Massage therapy can offer great health benefits. It works on the natural instinctive response to respond to pain by rubbing and holding the area. A massage practitioner used his or her hands as powerful tools to help heal sports injuries and promote wellness. Wellness is found not only in vitamins, minerals, and daily glyconutrients, but in other things as well, such as massage therapy. There are several popular types of massage. Some types of massage focus on sports injuries and performance enhancement while others focus on relieving stress and improving circulation.
Swedish massage was developed by a Swedish fencing master in the late eighteenth century. It is hailed as the first systematic application of therapeutic massage in the West. This type of massage therapy is based on European folk massage involving oriental techniques from the Middle East. Each stroke and manipulation of muscles is intended to deliver a specific therapeutic benefit. Swedish massage offers the main goal of speeding the venous return of unoxygenated blood and toxic blood from the extremities of the body. It also shortens the recovery time of muscular strain. This occurs because the manipulation of the tissues flushes them of the lactic acid, uric acid and other metabolic wastes that can lurk there. Swedish massage is often used as a stress management tool.
Shiatsu massage has its origins in the Chinese beliefs of Ch’i (circulation of subtle energy) through meridians or passageways throughout the body. These meridians have specific points that correspond to certain internal organs and the body’s metabolism. Shiatsu massage involves manipulating these points on the meridian to stimulate the corresponding organs. It is used as a form of healing, but is also used for stress relief, relaxation and a general feeling of well-being. As the therapist manipulates the specified areas, the patient breathes in coordination with the massage.
Sports massage is a combination of Swedish massage and shiatsu. Developed by Jack Meager, the official masseur for the United States Olympic Equestrian Team, sports massage employs the manipulation of muscle groups specific to the muscle groups used in certain sports. It is beneficial in helping to heal strained muscles and it allows healthy muscles to reach peak condition. This makes it a great preventative measure for sports related injuries.
Medical massage is used to prevent the atrophy of muscles in the cases of broken bones. It can also reduce the inflammation that is caused by strains and sprains and sciatica and lumbago. It increases the circulation of varicose ulcers and stimulate normal bowel movements. Actually, there are many benefits to medical massage.
Physiotherapy employs physical and mechanical means of massage or electricity. This type of massage uses electrical stimulation of certain muscles or muscle groups and is done on the referral of a doctor. This type of massage is often used in physical therapy. It may also include other therapies such as aroma therapy. It is focused on relaxation and increasing circulation. Sessions usually last an hour and involves participation of the patient as well as the massage therapist. Deep breathing exercises and relaxation aid the practitioner in making the massage therapy successful.