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All About Massage
The art of Massage can be traced back for centuries especially in China, India, Greece, and Southern Europe. Massage is popularly used to relieve pressure, muscle tension, pain as well as to provide a sense of well being and comfort. Today, modern medicine understand that massage also improves not only blood circulation by lymphatic response as well as improve how our body's ability to purge off toxins.

Massage can provide relief and stengthen many different body parts including the skin, muscles, joints, connective tissue, tendons, ligaments, gastrointestinal and even the reproductive organs.

The main method of receiving massage is through a professional therapist trained in the art of massage. Today there are many hand-held mechanical aids for those who are interested to practise the art of self-massage. Massage chairs are also available that contain motors and mechanical protrutions to simulate the therapists thumbs and kneading action as well as the pressure experienced by a professional massage. These chairs are computerized to adjust for your weight and height as well as the shape of your back. These chairs work on not only your back, kneck and shoulders, but your hips, thighs, legs and feet for all over relief.

Massage is suggested as part of a therapy plan by physicians, physical therapists and sport trainers. Massage has been shown to relieve such medical conditions as depression, stress, mental and physical fatique, pain relief for arthritis suffers and to generally aid circulation issues.

In addition to the physiological and mental benefits of massage in therapeutic circumstances, massage has also been used for ages as an aid to lovemaking, taking place in the home as a method to relax the mind and muscles. It has been known for a long time the connection between the body, the mind and the emotions. Massage involves touching the skin and muscles but has a calming and rejuvnating effect on the mind and emotions of the recipient. This is beneficial not only in lovemaking but also for those individuals who could benefit from feeling the healing powers of deep relaxation, and renewal of energy.

The process of receiving a massage in professional settings involves the client being either partially or entirely unclothed and draped with sheets or towels. The purpose of unclothing provides access to the body parts to be massaged. Draping provides boundaries, privacy and comfort, as well as the warmth needed by the muscles for relaxation. The table the client lies on may also be warmed and the room air as well. Other elements of the room will be used to relax the client such as lit candles or soothing music or sounds. The client needs to be relaxed in order for the full benefits of the massage to be achieved.

Generally the massage session starts out with the client facing upward or the "supine" position. The face down position is referred to as "prone". The client then rolls over for the second half of the session.

In order for the massage to be effective there needs to be excellent communication between the massage therapist and the client receiving the massage. Communication is used to rely messages back and forth regarding areas to be massaged, pressure to be used, effect of the pressure - comfortable or too hard etc., and preferred techniques if the client is experienced in receiving massage therapy.The medical history and current physical condition is also taken into concideration and discussed prior to the massage.

There are quite a few different Massage Methods including but not limited to these:
Anma, Ayurvedic Abhyanga, Barefoot Deep Tissue, Chair massage, Chinese Tui Na Massage, Chinese Zhi Ya, CranioSacral, Deep muscle & deep tissue, Effleurage, Lomilomi - which is the traditional Hawaiian massage, Roman massage, Reiki Massage and many others.

Types of Massage Therapy
There are many types of massage therapy and almost every person can derive some benefit from massage therapy whether they are young or old. Therapy using massage techniques can do things like helping a person to heal better by helping the person’s body use it owns resources to heal. It can help with headaches and help to relieve many kinds of tension and stress. It is truly remarkable the healing power of touch and massage. There are many massage techniques and complementary therapies and we will explore some of them briefly here.

What are some of the main categories of massage professions?
The two categories are:
* Medical massage
* Energy massage

What are some of the therapies that complement massage?
Some complementary therapies are:
* Osteopathy
* Aromatherapy
* Reflexology

While these are a few of the complementary therapies to go with massage the two main professions can further be divided by specializations and uses. Some of the medical profession uses massage to assist with:
* sports healing
* Certain stretching massages with exercise
* Orthopedic
* Massage that is for the neuromuscular area

Among then energy type of therapies use massage for:
* touch therapy
* Reiki
* Polarity which can be a combination of touch and polarity

There are many types of massages that can be utilized by a professional therapist for various problems and there are therapists who wish to only practice a specialized massage therapy. What are some of the massage therapies and what do they seek to accomplish in general? Let's take a look.

Some oriental massage therapies are:
* Acupressure
* Shiatsu

Acupressure is based on acupuncture only it doesn’t utilize any needles at all and utilizes some deep tissue massage with pressure being applied along certain points or areas of the body. However it does not normally use any lotions or oils.

With Shiatsu massage the goal is to combine some acupressure and some massage and is focused somewhat on relieving discomfort and balancing ones energy.

One of the most basic massages is Swedish massage. It utilizes long and basically gentle strokes that can be used on all the various groups of muscles. It is mainly used to help ease and relieve tension and is known for improving circulation.

Along the same lines as Swedish massage is relaxation massage as it utilizes a flowing and smooth technique.

A very specific massage of therapeutic value to the cranium called Cranial Sacral massage therapy. This is applied to the neck and the head.

A very medical application called remedial massage. It emphasizes a paramedical treatment that helps to achieve the restoration of and function of the soft tissue such as ligaments, tendons, muscles that have been injured. This utilizes many types of massage and includes self treatment at home.To achieve a balance in the body there is a therapy that uses the reflex points in the feet. These points have matching or corresponding areas in the body. The therapist or if doing this yourself will apply pressure to these points with the thumb and fingers.

Certain massage therapies can be benefited or enhanced with the healing powers of essential oils and this would be called aromatherapy massage.

The massage therapy that involves deep tissue massage has several different massage techniques that apply some of the methods used in deep tissue massage. Deep tissue massage involves many different types of strokes and involved some of these techniques such as;
* Sports massage
* Massage of the Connective Tissue
* trigger point therapy
* Neuromuscular massage Techniques

Finally, there is Hot Stone Massage which helps to increase blood flow to the muscles and is sometime used in conjunction with a Pilates workout.

There are many uses for massage therapy, so find one that helps you achieve overall well being and helps you achieve the health goal you seek.

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DISCLAIMER: Information on this website is not presented by a medical practitioner and is for educational and informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

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