A Massage Therapy Crash Course
What is Massage Therapy?
Massage is one of the oldest healing arts: Chinese records dating back 3,000 years document its use; the ancient Hindus, Persians and Egyptians applied forms of massage for many ailments; and Hippocrates wrote papers recommending the use of rubbing and friction for joint and circulatory problems. Today, the benefits of massage are varied and far-reaching. As an accepted part of many physical rehabilitation programs, massage therapy has also proven beneficial for many chronic conditions, including low back pain, arthritis, bursitis, fatigue, high blood pressure, diabetes, immunity suppression, infertility, smoking cessation, depression, and more. And, as many millions will attest, massage also helps relieve the stress and tension of everyday living that can lead to disease and illness.
Are there different types of massage? Yes.
Fluid, typically slow strokes. Derives from a Greek word meaning "to touch or to handle". This is your basic relaxation massage.
Incorporates Swedish techniques but in deeper layers of muscle and tissue. Deep tissue targets musculoskeletal dysfunction. It can also include myofascial mobilization.
A type of soft tissue therapy which focuses on the neurological reflex mechanisms in the development of pain and dysfunction. An important component of NMT is the treatment of myofascial trigger points.
A very important massage modality which aids athletes in preparation for and recovery from athletic events. Sports Massage uses faster strokes and can also include active/assisted and cryogenic (ice) techniques.
Founded by Dr. William H. Fitzgerald, reflexology maps "zones" on the hands and feet which coo relate to specific organs and regions of the body. By stimulating these "zones" you can reduce stress, improve circulation and enhance health.