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Benefits of Massage

 

 

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Consider Massage Therapy for

Massage is not capable of curing serious or life-threatening medical disorders, but it is possible to provide welcome relief from the symptoms of anxiety, tension, depression, insomnia, stress and back pain.  In addition, massage is widely used for touch therapy for those suffering from post-traumatic stress due to abuse or neglect.  Massage therapy is frequently recommended for the treatment of minor sports injuries and repetitive stress injuries, and for the enhancement of physical conditioning.  Some people find that it even relieves such digestive disorders as constipation.

 

How the treatments are done

There are many types of massage techniques in use today.  The most common variation combines the five basic strokes of Swedish massage:

Effleurage - Slow, gliding strokes in the direction of the blood flow to the heart.  Most often the massage therapist uses the whole hand and gradually applies an increasing amount of pressure.  

Petrissage - Kneading and rolling of the muscle groups.  The massage therapist will take hold of the tissue and alternately tighten and loosen her grasp.

Friction - Steady pressure or tight circular movements across muscle fibers without moving across the skin, often used in areas around joints.

Percussion - Drumming hand movements on broad areas of the body, particularly the back.  Techniques include beating with the side of loosely clenched fists; cupping or striking with he fingertips and heel of the hand; hacking, rapid chopping motions with the edge of the hand; and clapping, using the flattened hand to clap rapidly over fleshy areas.

Vibration - Entails rapid movements by the therapist to transmit an oscillating action to he patient; mechanical vibrators are often used for this purpose.  Jostling requires rapid shaking of a muscle back and forth, usually for a brief period.

 

What you hope to accomplish with massage therapy

Massage is nothing more than a systematic manual application of pressure and movement to the soft tissue of the body -- the skin, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and fascia.  It encourages healing by promoting the flow of blood and lymph, relieving tension, stimulating nerves, and stretching and loosening muscles and connective tissue to keep them elastic.

Before physical exercise, massage helps get blood moving to assist in the warm-up.  Massage after a workout has been shown to reduce the waste products (lactic and carbonic acid) that buildup in muscles after exercise and cause cramping and discomfort.  there is also some scientific evidence to support claims that massage enhances the immune system and aids recovery from soft tissue injuries by increasing blood circulation to injured areas.

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Last modified: April 17, 2001