The Benefits of Massage

in Health, Physical   |   posted by Pat

What is Massage?

There are many different types of massage, though touch is used to stroke, rub or knead the body to release and relax knotted muscles. By touch, a therapist can relieve pain, reduce stress, improve circulation, and add to the well-being of their clients.

How Massage Supports Our Well-being

For most people, massage helps reduce body tension, as well as inner emotional stress.   It can lower many normal functions – blood pressure, heart rate, and supports one’s immune system.

No matter what type of massage you receive, make sure you work with the appropriate professional who thoroughly understands and can implement the therapy correctly.

Massage is complementary to solving any physical or emotional issues, and along with traditional medicine, can enhance your well-being,

Take into consideration your overall health and whether you are receiving the proper massage for your body needs.   If you have a health concern, check in with your physician whether massage is a relevant experience for your health.

A massage is enjoyable and can be relaxing, yet the body goes back to its normal state.  So, to decrease one’s body tension, consistent massages help the body learn to relax.

Who Performs Massages?

Massage Therapists need to complete training from an accredited school and be licensed by the state they work in to perform massages.  Each state has its requirements for licensing therapists, and training includes anatomy, physiology, pathology, kinesiology, massage techniques, and massage ethics.    Therapists must pass the state exam and renew their credentials regularly.

Therapists are usually trained in several types of massage, and depending on the client; they mix up the different types.  Training includes listening to what you say about your body and then finding tension spots to reduce stress in your body by touch.

A one-time massage can be helpful, though ongoing massage treatments increase and maintain well-being for most people.

Costs of Massage

Like all services performed by a professional, there is a cost to receiving a massage.   Depending on the location and place of service, or an individual massage therapist, you will see a range anywhere from $50 – $90 for an hour-long massage.  High-end spas may charge more.   You can purchase a massage package for a monthly massage which will decrease your massage costs.

Types of Massage

Acupressure Massage

A massage therapist will use different body parts – fingers, elbow, palms, and even feet applying pressure to acupoints on the body’s meridians.  This type of massage originated in China and followed the principles of acupuncture.   Like acupuncture, acupressure’s focus is to provide relaxation, wellness and is used to treat disease.   Acupuncture uses needles, whereas acupressure uses the person’s body to release tension in one’s body.

Aromatherapy Massage

An aromatherapy massage is a regular massage using oil or lotion that contains essentials oils.  If you enjoy essentials oils and use them to reduce stress and add a great smell to your environment, adding essential oils to your massage enhances the stress reduction and tension in your body.

In alternative healing medicine, practitioners will use essential oils to help the client. I use lavender oils to enhance the well-being of my environment.   When I get a massage, I ask for lavender essential oils added to the lotion they apply to my body.   The smell is so necessary for my general overall well-being.

Chair Massage

The chair massage focuses on the upper body – head, neck, shoulders, and arms.   Our upper bodies hold a lot of tension, especially if we are sitting for long periods.   Some companies offer on-site mini chair massages throughout the day to help employees release the tension residing in their upper bodies.   Many times, while at the airport, I see a small store offering chair massages.  Something to do while waiting to travel.

Couple’s Massage

Couples who get a massage together have a chance to relax and experience it together.  Both people will enjoy the same benefits of a massage and increases the bonding with the couple.

Deep Tissue Massage

Deep tissue massage has its benefits, though it’s not necessarily for everyone.  This type of massage releases deep muscle tension and can increase your movement.  People who prefer a gentler massage may not be comfortable and could increase body tension.  I’m not a deep tissue massage person as my muscles hurt.   Yet I know people who thoroughly enjoy the experience.  It’s up to you what feels good, but it is beneficial to people.

Facial Massage

It seems that people get facials for anti-aging and anti-acne.   It provides a deep clean and offers a massage that reduces tension in one’s face.   Have you ever felt a strain in your face? I know I have, and a facial relaxes those muscles, which (I believe) helps with the wrinkles.  When you have a massage that isolates one part of your body, it also impacts the rest of it.

Facials also help dry skin and remove dead cells.

Hot Stone Massage

I love a hot stone massage.  The stones are placed on specific parts of the body and rest there for a little while.  The massage therapist then uses the stones to massage your body.  Heat is known to relieve muscle tension and pain. I love the feel of the heated stone over my body.  Depending on your overall health, this can be a great massage to receive.

Pregnancy Massage

Massages while pregnant can help with anxiety, possibly back tension, and sleep.   Sleep becomes more challenging as the pregnancy progresses. Your body is rapidly changing, and it can help you be comfortable with the changes.   There are massage therapists that have learned how to best massage a pregnant woman.    Please do your research and, of course, check in with your doctor to make sure it’s a suitable solution for your well-being.

Reflexology

This type of massage focuses on your feet and possibly your hands and ears.   My experience with reflexology has been with my feet, and I loved it.  Even though I could be ticklish in my feet, it didn’t initiate that, but rather a deep sense of letting go as the tension poured out of my body.

The belief is that areas in your feet correspond to organs and other systems in your body.  A massage therapist will gather information about your body and focus on those areas on your feet that provide the most healing for your body.  The pressure is gentle, and it can help with stress.

Shiatsu Massage

Shiatsu is Japanese massage therapy.  It works with the body’s energy (known as Ki).   I found it used a combination of acupressure and deep massage to bring balance to the body.

This type of massage can improve many aspects of one’s body:   fatigue, sleep quality, bowel functions, decreased depression, and many other issues people deal with on an ongoing basis.

Swedish Massage

The Swedish massage technique is probably the most popular massage as it is softer, has longer strokes, and generally goes to the top layers of muscles.   It relieves tension and is relaxing and energizing.   This massage is excellent for people who are interested in reducing stress.   I will combine this type of massage with aromatherapy, and it’s blissful for me.

Thai Massage

The massage therapists use their hands to apply pressure to your body.   They will also stretch and twist you into various positions.  This massage originated in Indian thousands of years ago, which also includes Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine.  You are fully clothed on a mat on the ground so the therapist can manipulate your body better.   It has components of yoga positions, though assisted with a therapist.

Your Thoughts

Have you had a massage, and do you regularly have a massage?   What type of massages have you had in the past?

Do you like to be touch by a massage therapist?  Some people don’t want to be touched by others, so massages could potentially increase their tension.

Massage is a healthy alternative to promote your well-being.

Women’s Group Topics

A great topic to discuss ways we enjoy touch.   Touch is a beneficial need to enhance our well-being.  How do you invest in your well-being.

Be well,
Pat
“To fully enjoy the ‘richness’ of our lives, we need to stop long enough to visit with ourselves.”
(Pat Brill)

Other Topics You May Be Interested In:
The Benefits of a Bath
The Benefits of Journaling
The Benefits of 1-Minute Deep Breathing

 

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