Do you frequently get massages or consider them a luxury? If you think massages are an extravagance, you are very wrong. Therapeutic massages are vital to your health and should be a part of your overall wellness plan.
They can boost your performance, prevent and eradicate injuries, aid in recovery, improve metabolism, improve circulation, reduce stress and strengthen your immune system.. One of the best forms of massage is therapeutic massage. It is a holistic healing method practiced around the world.
Therapeutic Massage Definition
“What is therapeutic massage” you may ask? Therapeutic massage is an umbrella term that refers to any massage technique that helps enhance the body’s innate restorative functioning. It helps lower stress, relieve pain, relax muscles, improve blood circulation,improves elimination and instills calmness.
Therapeutic massage can be used together with allopathic medicine to treat illnesses and injuries, to get rid of stress and pain, to heal soft tissue damage, and to rejuvenate the body. For example, an injured person attending physiotherapy might get therapeutic massage to increase their flexibility, to loosen muscles, and to enhance muscle tone.
Therapists also use therapeutic touch massage to facilitate healing. They put their hands on or near the bodies of patients to help them heal. The therapists interact with the patient’s’ energy fields in order to direct or modulate their energies. They balance the patients’ energies to awaken their inherent healing abilities.
Many people have the misconception that therapeutic massage is deep tissue massage. The two are different. Deep tissue massage breaks down scar tissue and promotes blood circulation. It is one of the techniques of therapeutic massage. Sometimes, your body may be in need of deep tissue massage while other times it may need a lighter touch. A skilled and intuitive therapist will offer the right massage for your needs.
Therapeutic Massage Techniques
The elements of therapeutic massage are many. Therapeutic needs vary from day to day and from person to person hence different massage techniques are used in different circumstances. They vary in pressure, area of focus, and outcome. Some relieve tension, others improve circulation, while others help muscles to recover from chronic pain. Here are the main therapeutic massage techniques.
Known as the classic or western style of massage, this technique was devised in Sweden by Per Henrik Ling, a gymnastics instructor and fencing master. It consists of five basic strokes: effleurage, petrissage, friction, tapotement, and vibration. The massage technique promotes rehabilitation, relaxation, and health maintenance. It increases blood and lymph circulation by activating the nerve endings in the skin and connecting tissue.
Deep Tissue Massage
This massage is similar to Swedish massage but the work is done deep inside the muscles, tendons, and surrounding tissue. Therapists use deep finger pressure and slow strokes to release constricted muscle areas and connective tissue. The deeper pressure helps eliminate chronic muscle tension. A deep tissue massage does not hurt, but it’s more uncomfortable than Swedish massage, especially for people with large chronic knots.
This technique was invented by Dr. William Sutherland in the 1900s and improved by Dr. John Upledger in the 1970s. It is a light touch manipulation of the head and bony bottom of the spine that helps restore cerebrospinal fluid movement. It is used to boost resistance to disease and is applied in numerous medical issues linked to pain and dysfunction.
This therapy involves the manipulation of certain reflex areas in the ears, hands, and feet that relate to other parts of the body. Pressure is applied to these reflex zones to relieve areas of congestion and to activate body organs. Reflexology works with the body’s energy flow to trigger self-healing and to sustain balance in physical functioning. It promotes relaxation, decreases pain, and stimulates circulation of lymphatic fluids and blood. It is very useful for treating emotional disorders and stress-related illnesses.
Hot Stone Massage Therapy
Since ancient times, hot stones have been used for healing. However, the therapy gained popularity when Mary Nelson, a massage therapist, formulated a hot stone technique called ‘La Stone Therapy’. In this technique, hot, smooth, and flat stones are placed on major points on the body. The therapist can also massage certain areas of your body with the stones. The stones get rid of your stress and tension, leading to deep relaxation.
This therapy is similar to deep tissue massage but is applied to individual muscles. It helps decrease pain, get rid of pressure on nerves, and increase blood flow. It also releases tense trigger points in the body. Strong knots of tense muscle can transfer pain to other parts of the body. For example, a trigger point in your back can give you headaches. When this point is dealt with, your headaches disappear.
Reiki is a no-touch or light touch healing technique that channels the omnipresent universal life energy to promote healing. The therapist acts as a channel for the life force (chi or ki) and places their hands on or above the patient’s body to stimulate healing energy within specific points in the body. As a harmonious energy flow is strengthened between the therapist and patient, healing occurs.
Lymph Drainage Therapy
In this therapy, therapists map the lymphatic flow to find different pathways for drainage. They apply light pressure to facilitate enhanced movement of the lymph fluid. The therapy promotes wellness through improved immune response. It supplements cancer treatments, surgery, and treatments for autoimmune disorders.
Most people wait until they get sick or suffer an injury to get a therapeutic massage. What they don’t know is that a massage might have prevented the illness or injury in the first place. Start going for regular massages and enjoy amazing health. The benefits of therapeutic massage extend beyond soothing aches and pains. It can decrease anxiety, boost immunity, improve sleep, and increase alertness. Do not wait until it’s almost too late to get a massage. Therapeutic massage should not be your last option, it should be your first.
Also keep in mind that massage is very powerful for the psyche. Giving yourself the gift of relaxation and nurturing is healing in and of itself. It’s also important to hydrate with clean pure water with your therapeutic massage. Add lemon or other fruit to entice your taste buds.
Massage and specifically therapeutic massage will support healing in your whole Body System- Mentally, Emotionally, Spiritually and Physically!
Enjoy ALL of its benefits now.
Author: Esateys Stuchiner
Esateys (pronounced Ee sáh teez) is an International Life Transformational Speaker, Author, Master Facilitator, Life Coach and Expert in the Human condition. She is a Nationally and Board Certified Nurse Practitioner. For over 30 years, she has practiced, taught and lectured extensively in the allopathic and alternative medicine field.
Esateys is known for her groundbreaking work in the areas of personal empowerment and health restoration using mindset and inner connection as the catalyst for all change.
Esateys describes herself as the ‘Architect of the New You’ and has dedicated her life and professional career to helping her clients create “New Beginnings” by facilitating self empowerment, economic freedom and restored health.
For more information, go to esateys.com.