What is Therapeutic Massage? Therapeutic massage is primarily a way to indicate to the customer that the massage is therapeutic purposes and health benefits. Massage had a seedy reputation in the 1960s and even beyond. Massage was associated with "massage parlors" that were essentially places of prostitution. Calling it "therapeutic massage" was part of the professionalization of massage therapy. It is a way to communicate that this was a massage for health, and that no sexual contact was involved.
Today, any professional massage is therapeutic, with real health benefits. But the phrase "therapeutic massage" is also sometimes used to indicate that the massage will be a little more intense than a pure relaxation massage and perhaps deal with long-term or chronic issues.
The most common examples would be a deep tissue massage or sports massage. The therapist uses more pressure and cross-fiber friction in order to get knots (also known as adhesions) to release. Massage has many important health benefits. In fact, massage can help you maintain physical, mental and emotional well being, especially when it is part of your regular wellness routine.
The Health Benefits of Massage
Massage calms the nervous system and promotes a sense of relaxation and well being. Massage reduces tension and anxiety. Massage improves blood circulation, which delivers oxygen and nutrients to the cells. Massage stimulates the lymphatic system, which carries away the bodyâ€™s waste products. Massage prevents and relieve muscles cramps and spasms. Massage therapy can help with pain management in conditions such as arthritis, sciatica, muscle spasms. Remind yourself of these health benefits if you start to feel guilty about getting massage!
Massage is not a good idea if you have a fever, infections, inflammation, osteoporosis and other medical conditions. If you have any questions about whether a massage would be right for you, ask to speak to a massage therapist before you make your appointment.
Massage is a system that promotes holistic health, which is the balance of body, mind, and spirit in a healthy, drug-free environment. We can describe massage as the manipulation of soft tissue and muscle in the support of natural healing, using hands, arms, and fingers as the tools. The systematic application of healing touch creates an environment of balance that in turn fosters good health. Massage may provide relaxation or stimulation, depending upon the techniques used. Massage encourages joy and happiness, whether as the receiver or the giver. In short, massage is a key to enhancing our well-being.
Our bodies have an innate gift the capacity to promote our own healing. Touch is an effective tool in triggering this natural healing response. Massage enables the body to relax, creating a therapeutic environment for the healing functions of the body.
The Stimulation of the Senses Our greatest sense receptor, the skin, is the obvious target in touch therapy, yet massage affects all of the senses. The use of warm scented oil on skin activates the sense of smell, further assisting in the area of relaxation. If the oil also has medicinal properties its natural healing abilities are stimulated, working the body toward greater balance. Receiving massage with our eyes closed allows us to mentally visualize the soothing effectsâ€”seeing through feeling.
Hearing the soft calming music lulls us to an even deeper space of relaxation, allowing us to release all tension. The healing touch communicates with our brain, sending messages of trust, allowing the body to relax further.
Nerve and Tissue Response
Soft tissue responds to massage, releasing tension from tight muscles as well as supporting the flow of oxygen throughout the body. As the circulation of oxygen and blood is stabilized the body is encouraged to operate properly. Massage stimulates the nervous system by addressing the nerves directly under the skin as well as the main branches radiating from the spine. Pain is a natural signal alerting us to a malfunction within the body, an early warning not to be ignored. The pain response is present to sound the alarm, guiding us to seek the proper attention. Pain alerts us to begin the hunt to find the cause. The nervous system speaks to every muscle and organ in the body. Because massage maintains nerve health, it supports whole health. As the connective tissue of the body is restored to high function through massage, the emotional self responds with a deeper sense of well-being. This feeling of peace spreads to a spiritual level as massage sustains the connection of body, mind, and spirit.
For most people, a massage is a luxury. Many people can't afford the cost of a regular massage, and health insurance companies generally don't cover massages. But for some people, massage is therapy. Massage is the manual manipulation of soft body tissues. Rubbing, kneading, rolling, and pressing the tissue increases blood flow and warmth, relieves muscle tension, and promotes relaxation.
Try giving yourself a massage, or have your partner do it for you. Gently massaging your own muscles can help relieve tension, especially in your
face and head. But done too rigorously or for too long or short of a time, massage may cause pain. The key is to be gentle. If you're too aggressive, you can cause a flare.
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