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Massage and why it is good for you

Massage and why it is good for you

shereeBy Sheree Epstein

Massage therapy has been practiced for thousands of years. Today, people use many different types of massage therapy for a variety of health-related purposes.

Massage Therapy is the manipulation of soft tissues of the body including muscles, connective tissues, tendons, ligaments and joints. It is used to exercise or tone the muscles, dependent on the direction of the movement, the amount of pressure and the duration of the treatment.

Massaging is a great option to help alleviate the discomfort associated with everyday and occupational stresses, overuse of muscles and many chronic pain conditions.

Massaging can:

  • Be relaxing, stimulating, soothing, healing and a pleasurable experience
  • Reduce or eliminate pain
  • Improve joint mobility
  • Increases circulation
  • Improve lymphatic drainage which can boost your immune system
  • Reduces muscular tension
  • Be cleansing by removing waste/toxins
  • Create a bond between the client and therapist
  • Reduce stress and anxiety
  • Aid general wellness

The purpose of massaging is so that the client can function more effectively. Increasing the pressure while massaging causes increased circulation which in turn increases cell regeneration (renewal and growth), therefore balances the skins oils and moisture.

Today massage and beauty therapists use their knowledge of physiology and anatomy to combine traditional Swedish and modern massage therapy techniques with other therapies to treat their clients.

Although massage is a brilliant form of a therapeutic treatment, it can appear to have a few risks – if it is not performed by a properly trained therapist and if appropriate cautions are not followed. The number of injuries reported is very small. Side effects of massage therapy may include temporary pain or discomfort, bruising, swelling, and sensitivity or an allergy to certain massage oils, depending on certain skin types etc.

With anything beneficial, there are always a few risks/cautions to be aware of:

  • Vigorous massage should be avoided by people with bleeding disorders or low blood platelet counts, and by people taking blood-thinning medications.
  • Massage should not be done on any area of the body with blood clots, fractures, open or healing wounds, skin infections, or weakened bones (such as from osteoporosis or cancer), or where there has been a recent surgery.
  • Although massage therapy appears to be generally safe for cancer patients, they should consult their doctor before having a massage that involves deep or intense pressure. Any direct pressure over a tumor usually is discouraged.
  • Pregnant women should consult their health care provider before having a massage. However, there are salons that provide massages specifically for moms to be.

If you have a medical condition and are unsure whether massage therapy would be appropriate for you, discuss your concerns with your doctor beforehand.