The Art of Massage

The Benefits of Massage

 

  • Alleviate pain and improve range of motion

  • Enhance immune system

  • Exercise and stretch weak, tight, or overused muscles

  • Help athletes of any level prepare for, and recover from, strenuous workouts

  • Increase joint flexibility

  • Improve circulation

  • Relieve migraine pain  

 

 

Effects of Massage Therapy are Physiological and Psychological.

 

Massage therapy performed on a healthy person increases muscle flexibility and relaxation, and decreases stress levels. The psychological effects are the increased well being that usually occurs with positive touch. The most profound changes from massage seem to occur in the body in areas that were  experiencing pathology or trauma, such as tissue that was edematous, fibroses, ischemic or painful. Psychological benefits are also most evident in those experiencing stress and depression.

  • Generally, massage is recognized as effective in reducing or managing pain.

  • Massage has an effect on local blood flow as demonstrated in several studies, but the amount of increase in circulation is not agreed upon (Cafarelli, Flint, 1992).

  • Massage can reduce blood pressure.

  • Massage therapy appears to increase the activity of the immune system.

  • Massage is able to reduce stress, anxiety and depression and give the client a feeling of well being.

  • Massage therapy, including tapotement, joint play, postural drainage and coughing techniques, has been shown to improve respiratory function and chest expansion and to clear mucus in respiratory pathologies. Massage therapy can also reduce the stress levels of those with asthma, in turn potentially reducing the frequency of attacks. 

  • Massage is effective at treating certain muscle dysfunctions. Massage can relax muscles, decrease spasms, improve resting length of muscles and reduce trigger points, fibrosis and adhesions.

 

The origin of the word "massage" is obscure. The word is derived from either the Arabic "mass", to touch, or the Greek "massein", to knead (Basmajian, 1985) For thousands of years , literature from all over the world has mentioned kneading, pressing, anointing or rubbing as a healing practice. The Yellow Emperor's Classics of Internal Medicine, written in China in about 1000 BC and probably the oldest medical book in existence, mentions the treatment of paralysis and reduced circulation using massage.

 

Massage, exercise and hydrotherapy were promoted by the Greeks physician Asclepides. The ancient Greeks used massage on athletes before and after sport. It was thought to prepare the muscle before activity and remove extra fluid and metabolites after sport, a theory which is in use today.

 

In India, ninth century  temple carving shows Buddha being treated by a massage. The Hindi term champna ( to press ) means massage; it is like the origin of the word shampooing. Used by English writer in nineteenth century India to describe massage, it now means to wash, rub or lather the hair ( Basmajian, 1985)

 

In the United States, massage was being adopted due to the writings of the Boston physician Douglas Graham, and John Kellogg of Battle Creek, Michigan  

6.jpg

A Few Word about Stretching

 

Stretching is also a good way to increase your athletic performance. In fact, flexibility is an important part of physical fitness.

Immediately after a workout is the best time to stretch. In fact, no matter the results, you will suffer from the potential temporary decrease in performance. You should stretch the muscles you just used because they are still really warm and they need to recover.

Stretching to prevent problems associated with activities.

  • Cramps

  • Stiff Muscles

  • Muscle Spasms

  • Pulled Muscles 

  • Muscle Tears 

  • Muscle Rupture

 

If you truly want to become more aware of your body, you must work on your breathing, oxygenation, and muscle relaxation. Your breathing during stretching should be calm and cadenced throughout the entire exercise so that movements are slow and lengthened. You will achieve better oxygenation and muscle relaxation if you breathing is measured and progressive.

Breathing affects muscle tone in these ways:

  • Muscles can express their full power only when you hold your breath.

  • They are little weaker when you exhale.

  • They are weakest during inhalation.

 

Holding your breath while stretching stiffen the muscle. So when stretching, you must relax you body. Inhale calmly.

 

Stretching- stretching is essential for improving well-being, muscle tone, and flexibility. To achieve these benefits, you just need to do a few simple exercises regularly while focusing on your breathing.

 

Benefits of stretching

  • relax both physically and mentally,

  • increase the flexibility of your muscles and tendons,

  • increase your range of motion,

  • improve your muscle tone, 

  • develop your fatigue threshold, 

  • prevent injuries and pain in muscles and joints.