Massage: Harmful or Not?
Author: Ann Chester
Why pay to have your back rubbed, is it a waste of money? Or are there real benefits from having a massage. The art of massage is much more than just a back rub. The benefits are very similar regardless of the type of massage given, although certain types of massage are better for sports and muscle injuries.
So what exactly are these benefits? and are they worth paying for? Massage as a health care model is fairly new to the Western world, although has been practiced in many Eastern cultures for thousands of years. The ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Romans and Chinese, to name a few, used massage as part of their healing tradition.
Massage therapy was often prescribed as part of a treatment in traditional medicine. It would have been given with advice on diet, exercise and maybe even medicines that were to be taken internally.
In the West a variety of massage techniques are used incorporating the traditional techniques of the Middle and Far East. Over the last couple of centuries western massage has evolved and some new techniques have been incorporated into more traditional massage therapies. Gradually scientists proved the efficiency of massage and over the years main stream medicine has become more accepting of its benefits.
If asked the majority of people would tell you that massage is used to relax you, but I have to say that it does far more than that. Although saying that the benefits are similar for every type of massage, each method does bring their own unique technique to create healing in the body.
Each person is different, so one type of massage may suit one person but not another. If you have tried massage before but didn't think you got any benefit from it, try a different type of massage which may suit you better. At different times you may benefit from a different type of massage, you should try to get into the habit of listening to your body's needs.
Do you know how to relax? I mean really relax so that all of the tension goes out of your muscles, if you meditate you will know the kind of relaxation I am talking about. In the modern world we live in stress comes at us from every direction, from our jobs (or lack of), from our families and friends and just from the manic pace of life most of us live at. Our stress is unlike our ancestors, whose stress came in short bursts, ours is continous day in and day out.
The hectic pace of life that you probably live, where you may feel you must be doing something all the time, will take its toll on you if you do not learn to relax. Mentally and physically feeling exhausted is not how you are meant to lead your life.
Environmental pollution in the air, and chemicals in your food puts toxins into your body, putting even greater strain on your body. Fortunately, a good massage works to help the body get rid of toxins and allows the body to relax, taking tension out of the tight muscles.
On the physical level a good massage will leave you feeling invigorated, when you have finished your massage you may feel as if you are walking on air.
When there is a build of of toxins in the body the excess is placed into cells to stop the toxins from harming the body. Problems arise when the cells themselves cannot function properly due to an overload of toxins, health problems then start to develop. When you have a massage there is an increase in your blood and lymphatic circulation, this in turn helps the body to excrete any toxins so the cells do not get to the point of overload.
The physical manipulation of muscles can increase mobility and reduce stiffness, especially of the large muscle groups. This additional mobility and toning can help prevent injury, especially if you work out, but only if you use massage therapy as part of your regular training, the odd massage will not help very much.
Many scientific studies confirm that massage therapy can:
- Reduce heart rate.
- Lower blood pressure (if high).
- Increase blood circulation and lymphatic flow.
- Relax stiffened and tense muscles while stimulating weak and inactive muscles to compensate for lack of movement due to an illness or an injury.
- Endorphins are increased.
- There is a reduction in anxiety and tension.
This list is very impressive, but I am sure over the next few years the scientists will find even more benefits of massage.
The type of treatment offered by skilled masseur combines healing techniques which will work with the natural healing powers of your body to bring about wholeness to your mind, body and spirit.
Of course, it is recommended that anyone with any severe condition or chronic pain should consult with a licensed medical professional before embarking on a massage. Also any well trained massage therapist will be able to tell you if it is wise for you to have a massage or not.
Forget your money worries, learn to massage like a professional and then own your own business. For more information click: Learn to Massage
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