Now a days, many of us are searching for natural and alternative ways to live our lives when it comes to eating, clothing, cleaning products, etc. but consistently so many of us forget about ways to heal our bodies. Rest assured, there is a way. Massage therapy has been used as a healing treatment for thousands of years dating back to 2700 BCE in China and throughout those years massage techniques have been developed and perfected to best heal the body from a myriad of conditions.
Let’s talk about some massage techniques that most people are already familiar with, Deep Tissue Massage, Swedish Massage and Sports Massage:
Deep Tissue Massage: Deep tissue massage is especially helpful for chronic pains, chronic aches, lower/upper back pain, stiff neck, sore shoulders and general muscle tightness. Unlike other techniques that are focused primarily on relaxation, deep tissue massage focusses on chronic pain relief, muscle pain and to improve stiffness in the body.
Swedish Massage: Possibly the most sought-after massage therapy technique in the United States, this form uses hands, arms, elbows to manipulate the top layers of muscle in order to improve physical health. Benefits of Swedish massage include improved blood flow, increased oxygen levels in the blood and decrease tension and improve flexibility.
Sports Massage: This form of massage is targeted toward athletes to prepare the body for athletic activity, prevent injuries, decrease recovery time from workouts and injuries and to maintain optimal condition for the body. Somethings that sports massage has been known to benefit is reduced blood pressure, reduced heart rate, reduced anxiety, improved mood and muscle pain and tension relief.
Now for some lesser recognized massage techniques, but equally as effective when it come to natural healing Prenatal Massage, Postnatal Massage and Infant/Child Massage. For future and new mothers, Prenatal and Postnatal care is paramount when it comes to healing the body after giving birth and non-invasive Prenatal and Postnatal Massage is perfect for just that. Just like adults, infant and child bodies need adequate time and rest to heal, but sometimes a little help along the way is needed. Not only can Infant/Child Massage promote physical wellness but can also help with anxiety and emotional wellness.
Prenatal Massage: For the mother-to-be, this helps to improve muscle and joint function, improve circulation, improve symptoms of anxiety and depression and can help improve the outcome of labor when it’s time for the baby to come. As a women’s body rapidly changes through each stage of pregnancy, giving the body the tools, it needs to make said changes can help the overall growth process for the mother and child.
Postnatal Massage: After child birth, women’s body goes through different stages on healing depending on if a c-section in performed or natural birth. In any case, body needs care and rest to heal. Postnatal massage helps to improve healing time, improve blood circulation and helps the muscles balance and reform to their natural state.
Infant/Child Massage: Infant and child bodies are in a constant state of growth and development, pediatric massages can help improve weight gain for babies/infants, aid digestion, improve blood circulation, improve stress and anxiety levels, ease teething pain, and even help manage chronic conditions such as asthma.
Last, but not least, let’s talk about two methods of massage therapy that not only work very well together but can be integrated into any form of massage therapy. These two methods are Myofascial Release and Neuromuscular Therapy. Although these two forms of massage go hand in hand, one focuses on the fascia just under the skin while the other pin point targets direct areas in need of tension release.
Myofascial Release: This form of therapy focuses on a light full body massage to release tension on the fascia which surround the muscles, bones, nerves and organs. The goal is to reduce inflammation, tension, and relieve trauma that can be causing pain or discomfort.
Neuromuscular Therapy: This soft tissue manipulation aims to treat chronic pain by focusing on select areas in the muscular and nervous system where knots in the tissue have formed. A massage therapist may use their thumb or elbow (depending on the severity of the condition) to relieve said tension for the body too be able to heal the affected area naturally.
We hope that this has given you a better insight to all the benefits massage therapy can provide and to all the ways it can be applied to anyone’s life. Our bodies are amazing works of nature and our minds have developed ways to support those bodies throughout all of life’s hardships. So, after reading this, why not come down and treat yourself to a well-deserved massage!
1. Fascia is a band or sheet of connective tissue, primarily collagen, beneath the skin that attaches, stabilizes, encloses, and separates muscles and other internal organs.
2. Skin is the largest organ of our bodies; therefore, it feels the effects of massage therapy to the fullest.
3. There are approximately 5 million touch receptors in skin and 3000 on tip of the finger.
4. The sense of touch is the first feeling that develops in the human body and the last to fade away. Any type of touch can reduce the heart rate, it can lower chances for depression and lower blood pressure.
5. Massage releases endorphins in the body, which are our natural painkillers.
6. Any time we get a massage, our brain receives the sensation from our skin cells that send nerve signals from skin to brain. Muscle-nerve signals travel at speed of 390 feet per second, allowing us to feel everything in an instant.