Take a Body Massage For Health Benefits
Our lives are full of stress. Stress increases health issues. People of young age suffer from blood pressure, anxiety issues, digestive issues, headaches, insomnia, etc. It has been found that the best natural therapy for the stressful lifestyle is massage therapy.
While not much has been advertised about massage therapy, it is becoming very popular. Initially getting a massage was difficult as one needed to go to luxurious spa. Not anymore. These days you can get a massage at business centers, airports, clinics and hospitals as well as personal massagers. Other benefits if you are in a gym mean you can also use the club facilities to help relax even more, like a sauna and spa. My favorites.
Massage means pressing and rubbing you skin, muscles, tendons and ligaments. Massage may wary from light rub to deep pressure rub.
What Are The Different Types of Massage
In this type of massage, long strokes, deep circling movements, kneading, tapping and vibrations are used to relax your mind and body. What are the benefits of Swedish Massage? A Swedish massage is a relaxing and invigorating experience that increases oxygen flow in the blood and releases toxins.
By using gentle, but firm pressure, a Swedish massage can:
- improve circulation
- ease muscle aches
- reduce muscle tension
- improve flexibility
- create relaxation
Swedish massage stimulates the skin, the nerves, muscles and glands, while promoting health and well being. When used for injuries such as muscle strain, Swedish massage shortens recovery time by flushing the tissues of uric acid, lactic acid, and other metabolic waste. Swedish massage increases circulation without increasing heart load, and stretches the ligaments and tendons keeping them supple and pliable. A Swedish Massage is excellent for reducing both physical and emotional stress and can be used as part of a stress management program.
Swedish Massage – How Does it Work?
Developed by physiologist, Pehr Henrick Ling at the University of Stockholm in 1812, Swedish massage is perhaps the most popular and commonly known of all massage treatments.
The techniques of Swedish massage involve long gliding strokes, kneading of individual muscles, friction, hacking or tapping, vibration and effleurage.
- Effleurage: Gliding strokes with the palms, thumbs and/or fingertips
- Petrissage: Kneading movements with the hands, thumbs and/or fingers
- Friction: Circular pressures with the palms of hands, thumbs and/or fingers
- Vibration: Oscillatory movements that shake or vibrate the body
- Percussion: Brisk hacking or tapping
- Passive and active movements: bending and stretching
- Each type of stroke offers different benefits.
Is Swedish Massage Safe for Everyone?
In general, Swedish massage is considered relatively safe. However certain medical conditions require caution. These include cardiovascular conditions and heart disease especially in cases of thrombosis, phlebitis and oedema.
Pregnant women should avoid massage on the abdomen during the first three months of pregnancy when the risk of miscarriage is highest.
If in doubt you should inform your physician prior to seeking treatment.
Swedish Massage – What Happens During a Session?
During a Swedish massage your body is draped in a sheet. The therapist uncovers one part at a time, massages the area, before covering it up again and moving on to the next area. Oils and lotions are used along with mostly gliding and kneading strokes in order to promote relaxation. A full body Swedish massage usually lasts 60 to 90 minutes.
In deep massage the strokes are slower and forceful and the target is deep layers of muscles and connective tissues. This massage is for those who have suffered muscle damage from injuries. Deep massage is a therapy that fundamentally seeks to activate the muscle tissue that is deeper from the skin surface. It is very strong in pressure and is a lot more targeted in particular spots when compared with typical relaxation massage techniques.
Deep massage is normally performed by the practitioners to relieve pains and aches including muscle strain and muscle knots. It can often be a bit more unpleasant than the usual traditional relaxation massage because the pressure is normally heavier and more intensive. This pressure is done purposely as a technique for relieving the strain inside the muscles at body areas where they are difficult to reach.
Deep massage normally calls for the practitioner to apply strong finger pressure with slow strokes to the particular contracted muscles of the body. The strategy is to use deeper and more direct pressure on your body than the usual relaxation massage.
In general, deep massage is the application of science and pressure by pressing over the muscle grain. It is verified to aid the patient with the contracted or painful parts of their bodies. It is also defined above other relaxation techniques or body comforting approaches. This type of massage can even assist to split up and get rid of scarring in those people whose scars are fairly small and painless to touch.
This massage is given to sports persons to prevent to treat small injuries. This style is similar to the Swedish massage.
Massage therapy has become an essential part of any athletic training regimen, ranging from sports medicine clinics to college athletic training programs, to Olympic training programs and professional sports team training. Increasing numbers of athletic trainers and sports medicine specialists worldwide believe that massage provides an additional edge to athletes participating in high performance sports.
A complete workout encompasses not only the exercise itself, but also caring for the minor injuries and deterioration that naturally occurs in the body with strenuous activities. Anyone who regularly extends their physical limits through movement such as running, cycling, hiking, swimming, football, basketball, dancing, tennis, strength training and any other sort of aerobic activity can benefit from a massage. Integrating massage into any training or conditioning program because it lessens stiffness and soreness, and helps you to recover faster from heavy workouts, and relieves conditions which may cause injury.
What Is A Sports Massage?
Typically, a sports massage is an amalgamation of several massage techniques that are customized to your affected muscle groups based on the athletic activities that you perform. There are two types of sports massage that benefit athletes, depending on where you are in your training and competition season, and when you schedule your appointment.
If you have a race or competition coming up, you will want to receive a lighter massage. Light massage work will flush your system and help with recovery, relaxation and pain reduction. Deep massage work can change your muscle structure and muscle memory, which you’d want to avoid doing before any major event.
If you’re in between events and have specific problem areas, then during your session, you’d want to work on those specific areas with deep tissue work. Deep tissue work focuses on realigning deeper layers of muscles and connective tissue, and is recommended for individuals who experience constant pain, are involved in heavy physical activity, such as athletes, and people who have sustained physical injury.
Why Should I Get A Sports Massage?
Just as continual improvement is the reason why most athletes continue to train during their off-season, cross-train with other athletic activities, put in hours in the gym, and push to train through all kinds of conditions.
Just as you can justify hammering up hills on the bike, or training in the pouring rain to enhance your performance, those are the same reasons to get a good sports massage. After a sports massage, your body will feel more flexible and powerful, the irritating aches and pains can be addressed, and you can help reduce the possibility of injury.
One of the best reasons to get a sports massage is to assist your muscles, tendons and joints to move through their full range of motion and stay in optimal shape. Just as you’re supposed to do a pre-workout warm-up, you want your muscles to be pliable and your joints to be warmed up before strenuous activity.
Most injuries are brought into the picture by overusing muscles. Overuse can result in soreness, pain, and inflammation. Regularly scheduled sports massage can decrease the chances of overuse injuries in the first place, and can also help reduce any inflammation that could potentially lead to injury. Sports massage can also lessen the possibility of injury recurrence.
Massage is the most effective modality for treating soft-tissues injuries such as strains, sprains and stress injuries. Sports massage works to promote proper healing to scar tissues, reduce pain from recovering injuries, and loosen tight muscle areas.
Sports massage also works to increase focus and decrease stress, which can help to put you in the best state of mind psychologically before your next event. A quick paced massage can also leave you feeling rejuvenated and invigorated, allowing you to train to the best of your ability throughout the year.
How Often Should You Get a Sports Massage?
It depends on your sport, how active you are, and the intensity of your training schedule. Most professional athletes have sports massages three to four days a week, amateur and collegiate athletes typically once to twice a week.
On average, an athlete should get one massage per week or a minimum of one per month. For those of you that are weekend warriors, we would strongly recommend at least twice a month, since your training isn’t a regimented as amateur or professional athletes, and your body will take longer to recover. The number of recommended massages may seem extreme, but massages go a long way to help prevent injury.
When Should I Get a Sports Massage?
People respond in various ways to massage treatments, so we recommend trying them at different times during your training to determine what works best for you. A lot of people prefer doing maintenance work during their training, and then scheduling massages a couple days after major events for recovery sessions.
Trigger Point Massage
This massage is carried out on the areas of tight muscle fibers that are formed due to over use or due to injury. Massage therapy usually involves techniques to increase circulation, relieve tension, reduce stress, relieve anxiety, improve sleep, and promote relaxation throughout body. Have you ever noticed that when you are stressed or overworked a massage can work wonders? The problem is that you’ll often find that the one place you can’t reach yourself is the place that needs massaging the most.
Between the shoulder blades or lower down your back seem to be the worst culprits. Even if you can reach some of the knots like the back of your neck or should you can’t apply enough pressure to work out the knots. This is where trigger point therapy tools come into play. A trigger point therapy tool such as the Body Back Buddy Massage Cane or the Thera Cane Back Massager can allow you to reach the trigger points that you can’t reach yourself.
These massage therapy tools have been developed over recent years by chiropractors and massage professionals to allow you to self massage with amazing accuracy and results . You only need to read the reviews on sites such as amazon to see how useful they are. Out of 57 reviews 48 gave the Body Back Buddy 5 stars and 7 gave it 4 stars. Basically these things work and do what they are supposed to do.
These tools have many benefits such as:
- They can help to release sore muscle trigger points with shiatsu massage/ pressure massage
- They make it easy to reach hard to reach shoulder and back trigger points
- They can be beneficial for shiatsu treatment of Fibromyalgia trigger points
- Allows you to self treat knotted muscles in your neck and back
- They may help to reduce muscle pain by means of direct applied pressure
- They can work out knots in hard to reach places.
Massage Therapy tools generally come in two types, collapsible which are great for traveling and the sturdier one piece cane which is perfect for use at home or in the office. The canes are simple to use just locate the area that needs treatment and then apply the cane. No matter where the ache or know you’ll always have a ball within reach of just the right area. If you are looking for an ideal gift for a friend or family member a trigger point therapy tool coupled with a book on shiatsu massage will make the perfect gift
Benefits of a Massage
Massage initially was not very popular. But these days, massage has become a part of the regular treatment and is often recommended to the patients with a wide range of medical conditions. Studies have shown that massage demonstrates an effective treatment for reducing stress, pain and muscle tension. While not much is still known about the benefits of a massage, it is found to be helpful in
- Digestive disorders
- Soft tissues pain and injuries
- Sports injuries
- Weight gain
- Reduce pain
The other commonly known benefits of a massage are
It Is Relaxing
The massage relaxes the body thoroughly. It decreases the stress level. It also improves the mood. Body under stress produces cortisol which harms the body. Massage helps regulate this hormone and reduces stress level.
Can Help Reduces Stress
Massage works on the hormones that produce stress in the body and wash them out making you feel cared, relaxed and stress free.
Can Help to Lower Blood-Pressure
Massages are found to be so relaxing that even the blood pressure level goes down.
Can Aid In Muscle Relaxationf
When your muscles are rubbed and stretched and kneaded well, the tension leaves from your body. The muscles relax and make you feel light.
Helps To Improve Circulation
When your pressure points and pressed and released, your blood flows with full force. This helps in improving circulation.
Many experience back, neck, and muscle pain due to various reasons. But the main reason is the posture. Being overweight, poor posture, and repetitive or overuse movements are also the cause of pain. Massage helps get you body in proper posture again.
Improves and Strengthens The Immune System
The immune system of the human body gets affected due to high level of stress. People leading a stressful life are more prone to illness. Our body’s immune system is naturally equipped to fight against infections, pathogens, and bacteria. But due to massage therapy, the important points in your body are activated and they help boost the immune system.
Helps in Weight Reduction
Some not well known benefits of massage are
- Fights depression
- Improves cardiovascular health
- Helps in osteoarthritis
- Helps reduce stress in cancer patients
- Improves balance
- Helps dementia
- Helps in carpel tunnel pain
- Joint pains reduces
- Helps during chemotherapy
- Helps in strengthening muscles in kids
- Helps in slip disc
- Gaining body strength post pregnancy
- Boosting immune system