“Rubbing can bind a joint that is loose and loosen a joint that is too rigid”
- Hippocrates (469-370 BC)
Massage – what is it?
Massage is defined as the systematic manipulation of the soft tissues of the body for a curative effect. Soft tissues are made more pliable through massage to promote circulation and blood flow and bring about healing effects: physical and psychological changes for general wellbeing.
What does it involve?
The system of massage treatment involves the therapist using their hands to apply pressure on your body. Therapists use various techniques to work on the body: stroking and gliding (effleurage), kneading the soft tissues (petrissage), or what is termed ‘percussion’ (tapotement).
What are the ‘real’ benefits?
Massage therapy is extremely beneficial to people leading busy lifestyles suffering from what is now commonly encountered work related stress. Massage will not only aid with mental relaxation but will work on physical symptoms of back and neck pain that comes from sitting for an extended period of time at a desk or from physical labour.
The importance of taking regular massage has heightened in recent times as more people recognise how beneficial it is as a way to counteract the effects of sitting in front of a computer screen daily. Corporations are beginning to realise these benefits for staff wellbeing and as a way to increase productivity. By offering mobile massage therapy as a part of employee benefits (see mobile massage) in the workplace it could go a long way to help reduce staff stress levels, which in turn will make for a more cooperative relaxed work environment, and then aid productivity. More obviously if employers spend on massage for their staff they might reduce the cost of lost labour through sick days. Work related stress is a serious problem in society leading to poor health, disease, and death. This situation might be helped if employers take the opportunity to enlist the services of a professional Massage Therapist who will educate about the benefits of relaxation and massage.
Many people wait until they are already in pain or suffering spinal injuries before turning to massage, but why let it get that bad? It is a good idea to take regular massage as a preventative measure so that such injuries do not occur. Regular massage maintenance will increase your overall sense of wellbeing for optimum physical and mental health, helping you to achieve your goals.
Massage is used to treat a wide range of disorders, such as:
The power of healing in massage is the energy that flows through the therapist’s hands in touch to refresh, regenerate and revitalise.
Who does it?
Massage is performed through the hands of a Massage Therapist. The Massage Therapist will work out a treatment plan (if desired) by muscle testing. Massage Therapy is available in shopping malls, healing centres, at home (via mobile massage), hospitals, in the workplace, leisure centres, beauty salons, spas and health retreats. Try using the Natural Therapy Pages postcode search to locate a massage therapist working in your area.
Types of Massage – what type of massage is best for me?
There are several forms of massage on offer, and it can be confusing to know what will work best for a particular ailment or condition. Some massage concentrates more on relaxing the client whilst others will work more deeply at repairing damaged muscle tissue. It may be that you need to try several forms of massage to find what works best for you. You can find more information regarding specific types of massage on the Natural Therapies Pages directory. Here is a brief summary of some commonly found massage therapies:
What should I expect from a massage session?
Massage normally takes place in a private room or space. Clients are expected to partially undress and are given a towel or robe to place over themselves. The exception to this is with ‘Mobile Massage’ whereby the client may remain clothed and is not always in a private space. Most massage will take place on a massage table lying down, but in some cases the massage takes place whilst you are seated on a massage chair (see Chinese Massage), or on a floor mat (see Thai Massage). Massage therapy can last for 10 mins to 1 hour depending what is requested.
The categories that fall under Massage are: