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 labor.
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. 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:
2. Muscular tension
3. Headaches and migraines
4. Work related stress
5. Repetitive strain injury
8. Eating disorders and digestive dysfunction
11. Frozen shoulder
13. Sports and dancing injuries
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.
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:
Connective Tissue Massage – this technique is connected to the Myofascial release technique, and does not involve the use of oil or lotion. It can relieve chronic tension, improve posture and relieve painful symptoms of chronic diseases such as Arthritis, Tendonitis, TMJ and Sciatica.
Deep Tissue Massage – focuses on the deeper layers of muscle tissue. It is designed to reach the deep sections of thick muscles, specifically the individual muscle fibers.
Remedial Massage – works to heat muscles and tendons that are damaged, impaired or knotted. It holistically treats the whole body and traces the discomfort back to the original cause. It uses specialised techniques to support and speed up the body's own repair mechanisms. The massage is applied directly to the skin usually with an oil lubricant. Passive stretching moves are also employed.
Sport massage – the purpose of the massage is to prepare the athlete for peak performance, to drain away fatigue, to relieve swelling, to reduce muscle tension, to promote flexibility and to prevent injuries.
What should I expect from a massage session?
Massage takes place in a private room. Clients are expected to partially undress and are given a towel or robe to place over themselves. The massage will take place on a massage table lying down. Massage therapy normally last 1 hour depending what is requested.