Integrated Natural Medicine

Massage

Massage is defined as the systematic manipulation of the soft tissues of the body for a curative effect. Soft tissues are made more pliable through massage to promote circulation and blood flow and bring about healing effects: physical and psychological changes for general wellbeing.

The system of massage treatment involves the therapist using their hands to apply pressure on your body. Therapists use various techniques to work on the body: stroking and gliding (effleurage), kneading the soft tissues (petrissage), or what is termed ‘percussion’ (tapotement).

What are the benefits of massage?

Massage therapy is extremely beneficial to people leading busy lifestyles suffering from what is now commonly encountered work related stress. Massage will not only aid with mental relaxation but will work on physical symptoms of back and neck pain that comes from sitting for an extended period of time at a desk or from physical labour.

The importance of taking regular massage has heightened in recent times as more people recognise how beneficial it is as a way to counteract the effects of sitting in front of a computer screen daily. Work related stress is a serious problem in society leading to poor health, disease, and death. This situation might be helped if employers take the opportunity to enlist the services of a professional Massage Therapist who will educate about the benefits of relaxation and massage.

Many people wait until they are already in pain or suffering spinal injuries before turning to massage, but why let it get that bad? It is a good idea to take regular massage as a preventative measure so that such injuries do not occur. Regular massage maintenance will increase your overall sense of wellbeing for optimum physical and mental health, helping you to achieve your goals.

Types of massage – what type of massage is best for me?

There are several forms of massage on offer, and it can be confusing to know what will work best for a particular ailment or condition. Some massage concentrates more on relaxing the client whilst others will work more deeply at repairing damaged muscle tissue. It may be that you need to try several forms of massage to find what works best for you. You can find more information regarding specific types of massage on the Natural Therapies Pages directory. Here is a brief summary of some commonly found massage therapies:

  1. Chinese Massage – is a part of Traditional Chinese Medicine. This massage therapy is closely related to Herbal Medicine, Acupuncture and Acupressure. Chinese Massage treatment creates movement and is therefore seen as a treatment for pain relief. It is almost always given on a couch or a stool
  2. Connective Tissue Massage – this technique is connected to the Myofascial release technique, and does not involve the use of oil or lotion. It may relieve chronic tension, improve posture and relieve painful symptoms.
  3. Hot Stone Massage – aids the client to experience deep relaxation. The therapist places heated basalt stones on the body’s acupressure points. A series of Swedish Massage style techniques is used with the therapist holding smooth stones and applying essential oils to work away muscle tension.
  4. Deep Tissue Massage – focuses on the deeper layers of muscle tissue. It is designed to reach the deep sections of thick muscles, specifically the individual muscle fibres.
  5. Remedial Massage – works to heat muscles and tendons that are damaged, impaired or knotted. It holistically treats the whole body and traces the discomfort back to the original cause. It uses specialised techniques to support and speed up the body’s own repair mechanisms. The massage is applied directly to the skin usually with an oil lubricant. Passive stretching moves are also employed.
  6. Swedish Massage – is a system of long strokes, kneading, friction, tapping, percussion, vibration and shaking motions that apply pressure between muscles and bones, rubbing in the same direction as the flow of blood returning to the heart. Swedish Massage feels good, is relaxing and invigorating.
  7. Rolfing Massage alternative medicine originally developed by Ida Rolf (1896–1979) as Structural Integration. It is typically delivered as a series of ten hands-on physical manipulation sessions sometimes called “the recipe”. It is based on Rolf’s ideas about how the human body’s energy field. Practitioners combine superficial and deep manual therapy with movement prompts. The process may sometimes be painful. Depending on the patient, we usually combine Rolfing with some other therapies for improved outcome
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