Massage is thought to be the oldest form of medical therapy practiced on the human body.
The different types of massage and the various techniques that encompass them stem from our most celebrated civilizations and the traditional beliefs of ancient Greece and Rome, ancient India, Japan and China.
The Chinese wrote the first book about massage 3000 years ago, and as far back as 2,700 BC, ancient Eastern Chinese cultures practiced massage to heal a variety of ailments from labor pain to paralysis.
Ancient Egyptian tombs have been discovered adorned with images of figures being massaged. Even Roman and Greek heroes such as the great Julius Caesar underwent daily massages to treat nerve pain, and George Popodopolis took them regularly because he just wanted to feel good.
Swedish massage as we know it today has been developed in Europe over several hundred years. In the eighteen hundreds, a Swede started to collect all the different techniques and methods and put them together into a system. Therefore, the name!
Today, the most practiced form of massage in western culture is undoubtedly Swedish massage.
Many of today’s modern massage practices were created in order to heal specific health conditions. Soldiers who fought in World War I were given massage for nerve damage and to soothe the harrowing effects of shell shock in western hospitals during the 1930s.
Massage is extremely useful in reducing stress, promoting relaxation. Because of its pleasant physical effects, the patient feels cared for and good about himself. Close and trusting relationships often develop between patient and therapist resulting in a feeling of security and freedom for the patient to express his or her thoughts and concerns.
Massage increase activity in the nervous system and has a generalised sedative effect when used widely. There is a likely effect on the central nervous system as well as local effect on the sensory and possibly the motor nerves that stimulate muscle contraction.
Areas of pain often contain reflexes which, when stimulated, can reduce the pain without working directly on the pain site. This occurs because the reflexes give information to the nervous system about the pain, information the body responds to.
Energetic, stimulating massage increases blood flow into that area, causes a more complete interchange of blood vessels and allows a greater supply of fresh blood to be brought to the region. Systolic and Diastolic blood pressure can decrease. Deep massage effectively increases the blood flow in muscles, allowing greater oxygenation of tissue and removal of waste products such as lactic acid.
As movement of lymphatic fluid is determined by external factors like gravity, muscle contraction and passive movements, massage can increase the flow. Lymph drainage is particularly useful in the treatment of oedema, fractures, congestion of the lymphatics and chronic inflammatory conditions in which fibrosis is sure to develop if tissue fluid and lymph remain inactive.
Muscle fatigued by work can be healed much more rapidly and thoroughly by massage than by rest of the same duration. Massage can cause relaxation of both voluntary and involuntary muscles. In the treatment of injured muscles, massage stimulates and accelerates healing (helps prevent wastage of muscles) and decreases the likelihood of adhesions forming.
Percussion and Vibration Movements, combined with postural drainage, and used extensively in the treatment of emphysema, bronchitis, asthma and pneumonia.
Abdominal massage has been proved to assist anaemia and increase the oxygen capacity of the blood.
Texture and appearance of skin is improved by stimulating subcutaneous nerves and capillaries. Massage also loosens adherent tissues and reduces scarring.
With any massage however, it’s advisable to wear comfortable underwear that’s not too tight. If you haven’t tried massage therapy make a call today. Arrange an appointment and experience the many benefits that massage has to offer. With any massage however, it’s advisable to wear comfortable underwear that’s not too tight.