ALL ABOUT MASSAGE THERAPY

WHAT IS MASSAGE?

Massage is the manipulation of soft tissues and muscles of the body. This can be for relaxation and stimulation, and rehabilitation of the body. Massage promotes muscle suppleness, improves circulation and reduces stress

BASICS OF MASSAGE THERAPY

While there are a  variety of forms of massage and bodywork, all with their own theoretical  perspectives, there are certain basic principles they all  hold in common.

Circulation of Blood. Perhaps the most basic principle in this field is that improved blood circulation is beneficial for virtually all health conditions. Tension in the muscles and other soft tissues can impair circulation, resulting in  deficient supply of nutrients and inadequate removal of wastes or toxins from the tissues of the body. This in turn can lead to illness, structural and functional problems, or slower healing. Recognition of the importance of blood circulation is implicit in all forms of massage and bodywork.

Movement of Lymphatic Fluid. The lymph system is almost as extensive as  the blood. The circulation of lymphatic fluid plays a key role in ridding the body of wastes, toxins, and pathogens. The lymph system also benefits from massage, particularly in conditions where lymphatic flow is impaired by injury or surgery.

Release of Tension. Chronic muscular tension as a result of high stress lifestyles, trauma, or injury can accumulate and impair the body’s structure and function. Psychological well-being is also affected. Release of tension allows greater relaxation, which has important physiological and psychological benefits.

Structure and Function Are Interdependent. The musculo skeletal structure of the body affects function and function affects structure. Both can be adversely altered by stress or trauma. Massage therapy and bodywork can help restore healthy structure and function, thereby allowing better circulation, greater ease of movement, wider range of movement, more flexibility, and the release of chronic patterns of tension.

Enhancement of All Bodily Systems. All bodily systems are affected by better circulation and more harmonious functioning of the soft tissue and musculature. Internal organ systems as well as the nervous system, the immune system, and other systems can benefit. There can be an overall improvement in the quality of life and physical health.

Mind/Body Integration. Mind and body have a reciprocal relationship. Soma (body) affects psyche (mind) and vice versa. Hence there can be somatopsychic effects, in which the conditions of the body affect the mind and emotions, and there can be psychosomatic effects, in which psychological or emotional conditions affect the body. Change in one domain may cause change in the other. A habit or fixed pattern in one may also impede change in the other and require special attention. Often psychotherapy and massage or bodywork complement each other.

Reduction of Stress. Stress is increasingly believed to induce illness, and perhaps 80 to 90 percent of all disease is stress induced. Massage therapy is an effective non-drug method for reducing stress and promoting relaxation.

Energy. Many modalities in this tradition work with the flow of energy through the body as a means to promote healing. Energy can be directed or encouraged to move through and around the body in such ways as to have impact on the physical structure and function of the body as well as on emotional well-being. This work may involve hands-on contact or may be done with no contact with the physical body.

MASSAGE EFFECTS & BENIFITS

Massage is soothing which enables the mind and body to completely relax. This reduces stress and improves overall health. Massage stimulates and activates the body's systems. This improves circulation, aids digestion, invigorates and relaxes muscles therefore preventing muscle spasm and stiffness. Massage also promotes cell regeneration. It has psychological and physiological benefits.

People use massage for a variety of health-related purposes, including to relieve pain, rehabilitate sports injuries, reduce stress, increase relaxation, address anxiety and depression, and aid general wellness.

Circulation of Blood

Perhaps the most basic principle in this field is that improved blood circulation is beneficial for virtually all health conditions. Tension in the muscles and other soft tissues can impair circulation, resulting in a deficient supply of nutrients and inadequate removal of wastes or toxins from the tissues of the body. This in turn can lead to illness, structural and functional problems, or slower healing. Recognition of the importance of blood circulation is implicit in all forms of massage and bodywork.

Movement of Lymphatic Fluid

The lymph system is almost as extensive as that of the blood. The circulation of lymphatic fluid plays a key role in ridding the body of wastes, toxins, and pathogens. The lymph system also benefits from massage, particularly in conditions where lymphatic flow is impaired by injury or surgery (e.g., in postmastectomy women).Elliot Greene describes the process as one of breaking up the scarring that had occurred in her muscles and connective tissue or fascia between the muscles, vertebra, and ribs, all of which had become stuck together. Blood flow through the area was restored and the depression that had been palpable in her spine gradually began to diminish. The full range of motion of the spine returned.

Release of Toxins. 

Chronic tension or trauma to the soft tissues of the body can result in the buildup of toxic by-products of normal metabolism. Hands-on techniques help move the toxins through the body’s normal pathways of release and elimination.

Release of Tension. Chronic muscular tension as a result of high stress lifestyles, trauma, or injury can accumulate and impair the body’s structure and function. Psychological well-being is also affected. Release of tension allows greater relaxation, which has important physiological and psychological benefits.

Restore Structure and Function 

The musculoskeletal structure of the body affects function and function affects structure. Both can be adversely altered by stress or trauma. Massage therapy and bodywork can help restore healthy structure and function, thereby allowing better circulation, greater ease of movement, wider range of movement, more flexibility, and the release of chronic patterns of tension.

Enhancement of All Bodily Systems

All bodily systems are affected by better circulation and more harmonious functioning of the soft tissue and musculature. Internal organ systems as well as the nervous system, the immune system, and other systems can benefit. There can be an overall improvement in the quality of life and physical health.

Mind/Body Integration. 

 

Mind and body have a reciprocal relationship. Soma (body) affects psyche (mind) and vice versa. Hence there can be somatopsychic effects, in which the conditions of the body affect the mind and emotions, and there can be psychosomatic effects, in which psychological or emotional conditions affect the body. Change in one domain may cause change in the other. A habit or fixed pattern in one may also impede change in the other and require special attention. Often psychotherapy and massage or bodywork complement each other.

Reduction of Stress. 

Stress is increasingly believed to induce illness, and perhaps 80 to 90 percent of all disease is stress induced. Massage therapy is an effective non-drug method for reducing stress and promoting relaxation.

Energy. Many modalities in this tradition work with the flow of energy through the body as a means to promote healing. Energy can be directed or encouraged to move through and around the body in such ways as to have impact on the physical structure and function of the body as well as on emotional well-being. This work may involve hands-on contact or may be done with no contact with the physical body.

MASSAGE TECHNIQUES

EFFLEURAGE

The name effleurage derives effleurer, the French word for 'tough lightly'. It is generally a gentle sweeping motion. A relaxing stroke with varying levels of pressure, used at the beginning and end of a massage. Effleurage is also used in deep tissue massage with slower stronger pressure. Unlike petrissage or percussion, effleurage does not aim to move or manipulate tissues or muscles, only to soothe and relax them and improve circulation

PETRISSAGE

Petrissage to knead or rub with force and this stroke uses both kneading and rubbing movements to manipulate tissues and muscles. It uses the pressure of the hands or fingers to break down tension. There are various methods. In some cases only the fingers and or thumbs are used to knead the tissues, in others the whole hand is used. 

KNEADING

Kneading is a massage technique in the category of petrissage movements.

In general, petrissage movements involve compressing soft tissues (such as skin and  muscle tissue against each other and/or against the underlying bone or bones.

Kneading is a circular technique by which the skin and its underlying structures are moved in a circular rotating motion on the underlying structures (e.g. of muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones). Tissue is lifted and rolled away from the bone, and then back towards the bone with a squeezing compressive action.

This massage manipulation is performed using different parts of the therapists hand and/or fingers depending on the area of the body that is being kneaded. Other variations on this technique also depend on the area that is being worked.

MYOFASCIAL RELEASE

Myofascial release is manual technique for stretching the fascia with the aim to balance the body. Fascia is located between the skin and the underlying structure of muscle and bone, it is a seamless web of connective tissue that covers and connects the muscles, organs, and skeletal structures in our body. Injuries, stress, trauma, and poor posture can cause restriction to fascia, and the goal of myofascial release is to release fascia restriction and restore its tissue.

Trigger Point Therapy

Trigger point therapy is a bodywork technique that involves the applying of pressure to tender muscle tissue in order to relieve pain and dysfunction in other parts of the body. Trigger points are active centres of muscular hyperactivity, which often cross-over with acupuncture points. You will also find that your muscular "knots" are commonly trigger points.

TYPES OF MASSAGE

There are various different types of massage and understanding the differences will help you  choose the most effective technique to alleviate your discomfort.  In traditional massage, various levels of pressure and movement are applied to the body’s soft tissue — skin, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and fascia  Though there are many specialized massage techniques being used today, the most widely practiced is Swedish massage, built around five basic strokes – effleurage (gliding stroke), petrissage (kneading stroke), friction (steady pressure), tapotement (drumming), and vibration or jostling.

Some types of bodywork, such as Reiki or craniosacral therapy are much more subtle and work on an energetic level. They are an alternative to the more physical Swedish massage. But many other specialized techniques are easily incorporated into a Swedish massage. The most popular type of massage at Deep Tissue.ie is combination therapy incorporating all the best Swedish massage techniques but adding in deep tissue bodywork in order to maximize your massage experience.

SWEDISH MASSAGE

As the best-known kind of bodywork performed today, one of the essential objectives of the Swedish massage method is to unwind the whole body. This is expert by rubbing the muscles with long floating strokes toward blood coming back to the heart. In any case, Swedish back rub treatment goes past unwinding. Swedish back rub is outstandingly gainful for expanding the level of oxygen in the blood, diminishing muscle poisons, enhancing flow and adaptability while facilitating pressure. 

A review led by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, and distributed in The New York Times, found that volunteers who got a 45-minute Swedish back rub experienced huge abatement's in levels of the anxiety hormone cortisol, and in addition arginine vasopressin-a hormone that can prompt to increments in cortisol. Volunteers likewise had increments in the quantity of lymphocytes, white platelets that are a piece of the insusceptible framework, and a support in the safe cells that may battle colds and this season's flu virus. 

 

SWEDISH MASSAGE TECHNIQUES 

Extra Swedish back rub systems incorporate round weight connected by the hands and palms, firm working, percussion-like tapping, twisting and extending. Before and amid your Swedish back rub session, correspondence is empowered with your expert back rub advisor so that your back rub is tweaked to your particular needs.

RELAXATION MASSAGE

Relaxation massage with its slow movements is exclusively used for relaxation and stress reduction. It isn't comparable to remedial massage.

An ever greater must in this day and age, when humanity is prone to more and more stressed symptoms due to the many sensory overloads. By slow and rhythmic strokes, the anti-stress massage has a relaxing effect on the nervous system and puts the body into a resting state by reducing stress. Ideal for regular use after long working days. Relaxation, rest, relaxation for body, mind and soul. 

 

What does a relaxing massage do?

The blood circulation is stimulated. Thus, the mass transfer between bloodstream and tissue is positively influenced. Debris is transported away, nutrients and oxygen are supplied. Well-nourished muscles tense less. This leads to well-being, balance and good health.

It creates a self-regulating effect, in which tension gives way to relaxation and permanent stress leads to a general reassurance and recovery.

 

Healing effect of a relaxing massage on all levels

  • Relief of pain

  • Relaxation of cramped muscles

  • Recovery of strained nerves

  • Stimulation of the circulation

  • Benefit for body and soul

DEEP TISSUE MASSAGE

Deep tissue massage is a massage technique that concentrates on the deeper layers of muscle tissue. The purpose of this technique is to lengthen, relax and release strain patterns within the muscles so that the posture of the body can realign itself. Therapists use a combination of slow strokes and deep pressure by fingers, hands and forearms on tight places either following or going across the fibres of the muscles. As opposed to other massage techniques, deep tissue massage concentrates on the certain parts of the body that are strained; therefore, it is not unusual to have a session that concentrates fully on the lower back, neck or shoulder.

While some of the strokes may feel the same as those used in Swedish massage therapy, deep tissue massage isn't the same as having a regular massage with deep pressure.

It's used to break up scar tissue and physically break down muscle "knots" or adhesions (bands of painful, rigid tissue) that can disrupt circulation and cause pain, limited range of motion, and inflammation.

At the beginning of the massage, lighter pressure is generally applied to warm up and prep the muscles. Specific techniques are then applied. The most common techniques include:

Stripping: Deep, gliding pressure along the length of the muscle fibers using the elbow, forearm, knuckles, and thumbs

Friction: Pressure applied across the grain of a muscle to release adhesions and realign tissue fibers

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