What Is Massage?
The world of Massage and Bodywork has been intensely growing in the past few years. The earliest evidence of massage has been found in many ancient civilizations dating back to BC 2330 in Egypt. Ancient civilizations such as China, India, Japan, Korea, Egypt, Rome, Greece and Mesopotamia all have records of various types of massage modalities used for relaxation, beauty enhancement, pain management and even medical purposes. Massage is the manipulation of superficial and deeper layers of muscles and connective tissues.
Massage targets not only muscles but also ligaments, tendons, fascia, skin, joints, lymphatic vessels, nerves and depending on the massage modality even organs. Massages can be performed using both body parts such as hands, fingers, forearms, elbows knees and feet or massage devices such as automatic massage chairs, beds, and hand held massage devices. Over all wether you are going to a massage therapist or using and automatic device, massages just feel good in general.
Benefits of Massage?
You might not know it but there are great benefits to massage such as: Relaxes muscles, manages anxiety and depression, reduces pain, improves sleep, relieves headaches, reduces spasms and cramps, improves circulation, increases joint flexibility, helps recover from strenuous workouts, assist expectant mothers in having a shorter and easier labor, reduces post surgeries swelling and adhesion, promotes tissue regeneration, reducing scar tissue and stretch marks, helps reduce blood pressure, reduces fatigue, improves concentration and increases energy. Massages benefits all!
What type of massage should I get?
It has been recorded that there are over 80 different recognized massage modalities. The most common ones are Swedish massage and Deep Tissue massage. Swedish massages are intended more for relaxation purposes. It typically uses a lighter pressure and flowing strokes. It has been shown that Swedish massage can help reduce pain, joint stiffness and improves function in patients with osteoarthitis. In the other hand, deep tissue is a deeper manipulation of the muscles. Depending on a persons stress level and muscle tension deep tissue can be a little painful. It is a great way to get knots worked on, or those kinks we might wake up with. Deep tissue focuses on the muscles located below the surface, this massage modality is recommended for people that have high muscle tension, high physical activity, and people who have physical injuries. Therapist will most likely use their elbows and forearms to perform a deep tissue massage. It is expected to be sore for a day or two after a deep tissue massage.
Given that there are so many different modalities and if you are new to massages do not hesitate to ask your therapist to start the massage with a medium pressure and as it is being performed let the therapist know if more or less pressure is wanted. It is very easy to become addicted to massages and no it's not a bad thing. Eventually you will want to try every single type of modality out there such as: sports massage ( great for athletes, pre and post races and game), Hot Stone massage, Shiatsu, Reflexology (hands and feet work ), Thai massage, Rolfing, Pre-natal (great for women expecting), Myofascial release (stretching of the fascia), Lymphatic Drainage ( assists on reduction of localized swelling, great for pre and post surgeries), and many others.
How Often Should I get a Massage?
Massages are the Best!!! So if possible every week is a great way to start. However, if time and finances don't allow for such personal luxury every two weeks or once a month is a great way to treat yourself and your body.
Word of advice:
Get Massages!!! Don't miss out on this wonderful treatment. Massages along with workouts and a healthy nutrition will improve you lifestyle and help you live a long healthy stress free life!