Massage therapy is a treatment that is increasing in demand and recognition. At one time it was considered an alternative or a limited treatment, but now it is getting more and more into the mainstream of treatment. Massage therapy treatment includes circulating, relieving stress, reducing stress, reducing anxiety, improving sleep, and promoting relaxation throughout the body, as well as many other benefits.
The body’s soft tissues include muscles, tendons, connective tissue, and many other parts of the body. If someone needs to release stress, or has been injured and has extensive damage to muscle and/or nerve tissue that causes discomfort to their body, massage therapy should be sought.
History of Massage Therapy
You might consider that massage therapy is a recent development that is being emphasized by natural healers. This is somewhat factual. The therapeutic benefits of massage therapy are unquestionably being used at present, but massage is not new. It is a fraction of the long-established integrative system of treatment that started about 5,000 years ago.
Massage therapy dates back to 3000 BC (or even earlier) in India, where it was deemed as a consecrated system of natural curative. In ayurvedic system, the massage therapy practice was passed down through generations and considered to be the best healing practice for healing injuries, curing pains and aches and to prevent many other health problems.
Ayurveda promoters believe that when people are not adapted to the environment, it causes illness and disease. Massage therapy is considered to reinstate the body’s natural and physical stability. It is thought to be a natural cure.
As customs, traditions and history progress, massage therapy healing methods passed through generations and they spread it to China and Southeast Asia around 2700 BCE.
Chinese massage techniques have been built up as a combination of traditional Chinese medicine, martial arts, and yoga training expertise and techniques. This methods of massage were very similar to those of the Indians, based on the principle that the disease was caused by an unevenness or shortage of energy in different pathways.
The primeval Chinese developed a manuscript named “Yellow Emperor’s Classic Book of Internal Medicine”, which at present considered a main center for massage therapy, alternative medicine (acupuncture, acupressure and herbal treatments).
In 2500 BC, massage therapy led the way to Egypt, where it was portrayed in sepulchre paintings. The Egyptians incorporated their own physical work techniques and are accredited with developing reflexology that entails applying some pressure to particular points on the hands and feet for curative effects.
Later on in 1000 BCE, the monks, who were studying Buddhism in China brought this massage to Japan and add their bodywork in it, called Shiatsu.
This method is especially designed to stabilize and strengthen the organs by restoring the energy levels through the stimulation of pressure points in the anticipation of bringing normal confrontation to ailment.
Massage therapy in Ancient Greece and the Roman Empire
The Egyptians manipulates the Greeks and Romans who applied massage in a variety of ways. Between 800 and 700 BC in Greece, sportspersons used massage therapy before competitions in order to stay active during competitions, and physicians applied different kinds of herbs and oils on their bodies to treat a variety of health problems.
Hippocrates, the “father of Unani medicine”, treated many patients with physical injuries in the 5th century BC with massage, rubbing, along with other techniques, and offered a combination of massage, organic diet, work out and fresh air to restore imbalances of health.
In the first century BC, Galen, a Roman physician, used massage therapy on Roman emperors, repeating Hippocrates’ techniques for treating diseases and wounds.
Massage was practiced in the homes of wealthy Romans, however ordinary Roman people came to the Roman baths for “spa” treatments and body massages to arouse circulation and calm down their joints. The West was unfamiliar with massage therapy up until the 17th century, when new inventions in medical technology substituted the modern medicine.
Dutchman Johan George Mezger Techniques for Massage Therapy
In 19th century a massage and physiotherapist Dutchman Johan George Mezger invented new techniques and is credited with including such unique techniques that are used at present as well. These techniques are;
Effleurage: This massage therapy technique uses extensive, slithering blows internally at various pressure levels.
Petrissage: Massage therapy technique involves rhythm and involves manipulation, reflexology, skin railing, pushing, and lifting or even pull movement.
Tapemotement: In this massage technique use of tapping, hand-held hand or Swedish massage that works along the palmar surface of the hand.
Friction: A massage therapy technique that is bodily demanding, relating deep, round or cross-way movements of thumbs or possibly fingers, palms, elbows, intended to make a way into deep tissues.
Benefits of Massage Therapy
Here are some benefits of massage therapy.
When the body is stressed and strained, it produces unhealthy levels of the well-known stress hormone, cortisol, which can lead to weight gain, lack of sleep, digestive problems and headaches. In that case massage therapy can play an important role. Massage therapy lowers the cortisol levels in the body that enables the body to enter in a state of recovery. Additionally, this form of massage therapy also stimulates lasting feelings of relaxation, better mood and reduction of stress levels.
Not only can massage therapy help relieve stress, but long-term regular massage sessions can boost energy levels, reduce pain, and motivate individuals both physically and emotionally. It can also help in lowering the blood pressure levels – regular massage therapy sessions have been found to lower blood pressure levels effectively. In fact, some long-term studies have shown that a regular massage program can lower blood pressure, both systolic (upper number) and diastolic (lower number). In addition, consistent massage therapy sessions can lower cortisol levels in the body as well as regular massage sessions can reduce the effects of anxiety, hostility, stress and depression. As a result, low blood pressure can reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, and/or kidney failure, as well as many other health problems.
Promotes Muscle Relaxation
The main philosophy of massage therapy is to target the source of body pain by increasing tense muscles, increasing flexibility, and relaxing the affected muscles throughout the body. Massage also promotes circulation in the affected or injured muscle, which increases nutrients and oxygen to damaged tissues. As a result, this increased activity in the affected areas reduces stiffness and swelling in the muscles and joints, as well as increasing the flexibility to help reduce pain. Furthermore, this form of therapy also releases endorphins (pain-killing hormones), which increase the levels of dopamine and serotonin in the body. These hormones help the body physically and emotionally in many ways. More importantly, they promote healing, pain management, and emotional well-being, as well as help calm the nerves.
Helps Improve Circulation
Long-term benefits of massage therapy should not be underestimated. Improved body movement and circulation are part of the snowball effect that usually happens in the body as a result of getting massage therapy on a daily basis. This is because proper circulation brings a good blood supply to the bad, stiffed, and tensed muscles which they need to promote fitness.
Furthermore, massage promotes better circulation through the use of hand pressure, which transfers blood to the damaged and swarming areas of the body. New blood flows to the tissues as a result of the release of this pressure. Squeezing, rotating, and stretching massage techniques also remove lactic acid from muscle tissue. Consequently, this process improves the circulation of lymph fluid, which carries metabolic waste products away from internal organs and muscles. And as a result, blood pressure levels drop and bodily functions improve.
Relieves Chronic Back Pain
In fact, chronic back pain, a major cause of disability, is often the result of incorrect or poor posture while standing and/or sitting. In addition, overweight, weakness, and frequent or excessive mobility can also cause stress in the back and other potentially difficult areas. As a result, the added stress often causes tension, pain, and tension in the hips, back, neck, and legs. Massage therapy can help bring the body back to the right alignment. In fact, improving one’s posture can be a beneficial and relaxing aspect of massage therapy.
Massage helps to relax the body and relax the tense and sore muscles caused by bad posture. As a result, it allows the body to position itself in its organic and pain-free posture. As part of a permanent massage therapy program, the body’s muscles are relaxed and stress-free. In addition, the joints are freed from limitations, flexibility, range of motion, and pressure points. As a result, the body is able to position itself in a natural and healthy posture. In short, massage therapy helps to correct the positions and movements that arise over time in response to pain.
Strengthens the Immunity System
Regular massage sessions provide many benefits to the human body. It is a well-known fact that people who experience high stress have a higher risk of illness and injury. When stress is combined with sleep disorders and malnutrition, it affects the body’s immune system. Studies have shown that regular massage sessions not only help reduce stress but also boost the cytotoxic capacity of the body’s immune system (the level of activity of the body’s natural “killer cells”) and the body. In addition, massage can be a great addition to any exercise program. While regular exercise can keep the body healthy, regular massage can help keep the immune system strong and flexible.
Massage for Women
As a woman, you are likely to be under pressure at work, at home, or in the pursuit of both with your abilities. You work hard to make everyone happy in your family. But you don’t have enough time to spare for your own self to replenish your energy levels. Massage can help complete this cycle of renewal and replenish the energy levels. Massage can help women cope with stress and provide a positive way to relax and move through life’s challenges and transitions. Massage also helps women emotionally and reduces the symptoms of insomnia. Additionally, massage has been shown to help relieve symptoms of premenstrual syndrome during pregnancy and labor, and to enhance skin tone and complexion.
Massage for Men
As a human being in today’s fast-paced world, it is important to stay fit, maintain your energy, and perform at your best at work, at home, and on the playground. Men are finding that taking the time to massage can reduce stress, promote overall health, and replenish energy for whatever they want to do. Therapeutic massage can help your health in many ways.
- Improved overall performance
- Injury prevention
- Normal blood pressure and heart rate
- Recovery from injuries
- lower muscle tension
- Relieves muscle pain
- Reduces stress
- Supports exercise regime
Massage therapy at Present
Demand for massage therapy has grown considerably in the 19th century. By the 1930s, Swedish massage was in high demand, and different masseurs and physiotherapists employed it in permanent medicine assisted massage therapy to become a valid and highly regarded type of medicine. The American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) was established and laid the foundations of today’s massage practitioners by setting up standards of principles and education.
Between the years 1970 and 2000, the field of massage therapy got through different transformations, as the primary necessity of people to live healthier lives and chosen more wide-ranging approaches to pain management, maintenance, health care, and rehabilitation of healthy bodies. At present, there are many who realize that massage therapy is a good alternative treatment.