Had a good massage lately?

MASSAGE TREATMENTS AND BENEFITS

Massage can help to release chronic muscular tension and pain, relax and tone the muscles, improve circulation, improve lymph flow, increase joint flexibility, reduce mental and physical fatigue and stress, promote faster healing of injured muscular tissue, improve posture and reduce blood pressure. Massage is also known to promote better sleep, improve concentration, reduce anxiety and create an overall sense of well-being. Massage is the quickest, surest way to create a sense of relaxation and well-being. It is comforting, soothing, reassuring and makes us feel happy. A regular massage will maintain vitality, promote healing and keep muscular tension at bay.

There are many forms and styles of massage. Here are the ones that I practice.

forms of massage

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Aromatherapy Massage

Aromatherapy massage is often used to describe any form of massage where essential oils are used in the massage oil blend. Aromatherapy massage has a more holistic approach to massage and of prime importance is the selection of essential oils used during the massage, which are chosen for their therapeutic effect, and not their fragrance as such.

True Aromatherapy massage is a very gentle form of massage. It utilises mainly slow, gentle, rhythmic movements. The particular aromatherapy massage sequence I use works with the body’s energy patterns. It is designed to establish or promote awareness, balance and free flow of energy through the body, whilst working with the major energy centres of the body (Chakras). The massage technique helps muscles to relax, de-stresses the body, mind and spirit, stimulates the lymphatic system, improves the immune response, and assists the body to naturally release toxins.

Swedish Massage

The main purpose of Swedish Massage is to increase the oxygen flow in the blood and release toxins from the muscles. Some other benefits include shortening recovery time from muscular strain, increased circulation without increased heart load, stretching of ligaments and tendons, skin stimulation and soothing of the nervous system. It reduces stress, both emotional and physical, and is often suggested as part of a regular program for stress management.

Swedish Massage is a system of long strokes, kneading, friction, tapping, percussion, vibration and shaking motions that apply pressure between muscles and bones, rubbing in the same direction as the flow of blood returning to the heart.

The sequence of techniques usually used in a session of Swedish Massage are:

  1. Effleurage: gliding strokes with the palms, thumbs and/or fingertips.
  2. Petrissage: kneading movements with the hands, thumbs and/or fingertips.
  3. Friction: circular pressures with the palms of hands, thumbs and/or fingertips.
  4. Vibration: oscillatory movements that shake or vibrate the body.
  5. Percussion: brisk hacking or tapping.
  6. Passive and Active Movements: bending and stretching.

Hot Stone Massage

Hot Stone therapy can help in the treatment of the following problems; muscular aches, pains, and strains, joint problems, chronic muscle pains, back pain, and insomnia. Stone massage therapy also helps to improve circulation and can help reduce stress, anxiety, tension and low mood.

The technique uses hot stones, placed on the client’s body and also in the therapist’s hands, the heat gently penetrating the skin and muscles, helping the client to relax and de-stress in double quick time. Hot stone therapy relaxes the body at its deepest level and is effective in creating harmony and balanced energy flow. The subtle energies of stones introduced into a treatment are known to promote a calm, meditative state. The thermal conduction of the stones brings about local and systemic changes in the body, influencing the energy centres or Chakras, balancing both body and mind.

In certain cases cold stones can also be used to help muscular injury and inflammation. Hot stones expand the blood vessels, helping to move blood faster round the body, sedating the nervous system. The application of cold stones stimulates the nervous system by causing the blood vessels to contract and increasing the lymph flow of waste materials round the body.

During a treatment the client lies on a couch or a series of flat hot and cool stones – covered by a thick towel – that trace the spine. The therapist applies oil to the skin and glides the stones across the body’s meridian lines. In some treatments large stones are placed on the body, in the palms of the hands, and coin-sized stones are lightly wedged between the toes.

Indian Head Massage

Indian head massage is an ancient form of healing and relaxation. A head massage can have the same effect as a whole body massage. The head is the centre of the nervous system and so massage to this area has the effect of relaxing and rejuvenating the whole body.

The techniques of Indian Head massage incorporate the massage of the upper back, shoulders, neck, scalp and face. Both carrier oils and essential oils are generally used. The oils can strengthen the hair, remove dryness of the scalp, and help with many scalp disorders. The massage can also be carried out without the use of oils if preferred.

A head massage releases muscle tension and stimulates the circulation. It also stretches and mobilises the tissues of the neck and shoulders. A treatment usually leaves the recipient with a feeling of calmness, well-being and deep relaxation.

Pregnancy Massage

Pregnancy massage is massage therapy specifically tailored for the expectant mother’s needs. It uses a combination of Swedish and Remedial Massage techniques, to assist with the tensions and pains experienced during pregnancy. These are often caused by the extra weight and shift in the centre of gravity as the baby develops

Some of the benefits of massage during pregnancy include:

  • Stimulation of the circulation, helping to distribute essential nutrients and fluid to all vital organs including the placenta.
  • Lymphatic drainage, helping to reduce oedema.
  • Improving a sluggish bowel, and hence helping to avoid constipation and haemorrhoids.
  • Releasing muscular tension.
  • Helping the respiratory system and aiding breathing, especially during later stages of pregnancy.
  • Helping to avoid varicose veins.
  • Inducing deep relaxation, aiding peaceful sleep and helping to reduce emotional stress.
  • Helping to keep blood pressure balanced

Proper positioning and support using pillows and padding ensures comfort and safety for the mother and baby. Various techniques and adaptations are used as the client progresses through the pregnancy, and massage may be performed whilst she is lying on her side or seated.

Not only can massage be physically beneficial, but the human touch can be comforting and provide emotional support during pregnancy. Regular massage throughout the pregnancy is also said to shorten labour time and to hasten the return to optimal fitness after birth.

Treat Yourself

When did you last have a massage? Or maybe you have never tried one. Have you experienced  any of the types mentioned above? If so which is your favourite?. Why not practice some self care and go get yourself a treatment soon!

 

 

Comments

  1. You must have read my mind, i was just thinking how good a massage would be 🙂 I love the hot stone massages they are really good, my thing to do next week is source a massage.
    Sarah recently posted..If you could be?My Profile

  2. My best friend does infant massage classes at the local neighbourhood centre. Personally, I love a head, neck and shoulder massage, and I do need to have more regular treatments.
    Michelle Nichols recently posted..Great Customer ServiceMy Profile

  3. I adore massages and just had one a few days ago! I am so lucky to live a mile from a massage school 😉 I’ve promised myself to go more often in 2013!
    Louise Myers Graphic Design recently posted..Small Business Marketing: What’s in Store for 2013?My Profile

  4. Did you change your cover image? Looks good! I love getting massages but very rarely ever get one.
    Stacey Myers recently posted..Using Testimonials to Generate LeadsMy Profile

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