Archive for the ‘Massage Therapy’ Category

Benefits of Regular Massage

One of the most common forms of physical therapy in recent times has been massage. Massage has many benefits which have led to many variations of therapy to be commonplace. In this article, you are going to learn of the benefits that have been associated with this age-old practice.

One of the main ailments that massage therapy has been recommended for is the relief of stress. When you are stressed, your body builds up a lot of toxins. Mental stress can lead to physical tension, which reduces blood flow to those specific regions of the body. Consequently, this produces various reactions that bring about the reduction of the body defense mechanism and causing you to be more susceptible to disease.

Through the procedure of kneading the body muscles in massage, you provide a mechanical flow of blood to these areas. The fresh blood takes nutrients and oxygen to the various tissues and forces out the toxins that have built up in the muscle tissue. This leads to you feeling revitalized and stress free.

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Another common use of massage is for the alleviation of pain in people with soft tissue injuries. If you were to closely observe what you do when you get a knock on a part of your body, you will immediately start rubbing the part affected immediately. By doing this, you are in fact massaging the area to avoid a swelling. When you are knocked, the body releases a lot of tissue fluid to the affected area and this causes an inflammation to the area. Through massage, the tissue fluid that causes the inflammation is drained. This will consequently ease the pain that is associated with such a knock and hence the healing time is drastically reduced. This is mainly practiced in sports where such incidences are common.

Massage can also be used for aching muscles and general well being especially if you have a busy schedule and lack the time to exercise regularly. Massage has been shown to cause an increase of blood and lymph circulation, causing you to feel invigorated and rejuvenated after the procedure. All these are as a result of the movement of lymph fluid which is responsible for the removal of waste products in the body.

With these benefits outlined, it is of importance that you should always aim to go for regular massage so as to experience the beauty and benefits that come with this age-old practice. This will lead you to feeling physically strong with a lot of life-force energy.

Hand and Arm Massage Techniques

With the immense benefits that massage offers, it is an advantage for you to learn a few procedures that you can perform at home so that it is not always necessary to go to the massage clinic for an expensive session. One of the easiest forms of massage that you can give and receive is massage of the hands and arms. This article presents some quick and simple massage techniques that you can perform and immediately employ.

One of the main reasons why this form of massage is important is because our arms and hands are constantly used for all of our various day-to-day activities. It is only fair that they undergo healing massage on occasion so that they can retain their desired strength and continue to perform their required functions.

When you massage the hands and arms, you increase blood circulation to the area. This is suggested to be beneficial in preventing diseases such as arthritis, which can be precipitated by blood that is not flowing freely.

To begin the massage, you need to apply an oil which allows the movements that you will make when kneading the muscles in the treatment. You can start by applying this oil to one hand while using the other for the massage.

– Bend one arm at the elbow and start by massaging the wrist area in little circles.
– You are then to work in a circular motion to the end of the fingers and back five times.
– You can also stretch each finger and then the thumb in turns in between the finger and the thumb. This serves to stimulate the flow of blood to these areas.
– You then follow this procedure by rotating your fingers clockwise for a few moments and anticlockwise for a few moments.
– The hand is then turned over and gently rubbed from the center of the wrist to the palm. This procedure should preferably be done with alternate thumbs. This causes an effect of relaxation to the nervous system, making you feel refreshed and revitalized.

With the assistance of the recipient, you can rotate their hands at the end of the wrist clockwise and then anticlockwise. This also helps them in building the strength of their wrist to avoid fragility.

The arm can also be bent at the elbow and placed across the chest, while your free hand is used to massage that arm from the shoulder down to their elbow.

Finally you can bring the arm down to their side and rub the whole arm in one long movement. When you complete this, it is recommended that you repeat the same movement after covering the arm. with a towel so that any excess oil is not left on the skin.

The massage techniques outlined above will not only relieve the body of tension and pain experienced in the arms and hands, but will also produce beautiful and well tendered arms. This will lead to relaxation and a sense of well-being in you.

Underwater Massage

More and more people are becoming aware of the health benefits of massage. A good massage can reduce stress and sooth aches and pains, making you feel more relaxed and rejuvenated. Another form of therapy that can provide great relaxation and healing is hydrotherapy, which uses water to relieve pain and treat illnesses. It is now possible for you to reap the benefits of these two kinds of therapy at the same time, and that is to go for an underwater massage.

It refers to a therapeutic treatment that uses a stream of water to massage the body. To receive this kind of massage, you have to lie in a bathtub, submerged in water that is 34 to 37 degrees Celsius. The stream of water comes from a nozzle, and it is applied at a pressure of 100 to 300 kPa. The nozzle is placed about two or three inches from the part of the body that is being massaged. The direction of the stream of water is changed according to the rules of massage, and the massage is performed in the same way as a manual massage, with rubbing stroking, and vibration. The therapist will move the nozzle in circular clockwise motions, working from the periphery to the center. The water from the nozzle may be enhanced with substances that are beneficial to your health, such as radon and sulphur. For the best effect, some spas may use mineral water to fill up the tub. Depending on which spa or massage center you go to, an underwater massage session can last between 15 to 30 minutes.This therapy is very beneficial, and it can restore balance and harmony to your body. The warm water that is used in the therapy makes your body feel less tensed and stressed. Performed with varying pressure, the massage can enhance the health of your skin as well as the deeper layers of your muscles, joints, and internal organs. As such, it can increase muscle elasticity and joint mobility. It is also effective in improving your blood and lymph circulation, making the tissues and organs in your body healthier. Additionally, underwater massage can be performed to treat minor aches, pains, and injuries. Athletes who are suffering from injuries can be treated with low pressure underwater massage. However, it is not a good idea to use this method to treat recent wounds and injuries. After you have received an underwater massage, you will immediately feel calmer, healthier, and cleaner. Underwater massage can be a wonderful treat if you are feeling really stressed and fatigued.

Nowadays, there are many spas and massage centers that offer underwater massage, and you can just call one of these places to find out about their packages or services. It is important that you make sure that the spa you choose has a qualified underwater massage therapist. The effectiveness of the therapy is largely dependent on the skills and experience of the therapist. If you manage to find a good therapist, you can rest assured that you will have a most pleasurable and invigorating underwater massage session.

Massage During Pregnancy

First of all, it just makes sense. Massage therapy during pregnancy is appropriate for tight muscles that are in partial spasm and are producing aching (or sometimes sharp) pain. Stiffness is often present as well. What pregnant woman doesn’t experience this at some point? The muscles are fatigued from working harder while carrying more weight in increasingly awkward positions. And if you have a history of musculoskeletal pain before becoming pregnant, you are more likely to have it during those 9 months.

Now for the first thing you probably didn’t know:

Massage therapy may be covered by your health insurance. Some insurance policies cover it. Some don’t. It depends on whether it it considered a “covered benefit.” And it has to be performed at a healthcare provider’s office who is a participating provider for your health insurance company.

Massage during pregnancy is performed mostly in the side lying position with the use of supporting pillows.

Is it worth the time and trouble to go to a massage therapist during pregnancy?

Absolutely. Massage relieves pain and stiffness. It is a natural healthcare method which relieves the effects of stress and promotes relaxation. Massage makes life easier during daily activities, but it also:

  1. Prepares the pelvis for an easier pregnancy and birth with better muscle tone
  2. Decreases abnormal tension of the muscles supporting the uterus which can cause problems such as abnormal fetal position at birth – especially important if you feel pulling or straining in the abdomen while stretching
  3. Minimizes likelihood of medical intervention with drugs and surgery

Something else you may not know:

Chiropractic care using the Activator Method is a great complement to prenatal massage. Activator Method combined with massage melts away muscle tension like nothing else.

With the Activator Method there is “no cracking, popping or twisting” associated with traditional chiropractic treatment methods. Instead, a hand held instrument called an Activator uses a controlled, fast thrust which is comfortable for patients.

And chiropractic care during pregnancy is safe. Results from a soon to be published study involving several hundred pregnant women receiving chiropractic care indicated no adverse effects. The only complications were slight soreness after the first treatment in a handful of patients which was was resolved by the second visit. These research results were initially presented by Dr. Jeanne Ohm, a chiropractic researcher and instructor (who is also in private practice) at the American College of Nurse Midwives annual meeting in Boston, May 2008.

The Effect Of Scents In Aromatherapy Massage

This method of massage therapy and a branch of herbal medicine uses the aid of scented oil to make the patient relax as he or she unwinds during the massage session. These scented oils are called essential oils which are plant extracts that have strong scents that are effective in soothing the patient while having no negative effects whatsoever.

Like most type of massage therapy, aromatherapy massage traces back its origin in Ancient China, Japan, Egypt and India. In the ancient days, massage therapists used herbs and flower extracts as their medium for an aromatherapy massage. Nowadays, massage parlors and spas have the liberty to add scented candles on their massage therapy session.

Although the process of massaging is almost similar to the popular types of massage therapy, it has the uniqueness and advantage of using any type of essential oil suited for various purposes intended for the patient’s needs for his or her medical care. There are essential oils that are good for relaxing, balancing, relieving stress, and recharging the strength of the patient.

An aromatherapy massage is commonly used on patients to relieve stress or any emotional-related conditions that needs to be washed out of the patient’s mind. This is because our nostrils are connected to the limbic system which is part of our brain that controls the hormones and the nervous system. This is why when you inhale the molecules of scented oils, our brain receives the message that affects our emotional system through the limbic system.

Each type of essential oil as mentioned above has different uses for our emotional related conditions. Some of these essential oils as well as their properties are listed below:

  • Lavender – this is a good scent to be used in calming the patient’s mood after a stressful day at work. This is probably one of the most commonly used essential oil on an aromatherapy massage session. It is known that lavender is good in balancing a person’s emotion and helps in getting the emotional control back.
  • Rosemary – it is believed to be an uplifting essential oil which belongs to the mint family found in the Mediterranean regions. It is a common and popular essential oil used on an aromatherapy massage as it also has healing properties on wounds (not on open wounds) as well has aids in renewing healthy skin and keeping hair luster.

Like any type of massage method, an aromatherapy massage is known to be effective in treating physical and emotional stress. Patients who have tried this type of therapeutic massage reported that it is an effective natural treatment against headache, back pain, digestive disorders and many more. Aromatherapy massage also ensures the patient a stress-free feeling emotionally and physically after the session.

Make sure that you consult first with your doctor before you make the decision on having an aromatherapy massage session. It is just a precautionary measure that as there is no records of serious problems related to any type of massage therapy which would raise the alarm among the patients.

Massage During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a very important time in a woman’s life and she has to take good care of her self during this period. There are many common problems that women face when they are pregnant. These include muscle cramps and aches in various parts of her body. She also goes through emotional highs and lows because of the stress of the impending birth and the presence of large amounts of hormones in the body. Massage is one of the best ways that she can keep herself feeling happy and comfortable during this time.

Massages offer a pregnant woman a wide range of benefits starting from relaxation and stress reduction. However, they also offer other benefits such as increased blood circulation. Pregnant women tend to suffer from sluggish blood circulation which leads to a variety of other problems. They also have problems with the elimination of wastes because of this. A regular massage helps to solve these problems and the woman feels a lot more healthy and active than before. Her unborn child also benefits from the massages because of the efficient distribution of nutrients throughout her body. Her skin tone also improves thanks to the massages and she is likely to not suffer from stretch marks. Even if they appear they will be very faint.

A pregnant woman should be very careful while getting massage because there are certain areas that should never be massaged during this period. The masseuse should stay away from her abdomen during this period because it is not safe for the unborn child. The expectant mother should also lie on her side while undergoing the therapy. She should never lie on her back during this period because this position cuts off blood circulation to the uterus which is extremely dangerous for the unborn child. She should also avoid getting massaged on tables that have cutouts that enable her to lie face down because this position puts a lot of unwanted strain on her lower back which is already under a lot of stress thanks to the pregnancy.


The massage that she gets should not be vigorous because that can result in the dislocation of joints. A pregnant woman’s body has a lot of hormones and one of them, Relaxin, has the ability to loosen joints in preparation of the birth of the child. You should also be careful that the floor you walk around on is not oiled because you should not risk falling down during this state. Your body should also not be too oiled for this reason.

A woman should only get a massage from a therapist who is experienced in dealing with pregnant women because their needs are very special. There are many therapists who specialize in offering this service and they are relatively easy to find. However, you should look for references for a good masseuse so that you get the best possible treatment. You will feel very comfortable during your pregnancy and your body will be better equipped to deal with the rigors that it puts upon you.

Massage Tables – An Underrated Luxury

Massage tables are often an underrated luxury because people get caught up in the fast pace of their daily existences, and simply forget to slow down and give their bodies the chances to relax that are so desperately needed. If you find the stress is building up on you, and you need a break from it all, purchasing your own table can be of ample benefit. You do not have to be a world class masseuse in order to enjoy the benefits of this amenity that too often goes unnoticed. You must simply keep the following details in mind:

1. Massage tables are a nice place to relax and meditate at the end of a long day. You don’t have to necessarily be getting a massage to enjoy it. People with back problems usually like the supportive but comfortable surface that these tables afford in healing and therapy. While you don’t want to simply purchase a table to sleep on, it never hurts to slow down, lay down, and take time to meditate by yourself. These tables can help you do just that.

2. You can get a lot of the predetermined use out of it by taking turns with your spouse or significant other. When each of you gives the other a full body massage, it can bring you closer together as a couple and grant you a form of intimacy that is often overlooked in the bedroom. Massage tables allow you both to role play in a way that is pleasing to the body and the spirit.

3. These tables could actually save you money or help you to negotiate with full time professionals looking for clients. Lugging around a massage table can be backbreaking work for the professional masseuse, and if you have one at your home or apartment, then it may be possible to get the masseuse to allow you furnishing of your own table to help reduce the labor costs. While some may frown upon the idea of negotiating costs, history has proven that everything is negotiable, massages notwithstanding. Take a chance and see what you can get by furnishing your very own table.

4. Realize that not all massage tables are created equally. Some are of weaker quality and cannot take as much weight on them as others. This may not be a problem if you are a lighter person, but keep in mind that wear and tear adds up more quickly on weaker tables, and you could soon be finding yourself in a position where you have to replace it anyway.

Once you keep these four considerations in mind, you will see that the massage table has a valuable place in your home as long as you buy the right kind.

Home Massage Techniques

Over thousands of years touch and massage have been used for universal communicating. We often touch our body every-time we hurt ourselves, and we also often use our healing touch when we our love ones are hurting both physically and emotionally. For a couple’s massage or partners in life applying a non sexual touch may help you to relax and relieved tension. Some easy methods that can help you apply. Swedish massage techniques are the most common type of techniques taught in this country. There are five basic kinds of strokes, that must be choreographed together to advance the whole body in just one session. The stroke is created as form of physical therapy, so to improved circulation, raise variety of motion and diminish scar tissue

This is the five Swedish massage traditional strokes

  1. Effleurage- is one of the most common massage techniques employed. Using a succession of light or deep stroking or gliding motions, the masseuse or masseur floats across the contours of the body. The therapist uses a flat surface, such as the hand or forearm. He or she moves with low-friction over large expanses of skin, applying moderate pressure.

    When done lightly, it provides a pleasant stimulation to the skin. Applied with more pressure, it can produce a positive effect on circulation. The joint result is a relaxing, soothing massage.

  2. Petrissage- is a massage technique that includes kneading, rubbing or rolling the belly of the muscle to stimulate circulation and relaxation and the release of toxins. The most common toxin in muscles is lactic acid which is a natural byproduct of our cellular respiration processes, especially during times of overuse of muscles when our natural detoxification systems cannot keep up.
  3. Compression- is one of the many methods that can be used to give a massage. Compression is usually done in a rhythmic manner. It helps soften tissue and prepare the muscles for deeper work. Massage therapists will often use compression when giving a chair/seated massage, but compression can also be used when the client is lying down. Compression is a good way to work someone who is fully clothed.
  4. Friction- is a particular movement used by the massage therapist during a massage. This movement goes in the direction of the veins in the body and is meant to warm the tissues and assist blood flow back to the heart. It is an excellent movement to use above swollen tissues to help the fluid be absorbed back into the body. It is also beneficial for everyone’s circulation.
  5. Vibration- is a massage technique in which tissues are pressed and released in an “up and down” movement. This often takes the form of a fine trembling movement applied using the palmar surfaces or just some of the finger tips of either or both hands.
    This is not one of the most common massage movements but is used as and when appropriate. Its effects can include soothing irritated nerves, loosening scar tissue, relaxing muscles in the forearm, and stimulating circulation and glandular activity. (Specific benefits of vibrations depend on where on the body they are applied.)

There are major body work and massage modalities, that are popular for over ten years, like shiatsu, myofascial, neuromuscular, sports, thai also known as thai yoga, acupressure and most of all the trigger point therapy. These massages are the different techniques of application, that in different ways affect the nervous system. The body will counteract the effects of stress that will cause a relaxation.

If the opposite of the sympathetic nervous system, which called as the asympathetic nervous system is triggered body relaxes, suppresses stress hormones and discharge endorphins. There are times if the digestion reflex is triggered, that causes your belly to growl, normally cause your body to drooling… This is one of funnier effect of massage or kneading. It is the relax and digest reaction, that has a sign that your body is out of hyper -alert situation. And on the way to relax and recovery.

Massage Therapy – The First Wealth Is Health

Imagine being covered in soft flannel sheets on a warm cushion that contours to your body, soothing music playing in a softly lit room. A hot herbal wrap around your neck, warm booties to taking the chill off your toes, moisturizing lotion – and then, Hot Stones sliding on your skin that feels like liquid velvet.

That’s just the first three minutes of your relaxing, therapeutic massage.

Now, it’s hard to relax when you are in pain. It saps your energy and joy. Pain is frequently associated with poor posture which causes muscle tension: often the result of hours working at a computer, long commutes, pregnancy, carrying small children or previous muscle injuries.

Therapeutic Massage is the rubbing, kneading and stretching of muscles to relieve tension and pain. Each muscle is meant to do a specific job (and with memory so they won’t forget) that allows us to move our bodies in any and every way! But, they need fuel to move and that fuel comes from the oxygen circulating in the blood stream.

The supply of blood going directly into the muscle is small when the muscle is not moving and much greater with active movement or exercise. Prolonged inactivity and constant tension results in lack of circulation. The muscle does not get its fuel and cannot do its job and becomes stressed, tense, weakened and loses its memory.

Nearby muscles will try to ‘help out’, but, that’s not what they were meant to do and they become stressed and tense and can’t do their job, and so on and so on.little by little the pain builds up. Your posture changes, from head to toe, to adapt to weakened muscles. You find you have to turn your whole body to look out the back window of the car when backing up. It’s harder to reach the higher shelf. Your low back, hip, or knee start bothering you do for no apparent reason.

Then, one day you do one simple innocent thing like turning your head when you wake up or reaching down to pick a shoe up off the floor and aawgh!, suddenly you can’t move.

Have you ever found yourself grabbing or rubbing the back of your shoulder? Are you doing it right now? That’s your brain encouraging you to get a massage!

Remember imagining lying on that that warm, soft table, the heat and hot stones? That’s the beginning of real relaxation. Deep tissue or deep pressure massage serves as a form of passive exercise for the muscles. Tension is released, muscle memory is restored and the pain is diminished.

It really can be that easy. It’s the easiest form of therapy you’ll ever have to do. What would you do if you had less pain and more energy?

You could have a wealth of health and happiness.

Bamboo Massage Therapy

Within the many different types of massage techniques used all over the world, essential tools are used in order to make massage therapy easier and more effective. Bamboo therapy is a good example of a massage therapy that is aided by a simple tool in order to do a complicated job. This type of therapeutic massage focuses on releasing tension on the muscle especially on the deep tissue of the body. This method has the similar objective with deep tissue massage on working on the different muscle groups of the body, however not by using the elbow but by using different lengths and sizes of bamboo sticks.

Although this type of therapy was inspired from the ancient form of Chinese medical care, it is definitely a new addition to the many different styles of therapeutic massage all over the world. The use of bamboo sticks is similar in concept with the use of other tools like the basalt and marbles used for hot and cold stone massage therapy. These sticks are also known as “cho” as bamboo is called like that in Chinese. Like most oriental massage therapies, it also based its healing capabilities by aiming on the key areas or meridian points of the body to release the energy that has been clogged on the different path ways all over the body. The sticks are used on these energy points in order to release and realign the broken balance of energy within the body. Not only will the energy flow freely and have a good circulation within the body, the oxygen and blood circulation will also improve significantly. Improper use of these sticks though will result to injuries instead of doing benefits for the body.

Therapy begins with working on the feet area of the patient while applying special oils to give a good glide for the stick over the feet. Kneading is the most commonly used massage technique using the bamboo stick. It mimics the foot roller in massaging the different areas of the body. The pressure exerted by the massage therapist depends on his or her preference, however the patient can always request for a certain level of pressure and can always tell the therapist in case the pressure is too much or too weak. The consistent rolling and kneading with the bamboo stalks helps release the muscle tension build ups all over the body as well as creating a good flow on the central nervous system by simply stimulating it. This type of massage is also known for creating an impact on the patient’s health condition and responses. A good bamboo massage therapy can remove any type of stress whether it is physical or mental stress. Patients can expect to have a good respiratory and nervous system after regular sessions of this type of massage therapy as it improves all types of circulation within the human body. However, this can only be achieved when done by trained and licensed massage therapists.