The History of Massage
"The application of soft-tissue manipulation techniques to the body, generally intended to reduce stress and fatigue while improving circulation. The many variations of massage account for several different techniques".
There are more than 250 variations of massage. The application of massage techniques may include, but is not limited to, stroking, kneading, tapping, compression, vibration, rocking, friction, and pressure to the muscular structure or soft tissues of the human body. This may also include non-forceful passive or active movement and/or application of techniques intended to affect the energetic systems of the body. The use of oils, lotions, and powders may also be included to reduce friction on the skin.
It is thought the term 'massage' originates from the Greek word, 'Massein' meaning 'to knead'. It is also linked to the Arabic word, 'mash' which means to 'press softly'. Both aptly describe the treatment, which is now used in healthcare, beauty therapy and sports. Despite the differences between each modality, all of them involve touch and manipulation techniques to move muscles and body tissue. The aim is to relieve stress, tension, pain and a whole host of other ailments.
Some of The Benefits Of Massage Include
- Alleviate low-back pain and improve range of motion.
- Reduce stress and Anxiety
- Ease medication dependence.
- Enhance immunity by stimulating lymph flow—the body's natural defense system.
- Exercise and stretch weak, tight, or atrophied muscles.
- Improve the condition of the body's largest organ—the skin.
- Increase joint flexibility.
- Promote tissue regeneration, reducing scar tissue and stretch marks.
- Pump oxygen and nutrients into tissues and vital organs, improving circulation.
- Reduce post surgery adhesions and swelling.
- Reduce spasms and cramping.
- Relax and soften injured, tired, and overused muscles.
- Release endorphins—amino acids that work as the body's natural painkiller.
- Relieve migraine pain.
- Enhance Sleep
- Increase Energy
- Pain Management
Swedish massage Originating in the 1700s, the Swedish massage is considered to be one of the first types of massage to be developed. Over the years it has evolved into a popular therapy, known for its five core techniques. These are:
- Effleurage - Long gliding strokes.
- Petrissage - Lifting and kneading the muscles.
- Friction: Firm - Deep circular rubbing movements.
- Tapotement - Brisk tapping or percussive movements.
- Vibration - Rapidly shaking or vibrating specific muscles.
The aim of Swedish massage is to increase the body's absorption of oxygen, which helps the body to rejuvenate. It also contributes to the detoxification process, which speeds up the rate at which cells eliminate waste. This process involves flushing lactic acid, uric acid and other waste from the tissues.
Swedish massage helps stimulate the skin and nervous system, and exercises the ligaments and tendons to keep them supple. The entire process is very relaxing and is championed for its ability to reduce both emotional and physical stress.