Massage therapy is an increasingly popular form of bodywork that’s used to ease stress and tension in the muscles. While research on this type of massage is relatively new, some studies show that it can help reduce pain, anxiety and depression and improve sleep, among other benefits.
While there are many types of massage, a typical session lasts from 45 to 60 minutes and involves the client lying on a table fully or partially undressed. The therapist usually begins with lighter pressure and gradually increases it, while targeting problem areas. Relaxing and soothing music is often played in the background to enhance the experience. During the session, communication is key. The client should let the therapist know if the pressure is too light or too heavy, if there are any parts of the body that are uncomfortable when touched or if the music needs to be changed.
The most common massage technique is effleurage, which is a stroking motion of the hand across the surface of the skin. It’s typically the first and last technique used during a massage, as well as being used in between other techniques. This type of massage is especially good for easing anxiety, relaxing the client and aiding the distribution of waste products in the muscles.
Another popular type of massage is deep tissue, which targets the deeper muscle layers. This type of massage requires more intense pressure and a deeper understanding of the muscles. Typically, this type of massage is performed by someone with more experience.
During massage, the blood vessels expand, which allows more oxygen to reach your tissues. This increased circulation also helps remove toxins, which can aid in the healing process. In addition, it can help the muscles relax and decrease cramping.
Other forms of massage include shiatsu, which is a type of Chinese massage that combines deep massage and joint mobilization. This type of massage can be beneficial for people with fibromyalgia, arthritis and other chronic conditions.
Studies have shown that massage can also help increase relaxation and decrease the levels of a protein in your body called substance P, which is a neurotransmitter involved with pain. It’s important to note, though, that while massage can help with pain, it’s not a cure for your condition. It’s important to continue to follow your doctor’s instructions and visit your specialist as needed.
There’s even evidence that massage may benefit people with gynecological conditions such as endometriosis and chronic pelvic pain syndrome. In one study, women with gynecological issues experienced a reduced pain level and increased relaxation after receiving a massage. In addition, massage can be used to reduce the symptoms of a variety of illnesses and conditions, including cancer, fibromyalgia, headaches, back pain and more. It can also be used in palliative care to help reduce pain and anxiety near the end of life.
Massage Relaxation Techniques
Massage is a great way to relax and relieve tension. Many people are familiar with professional massage at spas or health clubs, but did you know that you can also use self-massage to help relieve stress and pain? In addition, you can increase the relaxation effect of your massage by using special techniques such as vibration. There are different types of massage, including Swedish massage, deep tissue massage, and Thai massage, which is similar to yoga. Each type of massage has its own unique benefits and is appropriate for certain situations.
Massage has a physical effect by increasing the temperature of soft tissues which increases the elasticity of the muscles and improves circulation. It also stimulates the release of positive hormones such as endorphins, serotonin and dopamine which decrease stress levels. This results in a decrease in stress hormones such as cortisol which leads to an overall reduction of stress and fatigue.
In addition, massage has a psychological effect by helping the body and mind to relax. The massage process itself is very soothing and relaxing and can be combined with meditation or deep breathing to enhance the effect. Massage can be used for many reasons such as reducing muscle tension, improving circulation, reducing pain and easing anxiety. In addition, it is often used to relieve back and neck pain and other aches due to misalignment or injury.
A massage can be performed in a variety of settings, such as at a spa, at home or even on the office floor. The most common type of massage is the Swedish massage, which is a full-body massage that uses gentle kneading and tapping and involves light pressure. Other types of massage include sports massage, which is used to prepare the body for athletic training and to aid in recovery from injury. Shiatsu massage, which is a Japanese technique that is similar to acupuncture, involves finger pressure on pressure points to reduce pain and relax the muscles.
The most important thing to remember when applying massage for relaxation is that it should be done in a quiet environment without distractions. It is also recommended that a warm bath or shower be taken before the massage to relax the muscles and skin. Using a special massage oil or lotion is also beneficial. It is also a good idea to massage the muscles gently, and to avoid rubbing the areas that are painful or sensitive. If you experience any discomfort during a massage, it is advised to stop immediately. If the discomfort continues, you should see a medical professional to ensure that there are no underlying conditions. Massage is safe for most individuals when performed by a trained professional. Those with medical conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease or stroke should seek approval from their doctor prior to receiving a massage. Those who are pregnant should also consult with a physician before having a massage.
Health Benefits of Massage
The American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) notes that massage helps relieve stress, pain, muscle tension, and joint stiffness. It also aids in the healing process by reducing swelling and inflammation from injury, and can improve blood circulation, which helps deliver more oxygen and nutrients to tissues. This is especially helpful for the lungs, skin, heart, and muscles. The AMTA says that massage may help with problems such as fibromyalgia, osteoporosis, headaches, temporomandibular joints (TMJ), and tennis elbow.
Massage may even lower your heart rate and blood pressure, and increase the activity of a protein called cytokines, which is part of the immune system’s anti-inflammatory response. This can help protect you from disease and reduce the risk of some cancers, including breast and colon cancer. It can also make autoimmune diseases, like psoriasis or asthma, more manageable.
Whether you’re dealing with an athletic injury or just need to relax, there are many different types of massage to choose from, all of which offer health benefits. For example, Swedish massage is known to promote the feel-good hormones serotonin and oxytocin, and may decrease cortisol. Another option is deep tissue massage, which targets problem areas and can release tight, knotted muscles. A pregnancy massage is designed to reduce the tension, fatigue and discomfort that often occurs during pregnancy, and a remedial massage is used to treat injured or painful tendons, ligaments and muscles.
Aside from alleviating tension, massage also stimulates the lymphatic system. The squeezing, twisting and pulling motion of the massage technique promotes circulation, helping to move toxic waste out of the muscles. In addition, the AMTA says massage helps clear the buildup of lactic acid in muscle tissues, which can cause stiffness and soreness.
The AMTA notes that it’s important to communicate with your massage therapist about any specific injuries or issues you’re dealing with. For example, if you’re suffering from arthritis or osteoporosis, tell your therapist so they can use lighter pressure and work to strengthen bones and joints. Massage can also be helpful in preventing a condition called edema, which is an accumulation of fluid in cells, tissues or body cavities.
As with any type of medical treatment, massages should be supervised by a doctor, particularly if you’re experiencing chronic pain or have a condition such as diabetes, a cardiovascular disease or epilepsy. Moreover, a massage shouldn’t be performed on patients who have a pacemaker or are pregnant. In these cases, a doctor can advise on the safest course of action. Also, make sure to schedule a massage at a time when you won’t be doing anything strenuous right afterward.
Spa Massage Treatments
Spa is an experience that aims to provide relaxation and comfort to its customers. It offers massages that relieve aches and pains as well as facials that are perfect for skin rejuvenation. Moreover, it provides many other treatments that are helpful in boosting physical and mental health. While a visit to the spa may seem like a relaxing respite from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, there is much more to it than soothing music and luxurious amenities. Studies show that Spa massage treatments can actually boost your body’s overall health. Here are some benefits of a regular massage and spa treatment:
1. Better Hair Health
A lot of people struggle with hair fall and scalp problems. Regular massages reduce the stress that leads to such issues by keeping the blood flowing to the head and scalp. They also promote the growth of new hair by removing the dead ones. 2. HEALTHIER SKIN
Massage helps to remove the dead skin cells from your body and makes you feel refreshed and rejuvenated. This treatment also hydrates the skin, making it soft and smooth. Moreover, it increases the production of natural oils in your body that give you healthy and glowing skin.
3. Improves Sleep Quality
Sleep is the most important part of maintaining good health, and regular spa treatments can improve your sleep. During a massage, your body releases serotonin, which helps you to relax and get a better night’s rest. This is especially true if you choose a deep tissue massage. 4. HEALTHIER IMMUNITY
A regular massage can increase the number of white blood cells in your body, which will help you fight infections. This is especially helpful in the winter months when it’s more likely that you will come down with a cold. 5. HEALTHY BRAIN
Studies show that massage can increase levels of dopamine and serotonin in the brain, which are chemicals that help keep you happy. It’s no wonder that so many people report feeling happier and more relaxed after a massage. In addition, a massage can help to relieve anxiety and depression.
6. Reduced Headache and Misolgenia
Headaches and migraines are common in most people, and they become more frequent during periods of high stress. Regular massages of the head, hands and feet can decrease the frequency of headaches and migraines, making them less severe. This is particularly effective for women who suffer from these ailments.
7. Reduces Stress
Ahead of a big meeting, or before catching up with friends, a head massage is an excellent way to calm your mind and prepare yourself mentally for what’s ahead. It will also lower your heart rate, which in turn will reduce your risk of hypertension and other cardiovascular disorders.
The best part of it all is that there are so many different types of Spa massage treatments, from full-body relaxation massages to massages that target specific areas. You can even choose to add extra services such as a hot stone or herbal treatment to your massage for a more specialized approach.
Massage Oils – Choosing the Right One
When we’re stressed, our body sends signals of discomfort in the form of headaches, body pains and extreme tiredness. Using a good massage oil can help soothe the tension, re-energise our body and give us a feeling of well-being. However, not all oils work best for different types of massages and it is important to choose the right one. A wrong choice can make your experience unpleasant or even cause more problems. There are many things to consider when choosing the right one like skin type, thickness, scent and a lot more.
A good base oil to use is Sweet Almond, Grapeseed or Apricot Kernel Oil. These are light and do not leave a greasy feel after use. They also come in handy for massaging dry skin and eczema sufferers as they are very nourishing for the skin. Other options are Jojoba or Shea Butter which can be more expensive and harder to find, but offer great benefits for the skin including being able to be used as a makeup base and removing make-up effectively.
The most important consideration is the type of essential oils to be included in the massage oil. Essential oils are very powerful and can affect the mind and body, in addition to delivering therapeutic effects. They can improve the mood, increase circulation, boost energy and boost immune function. Some of the most commonly used essential oils include Lavender which has a fresh and sweet aroma that helps to relax the body, reduce stress levels and calm the nerves. It can also be used to relieve headaches and treat certain types of muscle pain. Peppermint oil can be used to stimulate the circulatory system, reduce pain and help with respiratory issues such as sinusitis or bronchitis.
Depending on your needs, you can include other essential oils such as Geranium for balancing the hormones, helping with digestion and improving blood flow, Rosemary to give an invigorating kick to the body and a stimulating effect on the mind, and Sandalwood to create a soothing effect and reduce stress. These can be mixed with the base oil to produce a unique massage oil to suit your individual needs.
Some of the most popular massage oils have a blend of ingredients such as arnica, chamomile, lavender and mint. This is a great option for anyone that loves the smell of these essential oils and can be purchased in a convenient pre-made massage oil from Amazon. This oil has great ratings from authenticated users and a money back guarantee.
Another type of massage oil that is available is made from coconuts and is suitable for all skin types. It is light and has a good glide, making it a very popular choice amongst masseuses. It also contains a high amount of Vitamin E which protects the outer layer of the skin and helps it retain moisture, while reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. This can be a less expensive choice for those looking to buy a large quantity of massage oil.