Massage Types Available: Deep Tissue, Sports, Therapeutic and Prenatal
The human body was built to move, to be mobile, to be ready for action, so why do so many people experience aches, stiffness or inflexibility?
A look at our environment can provide many of the answers. Each day we are faced with many physical challenges – as office workers holding arms over a keyboard, as construction workers hammering repeatedly, or as bus drivers sitting for long periods with insufficient support.
Workstations are often built to accommodate equipment, not different body shapes and sizes. Society demands performance, but workers don’t get the needed warm-up time before activities. Deadlines, traffic, air quality and many other factors lead to physical and mental stresses that eventually become evident as physical pain.
Massage therapy seeks to address some of these symptoms. While there seems to be universal agreement that massage “feels good”, it also offers many specific benefits. The therapeutic use of massage affects all systems of the body, most particularly circulatory, muscular, fascial and nervous systems. Massage therapy is also effective in the control of pain – both chronic and acute, in stress reduction and in creating a sense of relaxation and well being.
Historical and current research document the physiological effects of massage, many of which are due to the movement of the therapist’s hands over the body, physically stretching the muscles, encouraging circulation, inhibiting muscle spasm and sedating or stimulating the nerves to ease pain or promote function as necessary.
Many effects are equally preventative in nature. When muscles are loose and circulation is sufficient, the result is better health and less chance of injury or dysfunction. Some other effects are not well understood, such as decreased anxiety following treatment. Some physical and psychological effects may be due to the release of endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers.
A trained massage therapist focuses on the normalization of the soft tissues affected by stress, injury and illness through the use of manual techniques that improve circulation, enhance muscular relaxation, relieve pain, reduce stress, enhance immune function or promote health and well-being.
You don’t need to be injured or in pain to experience massage, it can be used as a tool to help facilitate your general well being. Many people seek massage therapy regularly to help them perform at their best and feel positive about themselves.
An increasing number of clinical research studies show massage reduces heart rate, lowers blood pressure, increases blood circulation and lymph flow, relaxes muscles, improves range of motion and increases endorphins (enhancing medical treatment). Although therapeutic massage does not increase muscle strength, it can stimulate weak, inactive muscles and, thus, partially compensate for the lack of exercise and inactivity resulting from injury or illness. It can also hasten and lead to a more complete recovery from exercise or injury.