Massage Therapy and its health benifits
Massage therapy is a relaxing treatment that has been around for thousands of years. In fact, the word “massage” comes from the Greek root “masso," which means "to touch". Massage therapists use a variety of gliding, kneading and cross-fiber friction strokes to work the muscle tissue, releasing tension and improving circulation.
You are usually nude during a massage,but covered by sheets. Only the part being worked on is exposed and modesty is always protected Massage oil is used to lubricate the skin.
Many people consider massage therapy to be just about pampering, but it has important health benefits. In fact, you get the greatest benefit when massage therapy is part of your regular wellness routine.
What Are The Different Types of Massage Therapy?
Swedish massage is the most common type of massage therapy and a good choice for first-time spagoers. Other types include deep tissue massage, sports massage, hot stone massage, aromatherapy, lymphatic drainage, trigger point therapy, craniosacral therapy, neuromuscular therapy and myofascial release, watsu, Rolfing, reflexology, Shiatsu, Thai Massage and Ayurvedic massage like abhyanga.
Massage has many important health benefits. In fact, massage can help you maintain physical, mental and emotional well being, especially when it is part of your regular wellness routine.
The Health Benefits of Massage
- Massage calms the nervous system and promotes a sense of relaxation and well being.
- Massage reduces tension and anxiety.
- Massage improves blood circulation, which delivers oxygen and nutrients to the cells.
- Massage stimulates the lymphatic system, which carries away the body’s waste products.
- Massage prevents and relieve muscles cramps and spasms.
- Massage therapy can help with pain management in conditions such as arthritis, sciatica, muscle spasms.
Remind yourself of these health benefits if you start to feel guilty about getting massage! Massage is not a good idea if you have a fever, infections, inflammation, osteoporosis and other medical conditions. If you have any questions about whether a massage would be right for you, ask to speak to a massage therapist before you make your appointment.
How Much Does Massage Therapy Cost?
A massage therapy session can last from anywhere from 30 minutes for a mini-massage to 90 minutes. Fifty minutes to one hour is most common. The cost of massage varies, depending on geographic location and how luxurious the spa is.
Where Can I Get Massage Therapy?
Massage therapy is the most popular treatment at spas, but you can also get massage from individual licensed massage therapists who work out of their home or come to your house with a table.
When Should I Not Get Massage Therapy?
Don't get massage therapy if you are feeling ill, have rashes or open wounds, or have just had surgery, chemotherapy or radiation. Pregnant women should check with their doctor before getting massage therapy.
How to Enjoy Your Massage
Tips for Getting the Most From Your Massage
Whether you are new to massage or an experienced spa-goer, there are things you can do get the most from your massage.
- Don't eat a heavy meal or drink alcohol before a massage session.
- Arrive well in advance of your appointment. It gives you time to check in and relax before your spa treatment. If you get there five minutes before, you might miss some of your treatment time. And if you have rushed, it will take longer to relax.
- Take advantage of the sauna, steam bath or hot tub. It will warm your muscles and make it easier for the therapist to achieve results. If the hot tub has chlorinated water, be sure and shower before your massage.
- Most massage takes place nude but you are fully draped at all times. If you do not want to remove all your clothing, wear clothing that you will be comfortable wearing during the massage and will allow the massage therapist to touch and move the areas of your body you expect will need to be worked on.
- Be receptive and open to the experience and trust in the professionalism of the therapist.
- Good communication is important. Before the session, let your massage therapist know what your needs are. During the massage session, report any discomfort, whether it is from the massage or anything else -- room temperature, music volume, lighting, etc. Feel free to give feedback on the amount of pressure, speed of movement, etc.
- Don’t be afraid to discuss any apprehensions or concerns. Your massage therapist is a professional dedicated to do his or her best to help you feel at ease.
- Some people like to talk during a massage session, while others remain silent. In general the massage therapist will follow your lead.
- Deep breathing helps you relax. People often stop breathing when they feel anxious or a sensitive area is massaged. If this is happening, let yourself breathe.
- Tightening up during the massage is counterproductive. Let your massage therapist know if this happens. They can adjust the massage technique or help you relax.
- If your thoughts race, try to quiet your mind by following the hands of the massage therapist. Focus on how the touch feels.
- If anything happens during the massage that seems improper, ask the massage therapist to stop. You also have the right to end the session.
- If you are dizzy or light headed after the massage, do not get off the table too fast.
- Drink extra water after a massage.
- Allow for some open, quiet time after your massage session. It helps your body absorb the results.
- Massage has its greatest benefits over time. The therapeutic effects of massage are cumulative, so the more often you get a massage, the better you will feel and the more quickly your body will respond.