Massage therapy is a therapeutic treatment that involves the manual manipulation of the soft tissue of the body. Many massage techniques are used with both hands, fingers, thumbs, elbows, shoulders, hips, feet, or an external device. The primary objective of massage therapy is to relieve body pain or psychological stress. It helps to reduce inflammation and stiffness, while increasing circulation and the flexibility of the muscles.
The history of massage therapy is traced back to 2021 B.C. and it is believed that Cleopatra wanted to be treated by someone she could trust. She asked her friend, Flavius Medes, to give massages to her but he replied, “I don’t think so.” She then got a new masseuse, who Medes considered to be her own personal masseuse. He began to use rough, steady strokes on her face and scalp with oil and began to apply a massage that included kneading soft tissues including her hair.
Throughout history, different cultures have used massage therapy to treat a variety of health problems including muscle cramps, headaches, joint pains, backaches, stress and anxiety, and many other conditions. It was only later, after the introduction of massaging machines in the nineteenth century, that massage therapy appeared as a professional profession. Massage therapy uses gentle, rhythmic pressure to manipulate the muscles, tendons, and ligaments. It is a great way to relieve tension and to relax. There are many health benefits of massage therapy.
Relaxation is one of the most important health benefits of massage therapy. Muscle tension and tightness slow down the cardiovascular rate and increase the heart rate. When the heart rate is slowed, it increases the blood flow to the muscles which provides more nutrients to the cells. When there is more oxygen to the muscles the body can then use the nutrients for other activities. This helps to prevent the muscles from tightening up again.
The massage therapy technique known as effleurage uses long, slow strokes on specific areas of the hands-on or behind the neck. Effleurage techniques can range from light to firm pressure. Long, slow strokes also help to stretch out tight, sore soft tissues. This helps to relieve tension in these same areas.
Other types of techniques include shiatsu, acupressure, Swedish and deep tissue. Shiatsu uses finger pressure on specific acupressure points to alleviate back pain. Swedish massage therapy utilizes smooth rubbing motions to relieve stiffness in the muscles. Deep tissue massage utilizes compression techniques to release adhesions in the back that are preventing the muscles from being fully extended. When these adhesions are released the muscles become limber and relax the spine.
When a therapist performs a massage therapy session, they may use many different techniques depending on what the client requires. For instance, a client who suffers from fibromyalgia may use gentle pressure to trigger the right areas. If a client suffers from chronic back pain, they may receive deeper massage therapy techniques that loosen and stretch the muscles. Some clients may experience the same results with a particular technique, as they may with another. To maximize the results of a therapist may use different techniques together for a complete treatment.
People who are suffering from muscle pain should consider trying to massage therapy to help relax and improve their health. Muscle tension and spasms can cause severe pain and make it difficult to perform daily tasks. This type of therapy is not only relaxing but also promotes overall health. Using massage therapy regularly can help prevent stiffness and pain from becoming a major problem. Massage therapists can help patients overcome problems that range from mild to moderate to severe. This can improve quality of life and overall health.