The History of Massage
The word “massage” is derived from the French word ‘massage’, which means friction by rubbing and describes the chief primary method used in this therapy. However, massage developed far much earlier. Historical records show that this kind of therapy was used by ancient civilizations of the Egyptians, Romans, Chinese, Greeks and Japanese. In one of Hippocrates’s books in 5th century BC, a method of rubbing the body to achieve relief is described and doctors advised people to use it. The Swedish type of massage was developed in Europe and is attributed to Peter Ling, who used it in his gymnastics in 1813. It is the most common massage therapy and was introduced in the US in 1830s by two brothers who were physicians: Dr. George and Dr. Charles Taylor.
The Benefits of Massage
It has now been accepted that massage therapy isan effective form of alternative medicine and can be used alongside other forms of treatments to enhance their effectiveness. Massage is used to alleviate chronic back pain, enhance immunity by stimulating lymph flow, which is the source of the body’s immunesystem. It also helps in treating atrophied muscles and strengthens the weak muscles.
The therapy is also useful in increasing body flexibility especially in the joints and is also used to combat stress, reduce anxiety and enhance the quality of sleep. Patients with cancer and arthritis also benefit greatly from massage therapy as it improves blood circulation by stretching the blood vessels, which in turn leads to better flow of oxygen in the body.
Massage therapy helps to reduce cramping and fatigue and enables sportsmen and women to maintain top body form and performance. It can also be done to combat inflammation and even burn patients can benefit from its healing power. You can find more information on the benefits of massage at http://www.biocentro.cl/masaje_descontracturante/
Types of Massage Therapy
With the development of massage over the years, there has been an increase in the types of massage and the techniques used. Some of the most common are outline below.
The Swedish massage is the most popular type of massage. It is makes use of long strokes and circular movements to achieve a relaxing effect. Natural oils are also used in this massage. Here, five major strokes are used on several parts of the body.
This form of massage originated from Japan and is done by the pressing the pressure points along the body using the fingers. The points are held for some time to increase blood flow.
Another form of massage is the sports massage. In this massage, the emphasis is not relaxation but improved athletic performance and recovery from sports injury. Faster strokes and facilitated stretching are characteristics of the massage.
In this massage, pressure is applied to certain points of the feet and results to relief in other body parts. The therapy is also called foot massage and is used to people with sore feet and other ailments.
The other popular form of massage is aromatherapy. In this therapy, the usual form of massage is combined with scented plant oils. The plants’ oils aroma is relaxing and energizing. Aromatherapy is mainly used to relieve stress. The most common plant used is lavender.
Hot Stone Massage
In the Hot Stone massage, hot stones are gently placed on pressure points to relieve points. They may also be used to exert pressure on the points. This massage helps to loosen tight muscles.
Deep Tissue Massage
In this form of massage, pressure is applied directly to the body muscles using finger tips, elbows and arms. The strokes are slower and repetitive. The therapy targets deep lying tissue and help remove toxins.
Thai massage works by applying pressure gently at certain body points. It also includes compressing and stretching. This form of massage is very energizing compared to others.
Trigger Points Massage
One can also use the trigger points massage which focuses on the sensitive parts of muscle tissue to relieve pain and injury.
Cranial Therapy Massage
This form of therapy involves the therapist gently rubbing the head and skull. It is used to treat mental stress and migraines among other ailments.
Chair Massage Therapy
In this therapy, a special chair is used for comfort. The massage makes use of various squeezing, gliding and compressing techniques.
Massage Tips and Techniques
Various massage techniques are used depending on the kind of massage. However, the most common ones include kneading, stretching and compressing. Stroking is also a common method of massaging and id done with varying intensity. Pressure points are the main focus during a massage. Some tips you can follow to enjoy your massage include relaxing and breathing throughout, communicating with the therapist, loosening up your muscles and maintaining a peaceful mind.