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Massage throughout history
Massage therapy has a long history in cultures around the world. Today, people use many different types of massage therapy for a variety of health-related purposes including to relieve pain, rehabilitate sports injuries, reduce stress, increase relaxation, address anxiety and depression, and aid in general wellness. In the United States, massage therapy is often considered part of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM).
One of the oldest forms of treatment
Massage therapy has been praised as one of the oldest forms of medical treatment. Writings on massage have been found in many ancient civilizations including China, Rome, Greece, India, Japan, Egypt, and Mesopotamia. First recorded in China during the second century B.C. in The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine, massage was mentioned as a recommendation for the treatment of certain ailments. In India, the traditional healing system of Ayurvedic medicine also prescribed massage for a variety of medical conditions. Physicians of ancient Greece and Rome utilized massage as one of the primary methods to treat pain. In the West, during the fifth century B.C., Hippocrates also instructed his fellow physicians on the many benefits of rubbing.
Over the years, though massage faded in and out of our Western medical system, it seems there has always been an awareness of its inherent healing and therapeutic value. During the 1960’s, a wave of interest in natural healing once again revitalized the practice of massage and has continued to be a popular method of dealing with stress. Perhaps this is why massage has become mainstream as the increased pace of life has created all sorts of stress related problems.
Top 10 reasons you should try Massage Therapy
Massage is an excellent way to reduce the stress in your life. Not only are the physical effects soothing, but massage increases the release of endorphins and reduces the level of stress hormones, enhancing your general sense of well-being. Activation of the para-sympathetic branch of the nervous system allows your body to heal from the negative effects of stress, which is believed to cause 95% of all disease and illness.
Muscular aches and pains, some joint pains, and some nerve impingements are often reduced or eliminated through massage therapy. Also, when combined with multiple styles of massage therapy like Neuromuscular Therapy, Myofascial Release, or even Acupressure, those with chronic pain may get the benefit of long-lasting relief.
The circulation of blood and lymph are generally improved, helping you to replenish oxygen and nutrients to the cells, eliminate toxins, and promote healthy bodily functions. This is true of all massage techniques but especially true with Swedish Massage and Hot Stone Massage.
Massage has been shown to increase the body’s natural killer cells. It also aids in the fight against bacteria and infection by enhancing the body’s ability to get nourishment to important areas.
Massage can enhance tissue elasticity and flexibility, helping to increase the mobility of your joints. To improve flexibility, massage combined Myofacial Release or Thai Massage is very beneficial.
Massage therapy can improve your posture by releasing muscles and connective tissues that lead to poor posture. Better posture helps to relieve stress on joints and muscles, reducing pain, reducing chronic tension, and increasing energy.
Reduced Anxiety and Depression
Studies by the Touch Research Institute of the University of Miami report reduced anxiety and feelings of depression with regular massage therapy.
Many people sleep more restfully after receiving massage therapy. This benefit often continues several days after receiving massage.
Better Athletic Performance
Anyone who wants to be better in their sport should have massage therapy. In addition to the benefits above, Sports Massage can reduce recovery time from workouts, help prevent injury, and speed up healing of injuries you may sustain. Muscle soreness from your fitness and sports activities, called Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS), can be decreased with massage.
A More Comfortable Pregnancy
Any mother who received massage therapy during her pregnancy can tell you that there’s nothing better. Massage during pregnancy is safe and effective in relieving aches and pains that often accompany the changes in the expectant mother’s body. It’s a great gift for the mom-to-be.