What is Massage Therapy?
Massage involves a manual application of pressure and movement to soft body tissues the skin, muscles, tendon, ligaments, and fascia (membranes surrounding muscles). Massage is believed to increase blood circulation and flow of lymph (fluid from body tissues that flows into the blood stream). It helps the body to heal itself by promoting the flow of blood and lymph, stimulating nerves, conditioning the skin, and stretching and loosening muscles to keep them elastic. Massage also has a positive psychological effect. When we are stressed, our breathing becomes more rapid and shallow, our hearts work harder and digestion slows down. Chronic stress can influence a number of illnesses including migraines, depression, and hypertension. Massage therapy can help to relieve tension and counteract the effects of stress on the body.
What techniques are used in Massage Therapy?
There are dozens of specialised massage techniques in use today. The most common types are:
- Swedish Massage uses long strokes, kneading and pressing, friction, and drumming hand movements applied to the muscle groups to promote circulation and relaxation. This technique is often used for a full body massage.
- Deep Tissue Massage uses deep finger pressure and slow strokes on achy or tense areas of the body particularly useful for muscle spasm.
- Sports Massage uses massage to prepare the body before exercise or to help the body recover after exercise. It focuses on the use of massage to assist training, prevent injury, and treat sports injuries.
- Shiatsu/Acupressure Massage uses pressure at specific points on the body with the Eastern philosophical belief that this will enhance the energy flow through the body and restore balance.
- Neuromuscular Massage (also called Trigger-point Therapy) uses finger pressure on painful areas in muscles called trigger points.
Who and What is Massage Therapy ideal for?
- Athletes/Casual Sports People
- Chronic Postural Problems
- Pain associated with tension
- Convalescence (recovery from illness or injury)
- Pregnancy and Pre-Pregnancy (under your doctors advice)
- Hectic Lifestyles
- Stress and stress related disorders
- Lifestyle changes and improvements
- Immune stimulation