Today massage therapy is not only offered in beauty spas but also in hospitals, clinics, airports and even in businesses. It involves so much more than just some relaxing time.
Studies have proven both its emotional and physical benefits, and in some states, it is considered as part of an alternative and complementary medicine, though it doesn’t have conventional uses.
Massage therapy involves the rubbing, pressing and manipulating of your skin, ligaments, tendons, and muscles and it ranges from deep stroking to light stroking.
Common Types of Massage Therapy
In this type of massage, the therapist uses his or her fingers to apply rhythmic pressure on your body parts which are important in enhancing the flow of vital energy known as qi.
Deep tissue massage
In this massage, the therapist uses slow but forceful strokes to reach your deeper connective tissue and muscle layers.
This is a gentle type of massage therapy where the therapist makes long strokes, deep circular movements, kneads and taps your body to energize and help you relax.
Trigger point massage
This type of massage mainly focuses on the tight muscle fibers that form in your muscles due to either overuse or after an injury.
How Massage Therapy Works
In massage therapy, the touch invites relaxation and together with pain relief, it causes psychological changes to your body and produces relaxation response.
The relaxation response is a state in which your breathing and heart rate slows down, the production of stress hormone reduces, your muscles relax and blood pressure goes down. The relaxation response also increases the levels of serotonin, a chemical that affects your thoughts and emotions.
This relaxation response also decreases the effects of stress and reduces the health complications associated with stress such as insomnia, anxiety, cardiac arrhythmias, hypertension, sexual dysfunction, persistent fatigue, digestive disorders among others.
Massage therapy also works by relaxing your muscle tissue which in turn reduces spasm and painful contractions.
Benefits of Massage Therapy
Massage therapy is used along standard treatment for several medical conditions and situations. Studies on its advantages indicate that it is effective in treating muscle tension, pain and stress and it can be helpful for:
- Digestive disorder
- Sports injuries
- Soft tissue injuries and strains
- Insomnia related to stress
- Temporomandibular joint pain
- Myofascial pain syndrome
Beyond its health benefits, a massage gives you the feeling of comfort, connection, and caring.