Massage - History and Health Benefits
a good massage can leave you feeling relaxed, refreshed, and
re-energized, there may be definite health benefits of massage as well.
Anyone who has had the pleasure of putting
themselves, quite literally, in the hands of a skilled practicioner of
massage, generally a licensed massage
therapist, will verify that a good massage feels terrific.
It can leave you feeling relaxed, refreshed and re-energized. But the
effects are often far more than just a pleasant afterglow. A
good massage can provide a definite boost in health.
Tight muscles, a common problem in today's world, can result from over
exercising or from stress, disease, injury and other
causes. In the
first case, appropriate techniques can help relieve those knotty areas,
improve circulation and help de-toxify muscles. When tight
result from stress, a good massage can go even further to help restore
Stress, as we know, is generally a combination of physical and
factors, and jointly caused by both external and internal factors.
Usually, no external fact alone will cause lasting stress,
extreme instances, but how you react to to that external stimuli does.
On the other hand, you don't simply react to nothing just for the fun
of it. There are definitely external factors you observe
evaluate them as stressful.
Massage helps work on the issue of stress from both directions.
Placing yourself into a quiet, peaceful ambiance with low lights, some
nice music, maybe even a few pleasant scents, through the technique of aromatherapy,
is the first step in
removing yourself from the external stressors. You enter, at least
temporarily, a comfort zone, free from the attack of the external
stressors. Then the therapist can proceed to work on tense neck and
back muscles, which are often the chief victims of stress.
The result of the session is an improved frame of mind, gained from
better physical feelings and the opportunity to unwind and forget about
the stressful events. The effect is one of mood elevation.
enhances the ability to deal with the emotional aspects of stress.
A properly administered massage, usually a Swedish
massage, can aid
circulation by directly working on areas where fluids can get trapped.
Renewing or increasing flow in those areas leads to better
flushing, if you will, eliminating build up of toxins, and bringing in
fresh nutrients. Muscles that receive a fresh flow of blood
better and feel better.
Another benefit is the possibility of improved digestion.
Both stress and poor circulation are hindrances to good digestion.
the massage relieves both those trouble areas, the stomach and
intestines respond accordingly.
One of the obvious and usually immediate benefits is improved range of
massage sessions often result this, but it happens with other
techniques as well. Once tight muscles have been relaxed, and
joints made more limber, stiffness dissolves. The result is a
greater range of
Effective massage techniques can, in some cases, work as part of an
overall treatment plan to combat certain diseases and conditions.
result of this, many doctors who once would have relied on medication
and/or surgery alone for some conditions, now consider massage
as an option
in some cases. Arthritis sufferers, those who have
surgery on limbs and others frequently find that massage complements
Certain injuries can be induced to heal faster by adding massage
therapy to the mix of treatments.
Caution is advised, however. Such
conditions as broken bones which sometimes go undiagnosed in athletes
when the break is small, can be worsened by massage therapy.
inflammations and external lesions should addressed by a doctor before
beginning massage therapy.
In general, however, reasons for having a good massage can be much more
simple than that. While the healing power of touch is well known to
body work professionals and they use all their tools to bring the
patient to optimum health, sometimes, it just feels good. Those
massage should be skeptical of claims of miracle cures, but there is
ample evidence that massage does provide direct and indirect health
benefits in many instances.
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