Types of Massages and their benefits.
Massage is the technique of applying pressure, strokes or stretching of the body to treat several ailments by acting on the muscles and stimulating the nervous system. Pressure is applied using hands, elbows, fingers or machines too. It’s a very ancient technique of healing and evidence of massage has been found in ancient civilizations like that of India, Japan, China etc.
How these methods work has a lot of scientific explanation behind it. Massaging calms down the parasympathetic nervous system. It thus stimulates the release of happy hormones called endorphins and serotonin. That’s how it relieves stress, induces good sleep and reduces blood pressure. Massaging relieves pain by improving blood circulation and also improves muscle functioning.
Massage is a huge and diverse field in itself. There are numerous types of massages that happen around the world. Some of the most popular ones are:
Making use of five styles of strokes: sliding or gliding, kneading, rhythmic tapping, friction and vibrating, Swedish massage or Classic massage is the most widely practiced style of massage all over the world. Its effectiveness lasts for up to 15 weeks. It is very useful for treating lower back pain, reducing levels of stress causing hormone called Cortisol.
Making use of stretching and joint movement, Thai massage is famous for the effect on muscular-skeletal problems and fatigue. Combining ancient traditions and therapies from India and China, it is based on the principle of clearing energy lines of the body-sense. This stimulates blood and lymph flow within the body. The strokes are based on principles drawn from Yoga, Reflexology, and Acupressure.
Trigger Point Therapy
Based on the concept of the presence of trigger points in the human body- the points that relate to any dysfunction in the neuro-muscular junction of the muscle, Trigger Point Therapy deactivates these points to relieve local pain. It involves the application of manual pressure, vibration and other methods to eradicate the pain.
Myofascial is a combination of two words- fascia and muscles where fascia refers to a thin connective tissue that covers the muscles in your body. Myofascial release technique treats the immobility of skeletal muscles by releasing muscular tension. It relaxes contracted muscles and stimulates blood flow, thus improving the function of skeletal, arthrodial and myofascial structures of your body. It is achieved by applying knuckle to the body to drag the Fascia across the surface of the skin and thus relaxing the contraction in muscles because of tightened Fascia.
Body massage has a lot of benefits that we may not even know of. How this simple manual process can heal one both physically and mentally is as surprising as blissful. Let’s have a look at some of the benefits of the same:
Anxiety and depression:
Massage stimulates secretion of happy hormones and controls the stress causing hormone Cortisol. By inducing better sleep and increasing energy levels, massage in the long term helps significantly in reducing symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression.
Relief from pain and stiffness in the body:
Messages like the Myofascial release massage soothes and releases the tension in the muscles. They increase the blood circulation and thus oxygen and nutrient flow within the body. It thus strengthens muscles and reduces local pain, stiffness in the body. A sore body, post workout, is greatly benefited from the inflammation easing the effect of the massage.
Improving immunity of the body :
Massages work on the parasympathetic nervous system of our body and stimulate the lymphatic flow. Lymph returns protein to the bloodstream and destroys bacteria in the blood thereby improving the immunity and endurance of the body.
Reducing blood pressure and heart rate :
Though massage increases the blood flow, in the long run, it reduces blood pressure. The main cause behind high blood pressure is hypertension and high cholesterol. Massage helps in reducing stress, hypertension and eventually reducing high blood pressure. This is a significant contribution in improving one’s heart health.
Body massage brings with itself certain harms. Most of the times people totally rely on massage for the benefits mentioned above without realizing that this is an insufficient treatment for a chronic problem. Many a times, the message aggravates certain pains if done without proper consultation. Over application of pressure could also result in an injury. No doubt that massage is a great therapy in itself but it should be used carefully to assist other treatments.