Massage therapy has been practiced for thousands of years. Ancient cultures in China and Egypt in particular believed massage to have medical benefits.
Today we use massage to treat injuries including sports injuries. Deep tissue massage is used for inflammatory diseases and chronic pain. Massage not only relaxes and eases tired and sore muscles but also stimulates blood flow bringing fresh oxygen to the area. This can help to speed muscle injuries and promote muscle functions.
There are many types of massage treatments available as in a full body massage, a back massage, head massage or hands and feet carried out by trained therapists. Remedial therapeutic massage is more specialist and usually practiced in clinics and hospitals by physiotherapists who are medically trained and have knowledge of the human anatomy and physiology.
Body massage can benefit everyone, young and old. It is well worth the time and investment.
Traditionally there are two basic types of salon body massage to choose from.
Swedish massage is a good choice if you want to feel revived and invigorated. It can relieve minor aches and pains and tight muscles caused by tiredness and stress. It involves gentle massage strokes but also stimulating massage moves called ‘hacking or 'clapping' that stimulate and invigorate the muscles. Swedish massage was invented by Per Henrik Ling, in the 1830s. He was a Swedish fencing instructor. When he received an injury to his elbows he reportedly cured himself using tapping - percussion effect - strokes around the affected area. He later developed the technique currently known as Swedish massage. It is widely available in beauty salons and clinics.
An aromatherapy massage is infinitely more powerful as it uses essential oils often blended for the individual being treated with specific massage strokes that are soft, gentle or can be quite form depending on the area. The most common complaint is tiredness and stress but massage can also be adapted for anti-ageing purposes using relevant essential oils and vegetable oils. The increase in blood circulation benefits in improving skin health, muscle functions, skin tone.
In recent years massage is also recommended for babies and there are learning courses provided for mothers. It can help babies to relax and be comforted and essentially has the same benefits as for grown ups.
Although body massage carried out by someone else is comforting and relaxing; self-massaging specific small areas on a regular and frequent basis does still have a beneficial effect. Try Organic House Relax & Sleep Body Oil with Lavender and Vetiver at bedtime. Massage around your shoulder, arms and neck to help to send you to sleep.
In our next blog we will talk about the benefits of facial massage.