Remedial massage therapy is very effective at treating injuries, however it entails a more complete massage that works with all of the muscles in the body. The remedial massage therapist maintains a firm, but gentle pressure while they work with each of the muscle groups. As each area becomes more relaxed, it decreases the tightening effect that it has had on the next area until eventually, the whole muscular system can work again as one.
Deep tissue massage
Deep tissue massage is designed to relieve severe tension in the muscle and the connective tissue or fascia. This type of massage focuses on the muscles located below the surface of the top muscles. Deep tissue massage is often recommended for individuals who experience consistent pain, are involved in heavy physical activity (such as athletes), and patients who have sustained physical injury. It is not uncommon for receivers of deep tissue massage to experience muscles to be tender for a day or two after there session.
Relaxation / Swedish massage
Relaxation massage is essentially the same as a gentle Swedish massage that uses smooth, gliding strokes. The primary purpose will be to help you relax, and the massage therapist will probably move at a slower pace and use light pressure.
During a relaxation massage there is less emphasis on working out serious adhesion’s or knots in the muscle tissue and the therapist won’t push your pain limits in order to get the muscle to release. Sometimes people even fall asleep during a relaxation massage.
There are still substantial health benefits to a relaxation massage, including calming the nervous system, promoting a sense of well-being, improving blood circulation and stimulating the body’s lymphatic system, which carries away waste products.
Massage plays a part in every form of sport or exercise. Unfortunately, many people believe aches and pains are an inevitable consequence to activity. But massage can actually reduce or eliminate what may appear to be exercise-induced pain.
It can increase endurance, control fatigue and help people feel better when used as part of a regular health program. Massage can also speed muscle recovery rates as it eliminates irritation from waste. By helping reduce fatigue and aid recovery, massage enables more productive training, with longer, more effective workouts meaning better performance with fewer injuries. Exercise changes the way our muscles work. Blood vessels become more intricate as the body demands more oxygen and nutrients and increases waste elimination. This takes time. While the muscles are getting into shape, they can struggle to get enough oxygen and nutrients, so waste collects.
Massage and Injuries
Massage also helps recovery from soft tissue injuries such as sprains and strains. Tissue growth and repair is accelerated by efficient circulation and appropriate stimulation. Everybody experiences some form of stress through work, family, the environment and society. Mental tensions, frustrations, and insecurity cause the most damage. Hormones released by stress actually shrink the vessels, inhibiting circulation. A stressed mind and body means the heart works harder. Breathing becomes rapid and shallow and digestion slows. Nearly every body process is degraded. Studies show stress can cause migraines, hypertension (high blood pressure), depression etc. In fact, researchers have estimated 80% of disease is stress related. Soothing and relaxing massage therapy can counteract the effects of stress.
What Injuries can Massage Treat?
- Headaches & migraines
- Frozen shoulder
- Sore shoulder and neck
- Back pain & sciatica
- Tennis and golfers elbow
- Sprains, strains and tears
- Over-use injuries
- Shin splints
Cupping is the term applied to a technique that uses small glass cups as suction devices that are placed on the skin. Suction can also be created by placing an inverted cup over a small flame, or by using an alcohol-soaked cotton pad over an insulating material (like leather) to protect the skin, then lighting the pad and placing an empty cup over the flame to extinguish it. Flames are never used near the skin and are not lit throughout the process of cupping, but rather are a means to create the heat that causes the suction within the small cups.
Once the suction has occurred, the cups can be gently moved across the skin (often referred to as “gliding cupping). The suction in the cups causes the skin and superficial muscle layer to be lightly drawn into the cup. Cupping is much like the inverse of massage – rather than applying pressure to muscles, it uses gentle pressure to pull them upward. For most patients, this is a particularly relaxing and relieving sensation. Once suctioned, the cups are generally left in place for about ten minutes while the patient relaxes. This is similar to the practice of Tui Na, a traditional Chinese medicine massage technique that targets acupuncture points as well as painful body parts, and is well known to provide relief through pressure.
It is a specialized therapy, which is designed to improve the functioning of the lymphatic system. This is primarily achieved through gentle, rhythmical circling movements of the skin, which stimulate the contractions of the lymphatic vessels. Techniques are performed with hands and fingers using a light-touch, which is simulating, gentle, through a wave-like movement. The subtle manual manoeuvres activate lymph and interstitial fluid circulation as well as stimulate the functioning of the immune and nervous systems. A well functioning lymph system contributes to healthy body tissue and plays an important part in the body’s immune system responses.
BENEFITS OF MASSAGE
- Increase the blood’s oxygen capacity by 10-15%
- Help loosen contracted, shortened muscles and stimulate weak, flaccid muscles. This muscle “balancing” can even help posture and promote more efficient movement;
- Speed recovery from exercise-induced fatigue;
- Increase production of gastric juices, saliva and urine;
- Increase excretion of nitrogen, inorganic phosphorus, and sodium chloride (salt). This suggests that the metabolic rate increases;
- Balance the nervous system by soothing or stimulating it, depending on which effect is needed;
- Improves function of the oil and sweat glands that lubricate, clean and cool the skin. Though, inflexible skin can become softer and more supple;
- Indirectly or directly stimulating nerves the supply internal organs can dilate the organs’ blood vessels, improving blood supply.
Given some of the main benefits of massage, you may prefer to have a therapist come to you to perform the treatment as opposed to visiting the therapist. This type of treatment has the benefits of allowing you to remain in your own environment with which you are likely most comfortable, to avoid the pre and post stresses of traveling to the therapist to receive your massage and of course to retire directly to your place of rest immediately following your massage. Therapists bring a portable massage table with them on which to perform the massage.
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