Massage therapy has a long history in cultures around the world. Today, people use many different types of massage therapy for a range of health-related purposes. It is also being used in clinics as a part of complementary and alternative medicine.
Massage is a form of therapy that involves pressing, rubbing and manipulating skin, muscles, tendons and ligaments. Massage therapists commonly use their hands and fingers when massaging. Sometimes, forearms, elbows and feet can be used.
Styles used in massage therapy range from long, smooth strokes to short, percussive strokes. In some cases, oils and lotions are used. Most massage therapies require no clothing, but some do not require removal of clothing. A massage can last anywhere from 5 minutes to 2 hours.
Common Types of Massage
There many types of massage, but the most popular types include Swedish massage, deep tissue massage, sports massage and trigger point massage.
Swedish massage uses long strokes, kneading, deep circular movements, vibration and tapping, promoting the body’s hormonal response and immune function. The four common strokes of Swedish massage include effleurage (smooth glide), petrissage (squeeze, roll or knead), friction (deep circular rub) and tapotement (short, alternate tap with cupped hands, fingers or edge of the hand).
Deep Tissue Massage
Deep tissue massage concentrates on the deep layers of muscle and fascia in the body. Many doctors recommend this type of massage as a treatment option. It involves deep finger pressure and slow, firm strokes, which is beneficial in treating a variety of physical ailments.
Sports massage focuses on the areas of the body that are overused and stressed as a result of repetitive and often aggressive movements from sports training and performance. This type of massage can also help enhance movements and shorten recovery time for maximum performance during training or after an event.
Trigger Point Massage
Trigger point massage focuses on areas of tight muscle fibers caused by injury or overuse by stretching the trigger point’s knotted muscle fibers. It increases circulation, which has been restricted in the immediate area, allowing oxygen and nutrients to flow to the spot.
Alleviates Anxiety and Depression
Massage is relaxing, which can also soothe anxiety and depression. It reduces levels of stress hormone cortisol, lifting your spirit and often lowers blood pressure. It can also boost neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine, which help elevate your mood.
Reduces Stress and Eases Pain
Massage therapy lowers cortisol, which is produced in response to stress. As cortisol levels decline, the natural painkiller serotonin increases. By lowering cortisol and increasing serotonin, massage can boost your body’s ability to lower pain. According to a 2011 study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, it was found that massage therapy is as effective as other methods of treatment for chronic back pain.
Massage stimulates the flow of blood and lymph, which therefore enhances circulation. Like a tube of toothpaste, when pressure is applied, toothpaste flows out more smoothly. The same thing applies to your blood and lymph flow when you get a massage.
In conclusion, massage has the ability to promote well-being and reduce the effects of stress. Massage is a therapeutic procedure that has become well-known as one of the best ways to deal with stress that is so common in today’s world.
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