen.
Accelerates healing: Massage stimulates lymph circulation, aiding the immune system. It also reduces swelling caused by injury, strengthens tendons and ligaments, and provides pain relief by sedating nerve impulses and stimulating the production of endorphins. Massage accelerates recovery from muscle fatigue through the removal of metabolic waste, and increases nutrient supplies to the muscles. It is an effective form of treatment for tenosynovitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, etc.Body Sensitivity: Bodywork offers an opportunity for the client to develop sensitivity to his/her body. One of the reasons that we donít notice injuries or diseases developing in our bodies is that we do not tune in and listen to them on a regular basis. We listen mostly to our minds. Our bodies are always giving us signals about what they like and donít like about what is going on inside. The more we learn how to listen and interpret, the more we naturally do what is healthy for us.Gives you that competitive edge in sports: Pre-event - stimulates the body and mind. Post-event - increases muscle recovery rate after exercise. During training - maintains nutrition, flexibility and vitality of muscle tissue, promoting greater endurance and flexibility and preventing injury.
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