Studies have shown that massage therapy has many benefits, such as:
- Alleviates / reduces pain
- Increases range of motion in individuals with lower back pain
- Improves immune function
- Reduces stress
- Lowers blood pressure and anxiety
- Reduces the number of headache days (migraine headaches)
- Facilitates growth
- Increases job performance
- Improves grip strength, self-esteem, etc. (multiple sclerosis)
- Improves clinical measures in pediatric eczema
and many more.
So what is massage therapy? And what are the different methods?
Therapeutic massage involves the manipulation of the soft tissue structures of the body to prevent and alleviate pain, discomfort, muscle spasm, and stress; and, to promote health and wellness. AMTA defines massage as, “a manual soft tissue manipulation that includes holding, causing movement, and / or applying pressure to the body.”
Massage may include such techniques as, stroking, kneading, gliding, percussion, friction, vibration, compression, passive or active stretching within the normal range of movement; effleurage (either firm or light soothing, stroking movement, using either the fingertips or palms); petrissage (lifting or picking up muscles and rolling the folds of skin); or tapotement (striking with the side of the hand, usually with partly flexed fingers or short rapid movements of sides of the hand).
The most popular types of massage include:
- classical massage
- remedial massage
- sports massage
- deep connective tissue massage
- trigger point therapy, and
- Swedish massage.
The purpose of the practice of massage is to enhance the general health and well-being of the recipient