The Many Benefits of Massage

To again quote Hippocrates, “The physician must be experienced in many things, but most assuredly in rubbing.”

Massage is the most ancient of the healing practices primarily because it is such a built-in human instinct. To rub an aching neck, head or back comes as naturally to us as breathing. There are many physiological benefits to massage besides the fact that it simply feels good. By understanding these benefits, we can see why it is such an effective means of combating the effects of stress.

There are many different forms of massage, but they all share the same basic principles.* Just look at the many ways that massage can benefit total health:

– Massage increases blood circulation and lymphatic fluid movement improving the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the body and elimination of toxins. This alone is highly beneficial to the general health of the entire system.

– The massage of chronically tense muscles aids in the removal of built-up toxins and improves the structure and function of the area, providing not only physical relief, but improved psychological well being.

– Massage therapy reduces stress and promotes relaxation, thereby minimizing stress- induced illness.

Is it any wonder that people are turning to massage therapy as a treatment for all types of health conditions? For those suffering the effects of stress, the relief provided by massage is unsurpassed.

We’d all love to have a nice massage after a long stress-filled day, but often it can be difficult to find anyone willing to volunteer. Fortunately, there are several self-massage techniques that are helpful in easing tension, increasing circulation and promoting relaxation.

1.For tense back muscles – Place a tennis ball on the tense area. Sitting up straight, lean into a chair and press against the ball, taking long, deep breaths. Continue for a count of ten breaths and repeat as needed.

2.For head tension – Place your fingers on your scalp at the hair roots, spreading your fingers apart. Rotate the hair roots clockwise gently for a count of ten breaths, then change direction. Work from the hairline back to the neck.

3.Temple Massage – Rest your elbows on a table or desk. Place your hands on your temples and gently rub clockwise for a count of ten breaths, reverse direction.

4.General relaxation – Place elbows on a table or desk. Place the heel of your hand on the space between your eyebrows. Place the weight of your head on your hand and breathe long, deep breaths. Make small circular rotations, clockwise and counterclockwise.

If the stress in your life has reached the point that it’s making you ill or causing you chronic pain, you may want to seriously consider seeing a professional massage therapist, although self massage does have its benefits. As with any alternative treatment, if you have serious health considerations, check with your regular physician before seeking massage therapy to be sure it will not aggravate your condition.

There are various types of accreditation for massage therapists, depending on the state requirements and amount of training received. Choosing a massage therapist requires careful consideration.

Do you have any friends or relatives who have seen a massage therapist? If so, this is a good place to start. Ask for references from people you know. Next, call and/or visit the therapists in your area and ask about their credentials, where they were trained, how many hours of training they’ve received and whether they have any advanced training. Make sure they have a current license. You should also discuss fees, length of sessions and any aspect of massage that you have questions about. It is essential that you feel comfortable with your therapist and a qualified therapist should have no objection to answering all of your questions.

Whether your massage comes in the form of self-massage at your office desk or full body massage in the therapist’s office, you can be assured that it will benefit your health in many waysâÂ?¦ and it’ll feel great, too!

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