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What is a massage?
Massage is a general term for pressing, rubbing and manipulating your skin, muscles, tendons and ligaments. Massage may range from light stroking to deep pressure. There are many different types of massage:
Swedish Massage. This is a gentle form of massage that uses long strokes, kneading, deep circular movements, vibration and tapping to help relax and energize you.
Deep Massage. This massage technique uses slower, more-forceful strokes to target the deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue, commonly to help with muscle damage from injuries.
Benefits of massage
Studies of the benefits of massage demonstrate that it is an effective treatment for reducing stress, pain and muscle tension as well as helping the below:
- It counteracts all that sitting you do – Most individuals are dealing with some kind of postural stress. Stress tends to manifest in the shoulders and neck. Desk workers, beware. More advanced forms of postural stress “show up as pain or weakness in the low back and gluteals caused by prolonged periods of sitting. Luckily, massage can counteract the imbalance caused from sitting, which means you can keep your desk job-as long as you schedule a regular massage!
- Anxiety – massage helps soothes anxiety and depression
Human touch, in a context that is safe, friendly and professional, can be incredibly therapeutic and relaxing. Women diagnosed with breast cancer who received massage therapy three times a week reported being less depressed and less angry, according to a 2005 study published in the International Journal of Neuroscience. And, a study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, found that patients who were depressed and anxious were much more relaxed and happy, and had reduced stress levels after massage.
- Digestive disorders – massage helps to counterbalance this
- Headaches – Massage helps decrease frequency and severity of tension headaches
- Insomnia related to stress – Not only can massage encourage a restful sleep-it also helps those who can’t otherwise comfortably rest. Massage helps promotes relaxation and sleep
- Myofascial pain syndrome
- Soft tissue strains or injuries
- Sports injuries – massage helps to soothe aching muscles
- Temporomandibular joint pain
- Massage increases and improves circulation
- Enjoy massage because it often produces feelings of caring, comfort and connection
- It boosts immunity – A 2010 study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that massage boosts patients’ white blood cell count (which plays a large role in defending the body from disease).