To understand the importance of massage, it helps
to understand stress. Stress is an automatic reaction to anything
we perceive as a threat. In a stressful situation, our response is
fight or flight. It doesn't matter if it's danger or the stress of
everyday living. Our body responds with tensing of the muscles, shallow
and more rapid breathing, increased adrenaline, heart rate and blood
pressure. Hopefully, once removed from the stressful situation, things
return to normal. However if you find yourself consistently under
a great deal of stress, it becomes more difficult to let go and relax.
Research conducted in the United States, Europe and Asia concluded
that massage therapy has an impressive range of physical, mental
and emotional benefits.
Up to 90% of all visits to primary care physicians are for stress
related complaints (headaches, backaches, anxiety, depression, irritability,
high blood pressure, heart disease, ulcers, exhaustion...the list
goes on. Many insurance companies are now covering massage therapy
as a part of alternative care coverage.
Massage is an excellent means of promoting relaxation and providing
relief from the everyday stresses of life. You'll be amazed at the
difference regular massage therapy can make in your life!
Swedish massage was originally developed in
the late eighteenth century by a Swedish fencing master as the first
systematic application of therapeutic massage in the West. It was
based on European folk massage, oriental techniques from the Middle
East and the then emerging knowledge of modern anatomy and physiology.
The strokes and manipulations of Swedish
Massage are each conceived as having a specific therapeutic benefit.
One of the primary goals of Swedish Massage is to speed the venous
return of unoxygenated and toxic blood from the extremities. Swedish
massage shortens recovery time from muscular strain by flushing
the tissues of lactic acid, uric acid, and other metabolic wastes.
It increases circulation without increasing heart load. It stretches
the ligaments and tendons keeping them supple and young. Swedish
Massage also stimulates the skin and nervous system and soothes
the nerves themselves at the same time. It reduces stress, both
emotional and physical, and is suggested in a regular program for
stress management. It also has many specific clinical uses in medical
or remedial therapy.
Sports massage is a sensible blend of traditional
Swedish Massage and Shiatsu. It was developed by Jack Meager, who
is the official masseur for the U. S. Olympic Equestrian Team. Basic
to the system is the fact that there are twelve principle body postures
that form the axis of all athletic movement. Each sport demands
that the player attains specific postures; hence, each sport tends
to strain the muscles at certain predictable points. Sports massage
can help heal strained muscles and allow healthy ones to reach peak
action and to maintain it, with less risk of injury.
Although massage is not thought of in conjunction
with Western medicine, Europeans have employed this time tested
practice for centuries. In the US we entrust our health to doctors
and our bones to chiropractors and orthopedists, but what of our
nerves and muscles?
The answer is massage therapy.
Medical massage can be used to prevent muscular atrophy in cases
of broken bones, to reduce inflammation in strains and sprains,
to reduce inflammation of sciatica and lumbago, to increase circulation
of varicose ulcers, to stimulate normal bowel movements and much
more. Although massage may create positive changes in many ailments
there are indications for not giving massage.
The trained therapist is well informed as
to contraindications. Active and passive exercise is the key to
good health. The informed therapist may evaluate your range of motion
and make recommendations for simple exercises to maintain or improve
Techniques which provide fully-clothed seated
massage, bodywork and somatic therapies to clients, generally in
a corporate or business setting. Practitioners utilize Shiatsu,
Amma, and/or Swedish techniques.
This comprehensive program of soft-tissue manipulation
balances the body's central nervous system with the musculoskeletal
system. Based on neurological laws which explain how the central
nervous system initiates and maintains pain, the goal is to help
relieve the pain and dysfunction by understanding and alleviating
the underlying cause.
Many ancient cultures have used
the healing power of hot stones for medicinal and spiritual purposes.
In the islands, it is believed that stones are filled with the vitality
and energy of the water that flows over them. The stones are heated
in hot water and placed on key energy points of the body to balance
the spirit. The deep penetrating heat of the volcanic basalt stone
is combined with traditional massage and aromatherapy techniques
to release muscular tension. Enveloped in warmth, you can achieve
a deeper dimension of relaxation to harmonize your energy and invoke
a meditative state.
An ancient Eastern therapy, based upon the philosophy
that all essential organs are linked by a "meridian" (an
energy line to a point on the soles of the feet). By using a pressure
point massage techniques, the therapist can identify imbalance in
the body and promote inner healing, thus giving a feeling of renewed
harmony and balance to the body.
Many people overuse their muscles by the repetitive
action of everyday occupation and use. It doesn't make a difference
if your a mother lifting a child or a carpenter swinging a hammer,
the same muscular motion of the shoulders and forearm are subject
to overuse. The symptoms of muscular aches and tightness proceed
into pain and inability to move those same muscles. Muscle Release
Techniques could be the answer to restore pain free muscles.