ULTIMATE GUIDE TO MASSAGE
This is Part of Our Larger Series on Alternative Wellness Therapies, where we will be discussing Cryotherapy, Massage, and Chiropractic.
Massage – is a Wellness therapy involving the manipulation (rubbing, kneading) of the body’s soft tissue. The general purpose for massage is to relieve pain, tension, and stress.
The professionally trained person giving the massage is known as a massage therapist, masseuse (female), or masseur (male). Some form of massage has been with us since the beginning of time and is a very important part of the Wellness Spectrum.
POWER OF TOUCH
The power of touch spans the gamut of the very essence of life itself. It is the first sense/language we learn and develop as a baby.
Further, many people forget that our skin is our largest organ. Yes, on the surface, it is to hold our innards from spilling out of us lol, and to stop infections from entering our bodies, but it is much more profound than that.
On an emotional level, touch is of great importance. A 2009 study from Depauw University found that our ability to decode emotions through non verbal touch. Volunteers attempted to communicate a list of emotions, such as anger, sympathy, fear, and sadness, to a blindfolded stranger. The results were remarkable!
The accuracy rates were as high as 78%, much more than the predicted 25%. More importantly, this has been duplicated in numerous studies throughout the world.
Consequently, we can see how the power of touch in regards to a massage can be a game-changer for some people who are struggling with pain, anxiety, or stress.
TOP TEN BENEFITS
- REDUCE PAIN/STIFFNESS – Increases blood flow and flexibility to the particular area; Disrupts pain pathways to the brain.
- STRESS RELIEF – A little time out for yourself and the pleasure of relaxing touch can do wonders for the mind.
- DECREASE ANXIETY/DEPRESSION – These can go hand in hand with Stress issues and many can get the same benefits.
- IMMUNE BOOST – Numerous Studies have shown that regular massage can create a stronger immune system.
- BETTER LYMPHATIC SYSTEM – Promotes better Lymph circulation which increases fluid to the muscles and rinses out toxins and fights disease.
- IMPROVED BLOOD CIRCULATION – In tandem with the Lymph System, Massage promotes Better blood circulation throughout the body providing essential oxygen throughout your body.
- DIABETES MANAGEMENT – Helps control sugar levels in the blood, especially for children.
- BETTER SLEEP – Obviously, most massages are a very relaxing procedure, which calms your body for a more restorative night’s sleep.
TYPES OF MASSAGE
- SWEDISH – The most popular in the U.S. Uses circular and long strokes with kneading and uses lotion or oil for better results.
- SHIATSU – Japanese massage that targets acupressure points on the body with the tips of the fingers. The pressure to each location is typically held for a few seconds.
- AROMATHERAPY – Is similar to the popular Swedish massage, but with the addition of Essential Oils. Scents are based on the individual needs. Great for De-Stressing.
- HOT STONE – Uses heated stones on specific areas of the body to loosen tight muscles and damaged soft tissue. The masseuse can also hold them while giving the massage.
- THAI – Helps bring the body’s energy back into harmony by using gentle/firm pressure on targeted locations. The masseuse will stretch and use different positions so you are not just laying down.
- SPORTS – Typically for people who are active in fitness and regular exercise, which focuses on injury prevention or recovery.
- DEEP TISSUE – Targets deep tissue and muscle layers using longer, slow strokes. Typically one will be sore for a day or two afterwards.
- PRENATAL – Has to be done by a certified masseuse in pregnancy massage, great for reducing stress and to decrease swelling.
- REFLEXOLOGY – Uses pressure points in the foot which are connected to different organs and systems throughout the body.
There are many more, however these are the most common massages that are used by millions of people each day.
In the past, many people have thought a massage was just a special treat, similar to a facial or a manicure. However, as research has expanded into this area of wellness, we now know the physical and mental health benefits of regular massage can have on the mind and body.
Remember, your skin is your largest organ and it is often the most neglected. So if you think you can benefit from a massage why not try it!
Also, we suggest to get a good organic CBD Lotion to bring much needed nutrients and hydration to the skin.