What is massage? And how does it work?
Massage can be described as specific manipulations to the soft tissues of the body which are achieved by the hands and arms. Specific massage Techniques can be performed over clothes such as Tui Na or a seated massage, but the most common is direct skin contact. A medium of some kind is required for skin contact such as a carrier oil to prevent friction of the skin.
During a massage the therapist will palpate the client’s body with his hands to determine the condition of the tissues and detect any physical or emotional problems. Once the source of pain (if any) is detected the therapist will then proceed with the correct form of massage techniques. It is these massage techniques that provide various pressures and stretches that aid movement of the muscles and soft tissues. This influences cleansing by eliminating acids and deposits which breaks up fibrous tissue and loosens stiff joints.
The massage also stimulates the nervous system encouraging the body natural ‘feel good’ chemicals, endorphin’s which influence relaxation and a general sense of well-being. It also encourages the production of cortisol and nor-adrenaline which the body uses to reduce stress levels and relieve pain.
Benefits of massage are:
- Improve circulation
- Sense of well being
- Induce relaxation
- Reduce stress
- Eliminate toxins and waste products
- Alleviate tension
- Reduce pain
- Increase mobility
There are some conditions that can prevent a person from receiving a treatment, but it is always advisable to seek advice from a doctor if in dout about any medical condition that is considered a contraindication for massage.
Conditions massage can be used for:
- Back pain
- Tension headaches
- Myofascial pain
- Raynaud’s disease