In 2010, in any major metropolitan city, massage is offered in spas, salons, hospitals, clinics and even airports. If you have never tried massage before, it’s time for you to find out and discover first-hand what all the benefits are and what to expect during a massage session.
As we learned last article, massage is the art and science of touch. So, a skilled massage therapist can press, rub, pull, friction, generally manipulating the soft tissues (muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia, nerves) of the body via its “ground substance.” The massage practitioner will typically use their hands, and fingers as well as elbows or even their feet. Pressure during a massage can range from steady and light to firm and hard, depending on the individual needs of the client and the modality used.
According to the folks at Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massage, there are approximately 250 different types of massage. Now, in real world, for the most part, when you go receive a massage, the 2 most common massages given today are Swedish and Deep Tissue.
Swedish massage is the most basic massage style taught in massage therapy schools around the country. It is a gentle form of massage that may apply long, broad strokes, kneading, circular, vibration or tapping movements. The person undresses and is draped with sheets and towels and lotion or oil is applied. A session typically lasts from 50-60 minutes and usually you can feel your entire physical body become deeply relaxed and your mind is calm and serene.
Deep tissue massage is similar to Swedish massage and uses some of the same techniques but the movement of the stroke is slower, with more forceful, focused and deeper pressure. The goal is to target knotted areas, release chronic muscle tension and help with muscle damage from injuries. Other benefits include reducing inflammation and helping to eliminate scar tissue. Sometimes the deeper pressure may be slightly uncomfortable and cause temporary soreness which will fade shortly afterward.
In the U.S., massage is considered part of complementary and alternative medicine. In the world today, it’s increasingly being offered along with mainstream treatment for a wide range of medical conditions and situations
While the U.S. wants more research done to confirm the benefits of massage, most studies and recipients have found massage helpful for:
Stress relief – Managing anxiety and depression – Pain – Stiffness – Blood pressure control – Migraines – Sports-related injuries – Boosting immunity – Raising energy levels – decreasing fatigue
The next time you notice tension or pain and stress in your body, get a massage.