Massage Therapy
 


Massage therapy is one of the most effective ways to ease your tension and pain. Scientists have repeatedly proved the health benefits of massage for a list of ailments that stretches across the alphabet. Massage therapy manipulates the soft tissues of the body to normalize the tissue. Besides helping you relax, soothing sore muscles, reducing some kinds of swelling, and improving general well-being, massage therapy of one sort or another may also help with hypertension, burns, chronic pain (including from arthritis, backaches, and migraines), rashes and other skin conditions, addictions, depression, stress and labour pain and asthma. It can also alleviate depression and boost self-esteem in people with eating disorders; improve growth and development in premature babies; reduce pain and water retention in women with premenstrual syndrome (PMS); raise blood sugar levels in kids with diabetes; and possibly even boost immune function in people with HIV or cancer.

Thus basically Massage therapy is used:

  • To reduce stress and pain
  • To aid recovery from medical or surgical procedures
  • To provide relaxation
  • To soothe tired and sore muscles
  • To increase circulation of blood and flow of lymph in the body

Massage if not done properly can however cause lot of damage. Hence massage is always to be done by a qualified therapist. A qualified therapist not only knows all about the human body, how it works, and what can go wrong with it, but also tells you when massage is inappropriate or dangerous. A specialist massage therapists is not only trained in rubbing you the right way and kneading out the kinks, but also has an understanding of the muscle and nerve complexities that make the body tick. If you may have a serious or chronic illness, never use massage without first consulting your Doctor. You should also generally avoid using massage on inflamed, burned, or otherwise injured areas. And because massage works by promoting blood flow, it can potentially spread certain problems throughout your body. You should almost always avoid massage therapy if you have an infection, cancer, swelling (edema), or a blood clot (except under the supervision of a highly skilled physician). People with high blood pressure, an enlarged liver or spleen, or peptic ulcers should also avoid abdominal massages. And pregnant women should stick to well-trained, professional massage therapists who are familiar with pregnancy massage.

There are many different specialized massage techniques commonly used. These include:

  • Swedish massage
  • Rolfing
  • Heller work
  • Shiatsu Combinations of these techniques are also used.

Massage therapists move the skin, muscles, tendons, ligaments and the membrane, called fascia that surrounds the muscles. This is done to promote the flow of blood and lymph. It also serves to relieve tension, stimulate nerves, and keep the muscles elastic and easy to move. Massage also moves the blood and increases its oxygen capacity. Massage can both soothe and stimulate the nervous system. Different techniques are chosen to achieve different effects. Massage can also speed recovery from the fatigue that often follows exercise. This is why many athletes use massage as part of their training plan. Oils are commonly used to make the therapists hands move more easily across the skin. The massage is usually done on a padded massage table. The person's body is covered with a sheet or a blanket. Only the part that is actively being worked on is exposed at any given time. The person needs to take off only those clothes he or she feels comfortable removing. However this also depends on the kind of massage a person is doing. For example, shiatsu massage can be done through the patient's clothing. Swedish massage, one of the most common, involves hands directly on skin, usually with a lubricant so the body's soft tissue can be manipulated.

Another type of massage you can ask about is trigger-point therapy, in which the massage therapist works with specific points on the body that are said to restrict a person's energy levels. When visiting a massage therapist, you should feel free to ask him or her what massage techniques they use. A massage will generally last for one hour. Massage therapists may combine different techniques. Any type of massage therapy will include pressing, stroking, or kneading the muscles of the body. Although some massage strokes may be somewhat uncomfortable, a person having a massage should generally feel good. If pain or discomfort persists, the massage can be stopped.

Follow the following tips to make the best of a massage:

  • Comfort is the key word. Be sure that you feel comfortable with your therapist. You should feel free and relaxed when the therapist is massaging you.
  • Let the therapist know what you want. If your main goal is to relax, or is it to relieve a specific injury or pain, tell that to him and ask him for advice as to which type of massage will be best. How heavy or light should the pressure be?
  • Ask the therapist to avoid sensitive areas. There is no need to be shy or embarrassed about it.
  • Take off only the clothes you feel comfortable taking off. Massage therapists must respect your boundaries, such if you want to wear underwear during a massage
  • Prepare to relax. Take a nice shower and relax yourself. Please avoid eating a heavy meal right before a massage.
  • Speak up if something hurts or tickles. Sometimes a massage can cause temporary discomfort, especially if it involves working on sore, damaged, or tense areas. You may even feel sore in these areas for a day or two after a massage. So it is advisable to stop massage immediately and tell this to the therapist.
  • Speak up if you're sensitive to the aroma of the oil or just can't stand the music in the

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