Massage therapy has a long and respected history. The ancient Egyptians and Chinese practiced it around 2,500 B.C and they used it for healing and relaxation. As time went by it fell into disuse as orthodox medicine came to be practiced more widely around the world. However, it is now seeing a big revival due to people returning to alternative and more natural forms of wellness and health practices.
Now, I would like to debunk the common perception that massages are only for the elite, wealthy or privileged, or those who have a lot of leisure time. Massage therapy is for everyone. With today’s demanding and hectic lifestyles, increased stress, sedentary jobs, sitting in front of computer screens or playing with our mobile phones or tablets, and travelling to and fro with no time for exercise; we all need ways to improve our circulation and relieve tension.
Stress has become a major part of our lives and it is a killer. I believe we are all aware of this with the increased cases of hypertension, diabetes, heart disease and strokes with their attendant problems. In fact, an article by the Mayo Clinic staff in the USA lists some of the benefits one can get from massage therapy.
Massage therapy is an extremely effective way to relieve stress and tension. When you have a massage, the various strokes used on the body provide better blood circulation and intake of oxygen to the muscles and tissues.
This promotes a feeling of relaxation, reduces fatigue, improves concentration and gives better sleep quality. It can also help with boosting the immune system and lowering blood pressure. Massage therapy relieves pain in areas such as the back, neck, shoulders and legs, and has often proven effective at relieving migraines and tension headaches.
A little known fact is that massage therapy can help soothe depression and anxiety, according to an article by Katherine Watts for Best Health Magazine.
It also provides you with a feel-good experience as well as being extremely therapeutic for the entire body.
There are various types of massage and some of them include Swedish massage, Deep Tissue massage, Hot Stone massage, and Reflexology massage.
Swedish massage is the most often requested. It involves the use of various strokes such as effleurage (long gliding strokes), petrissage (kneading or squeezing), tapotement (tapping or patting) for relaxation and relief from tension.
Deep Tissue massage involves the use of more pressure and is most often used for the relief of muscle and joint pain.
Hot Stone massage involves the use of heated stones which are placed on energy or trigger points of the body and can also used in the massage process. The stones allow for deeper heat penetration into the muscles and tissues and provides a very therapeutic experience.
Reflexology is mainly done on the feet and can alleviate pain and other problems in various parts of the body with a session.
Regular massage therapy is helpful with various conditions such as –:
Joint and muscle pain
Chronic back pain
And helps with providing -:
Improved sleep quality
Greater range of motion (Increasing flexibility in stiff limbs)
Don’t you think these are good reasons to make massage therapy a regular part of your life? We make time for all kinds of activities in our lives. We should endeavour to put time aside for our own well-being. After all, we don’t need to suffer a health breakdown before we take measures to address it.
If you include regular massage therapy sessions into your lifestyle, your body will say a big thank you and it will work better for you as well.