Being one of my most popular forms of complementary medicine, massage therapy has a very long history in cultures around the world. In the modern society, people use it for different health purposes, no wonder why there are more than 200 types of massage techniques practised today.
I offer more than 15 types of massage, including hot stone massage, aromatherapy massage, lymphatic drainage, indian head massage, relaxing (Swedish) massage, sports massage, remedial massage, ayurvedic massage, thai yoga massage, lomi lomi massage and hot herbal massage. Mine vary according to a) the type of oil used, b) the hand techniques used, c) any use of tools, such as a compress, jack nobber, a body scrub or stones, d) whether there's any heat involved, e) whether there's any stretching involved, and f) which parts of the body we're massaging (e.g. our speciality back, neck and shoulder).
You can see how these six factors create such a vast number of different massages. What benefits do they all have in common?
Why get a massage?
Why not? Numerous studies have been conducted to determine the therapeutic effects of massage and in what way does it achieve such effects. But even before scientists uncovered the amazing benefits of massage therapy, millions of people have relied on it to achieve the following beneficial rewards:
Stress Relief and Relaxation
Stress is a major risk factor for chronic diseases, including cancer, heart failure and diabetes. Clinical studies reveal that just an hour and a half session of therapeutic massage can significantly lower down your heart rate and reduce your cortisol levels, your stress hormones. As your heart rate lowers and your blood circulates properly, your body will start to feel relaxed. There are specific massage techniques that are used to relieve tensions in the body.
Healthier Heart and Improved Blood Flow
By enhancing your blood circulation, getting massage regularly can strengthen your cardiovascular system. Decades of research suggest that regular massage therapy can promote heart health by reducing diastolic, systolic blood pressure and cortisol levels. Also, many people who suffered from stroke reported significant improvement in their mobility functions after undergoing several sessions of massage therapy.
Muscle Tension and Pain Relief
Too much exercising, lifting too heavy objects, standing or sitting for a long time, etc. can injure your muscles, and make you suffer from intense pain. Massage therapy helps relieve the pressure in your muscles and allow the nutrients in your body to replenish damaged tissues.
Why do you rub your temples when you’re having a headache? Most likely, you have experienced the therapeutic benefit of massage particularly in alleviating pain. Massage does two things in soothing your headache. First, it reduces your stress levels and releases muscle spasms and trigger points, resulting to fewer pain attacks. Second, it relieves the pressure in the painful area – reducing the discomfort.
According to experts, poor posture is the major reason why our neck and back hurts. Massage therapy allows your body to reinforce natural movements. It also relieves your muscles from the tension brought by incorrect posture.
Stronger Immune System and a Speedy Recovery
This is perhaps the most beneficial effect of massage therapy. For you to stay physically and mentally healthy, you need to have a strong immune system. Research suggests that regular massage can naturally strengthen our immune system by keeping our ‘killer cells’ active – the cells that protect the body from damage caused by free radicals.
People who have been injured in accidents are advised to undergo massage therapy as a supplemental treatment. More often than not, recovering from an injury takes a long, long time, sometimes months or years. By promoting blood flow, massage makes it easier for your body to supply essential nutrients to the tissues and organs that have been injured.
The ability of massage therapy to strengthen our body, shield us from stress, give us comfort during headaches and chronic pain, improve our posture, and speed up our recovery from injury are great benefits we seldom find in a single treatment. Isn’t that amazing?
I look forward to welcoming you to my massage suite.
Best wishes, Steve