Massage therapy is one of the oldest and simplest therapeutic forms. It involves stroking, pressing, and kneading different areas of the body to relieve pain.
Massage Therapy: Benefits
A good massage not only stimulates and relaxes the body but also tones it by acting on the soft tissues (muscles, tendons, and ligaments). Massage largely affects muscles that are just beneath the skin. However, if done regularly under proper conditions and in the right manner, its benefits extend to the deeper layers of muscles and even the organs. Thus, it strengthens the entire body and reduces its vulnerability to strains and injuries that occur because of excessive tension and structural weakness of the body.
Massage therapy also stimulates blood circulation and improves the lymphatic system (runs parallel to the circulatory system); lymphatic system is responsible for eliminating the waste material from the body. Massage therapy also calms the nervous system, reduces fatigue, and replenishes energy of an individual.
Massage Therapy: How to Do?
To begin with, choose the right equipment for effective massage therapy. You will need a firm and padded surface such as a massage table or simply a foam mattress spread on the floor to work on. You may use additional cushions and pads to support the body on the massage surface. You can choose from oils such as mineral, soya, peach and apricot kernel, grape seed, sunflower, almond, olive, and peanut, depending on which suits your body best. Additionally, keep blankets and towels handy to cover the portions of the body that are not being worked upon.
To benefit optimally from massage therapy it is important to set the right environment for massage. One must use soft lighting and music to create soothing effect during the therapy. Warm the room where you intend to massage and select a time when there are least chances of an interruption. Get your client or partner wear loose clothes, ensure that his/ her body is bare (without any jewelry or other accessories) and eyes shut, and tie the hair if it is long. Massage with clean hands and nails cut short; do not massage with wrist watch, bracelet, or fingerings on your hand. Continue to massage in upward movement for one to one-and-a quarter hour.
At its best, massage has the potential to restore an individual physically, mentally, and spiritually.