The Benefits of Massages
The Benefits of Massages are too many to be ignored.
Over history massage therapy have been used for the sole purpose of healing, only to be overshadowed by modern medicine. A quick read on history would show how vital massage therapy has been for healing over the years. So, what is a massage exactly? What is the history of massages? What are the benefits or risks of massages? These are some of the questions to be answered.
What is a Massage
A massage is the use of techniques by a licensed massage therapist to manipulate muscles and other soft tissue of the body to improve the well-being and health of the patient (Ehrlich, 2013). The massage therapist will use their hands and fingers for massage therapy, but the use of forearm, elbow, and even feet are expected and necessary (Mayo Clinic Staff). Today, massage therapy is offered in multiple places like businesses, hospitals and airports (Mayo Clinic Staff). There is a wide range of massages in use today, which are used depending on the need of the patient. These types of massages range from a light stocking of the skin to a deep pressure (Mayo Clinic Staff). These types of massages methods are called modalities (Northwestern Health Sciences University Staff). Individuals seek the benefits of massages for a wide range of reasons. However, they usually fit into two categories; Relaxation, and Rehabilitative massages (Northwestern Health Sciences University Staff). Now, what is the history of massage?
Massage has been performed for centuries in every civilization around the world as healing therapy (Ehrlich, 2013). The use of massage could be traced back 4,000 years in Chinese medical literature (Ehrlich, 2013). By the end of the 19th century, American doctors were performing massages, and the nation’s first massage therapy clinic was born (Ehrlich, 2013). It is only during the 20th century that medication and technology overshadow massage practices for healing and the practice of massage therapy became a dormant art (Ehrlich, 2013). The use of massage therapy for healing purposes has continued over the years, and today it is still an essential part of traditional Chinese medicine (Ehrlich, 2013). Also, many Americans have enjoyed the benefits of massage therapy, and for this reason, massage is not only active today, but it will continue for days to come.
Benefits and Risks
Like anything else, massage therapy has its risks and benefits.
Although most individuals will benefit from massage therapy, a massage may be inappropriate if the following conditions are present (Mayo Clinic Staff):
- If you have
- a bleeding disorder or if you are taking blood-thinning medication
- open or healing wounds
- deep vein thrombosis
- any fractures
- severe osteoporosis or thrombocytopenia
If none of these conditions exists, then it is safe for you to have a massage.
Although massages are considered alternative medicine, it has been increasingly used with standard treatment for a range of medical conditions (Mayo Clinic Staff). Multiple studies have proved that massage therapy is effective reducing stress, pain, and muscle tension (Mayo Clinic Staff). These may be apparent because of the muscle manipulation nature of the massage techniques. However, in addition to so many massage therapy patients, some studies have found that massage therapy is helpful in dealing with the following conditions (Mayo Clinic Staff):
- Digestive disorders
- Insomnia related to stress
- Myofascial pain syndrome
- Paresthesia and nerve pain
- Soft tissue strains or injuries
- Sport Injuries
- Temporomandibular joint pain
Notwithstanding, massage therapy is not a substitute for medical treatment. Please consult your doctor if you have any questions. Outside the benefits, some individuals just enjoy their massages sessions.
Massage therapy is a known practice dedicated to the well-being of individuals. Doctors used to practice massage therapy as early as the 19th century only to be replaced by medication in the 20th century. The art of massage therapy was a practice used by humans as back as 4000 years ago, and it is in use today. This form of alternative medicine has too many benefits to be ignored. If you are stressed, there is a modality for that. Feeling anxiety, there is a modality for that. Do you have pain and muscle tension? There is a modality for that. Only one question remains. When will you book your next massage?
- Ehrlich, S. D. (2013, September 24). Massage. Retrieved from University of Maryland Medical Center.
- Mayo Clinic Staff. (n.d.). Massage: Get in touch with its many benefits. Retrieved August 8, 2015, from Mayo Clinic.
- Northwestern Health Sciences University Staff. (n.d.). Retrieved August 8, 2015, from Northwestern Health Sciences University.