Massage or massage therapy is fairly common in most parts of the world. There are many different types and styles of massage. In the western cultures, the most popular massage style is the Swedish massage. The Swedish massage is a great basic massage that will relieve stress and tension while it circulates blood through out the body.
People generally use massage therapy to improve their blood circulation and relieve muscular problems such as tension, cramps, or strains. Massage therapy provides oxygen and other nutrients to the body tissues, thereby making the muscles stronger. It improves the mobility and flexibility of the muscles, relieves the muscles from pain and tension, and helps in clearing the waste materials and lactic acid from the body. Massage also helps in reducing the stiffness and pain experienced in the joints and muscles and thus, makes the recipient feel relaxed.
People schedule massage therapy usually for relaxation purpose or for specific health problems, such as backache, relief from stress or other stress related problems, arthritis, headache, tendonitis, or migraines. Massage also relieves the muscles from spasm, sprains, and strains. It helps relive and even reverse the effects of carpal tunnel syndrome (repetitive strain injury), and respiratory and circulatory problems. Massage therapy also relieves the body of stress by lowering the level of cortisol hormones in the body. It has been seen that massage can enhance the immune system as well.
An average session of massage lasts for 60 to 90 minutes. The session begins after a brief consultation about the lifestyle, medical history, and symptoms of the person. A brief consultation can give the therapist clues and important information on what parts of the body need to be worked on, or sometimes, what parts of the body need to be avoided.
Massage and bodywork therapies are usually defined as the application of several techniques to the soft tissues and muscular structure of the body. The application of such soft-tissue manipulation methods to the body is generally geared towards reducing fatigue and stress while, at the same time, improving the blood circulation. There are many variations involved in every massage therapy which account for various different massage techniques.
Bodywork, somatic, and massage therapies, each have over 250 variations and most practitioners utilize multiple and highly effective techniques. These techniques usually include, but are not limited to, tapping, friction, kneading, stroking, vibration, pressure, rocking, and/or compression on the soft tissues or muscular structure of the body. These may also include active or passive and non-forceful movements and the application of these techniques is directed towards enhancing the energetic system of our body. Massage therapists typically use lotions, powders, and oils to reduce the friction on skin.
It is important to note that any bodywork or massage therapies distinctively exclude prescription, diagnosis, adjustments or manipulation in any part of the skeletal structure. Massage therapy can greatly improve the skeletal structure, but it does so by lengthening muscles attached to skeletal structure releasing tension, strain and contorted patterns in the body.