Swedish Massage & Massage in General
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Massage is the practice of applying structured, graded pressure, tension, motion or rhythmic force - by the hands to the tissues of the body, such as; muscles, connective tissue, tendons, ligaments, joints and lymphatic vessels, to achieve a beneficial response. Massage is one of the oldest forms of healing/ therapy and can be applied to parts or the whole body, to heal injury, relieve psychological stress, manage pain, and improve circulation. Where massage is used for its physical and psychological benefits, it is called "therapeutic massage therapy" and comes in a variety of forms, including Acupressure Massage (Shiatsu), Aromatherapy Massage, Indian Head Massage, Remedial Massage, Sports Massage & Traditional Thai Massage.
Everyone enjoys a good massage. From babies to the elderly, from sportsmen and women (sport massage) to friends and lovers, all can benefit from this powerful form of communication. An effective aid to relaxation, massage therapy helps to smooth away stress, 'unknotting' tense and aching muscles, relieving headaches and helping sleep problems. But massage therapy can also be invigorating; it improves the functioning of many of the body’s systems, promoting healing and toning muscles, leaving you with a feeling of renewed energy.
Massage is also one of the best ways to treat many of our commonest modern-day aliments. Problems such as stress, lack of energy, repetitive strain injury, sleeplessness, fatigue, PMT, cellulite, back ache, tummy ache and in fact any pains or aches in the body, feel instantly better after a good massage.
The word massage is most likely to have emerged from the Greek word 'Massein', meaning 'to knead' or the Arabic word 'mas'h' meaning 'to press softly'. Massage is the oldest form of physical medicine known to man and can be traced back to the early Chinese medical manuscripts around 400BC. Massage was advocated by Hippocrates who was born in the fifth century and was known as 'the father of medicine'. It was widely used and written of in Roman times with history recording how Julius Caesar received massage to relieve neuralgia!
MASSAGE IS THE QUICKEST, SUREST WAY TO CREATE A SENSE OF WELL BEING
Massage and high blood pressure:
Relaxation massage has been shown to help reduce blood pressure by as much as 20 points. (2) One nurse who measured a patient's blood pressure before and after a half hour massage, confirmed that blood pressure nearly always falls. In some cases the reduction was quite dramatic, for example, from 180 over 130 to 140 over 110 nmHg.(3)
Massage improves the blood circulation in several ways without putting additional strain on the heart. It helps the flow of blood through the veins and also stimulates the nerves which control the blood vessels. It has the added benefit of relaxing tense muscles and tight connective tissues which may have been constricting blood vessels and thus enable blood to flow more freely. It is for this reason that soothing massage helps reduce emotional tension; it induces relaxation and calms stress-related cardio-vascular conditions.
Massage therapy and stress management.
The mind, which before massage is in a perturbed, restless, vacillating and -even despondent state, becomes after massage, calm, quiet, peaceful and subdued; in fact, the wearied and worried mind has been converted into a mind restful, placid, and refreshed.
Dr Stretch Dowse, Eminent Victorian Physician, 1887.
Stress is a subject about which the general public is becoming increasingly aware. It seems that every day a new study is reported in the press or medical journals relating stress to one disease or another. Some physicians suggest that stress may be responsible for 75% of all diseases in the Western world including skin diseases (e.g., psoriasis and eczema), headaches and migraine, digestive disorders, high blood pressure and heart-related diseases, as well as back-ache and muscle pain, poor eyesight and depression.
As the world in which we live becomes increasingly stressful both physically and emotionally we are left with two choices; either we avoid stress, or we learn how to deal with it effectively. It is, of course, impossible to avoid stress, and therefore the only real solution is to find ways to manage the stresses and strains we encounter each day. One way is the use of massage therapy
Further Note on Massage
Whilst massage therapy is probably the oldest of all known health promoting treatments it seems to be one of the most underrated in the UK and still struggles to shake off the 'Carry On' film type connotations.
With excess 'stress' being implicated in over 70% of conditions and exacerbates almost all conditions and diseases, you would think that the British would have wised up by now, but no. We still have longer working hours than the rest of Europe and seem to insist in burying our head in the sand, especially when it comes to admitting that we have a problem or having treatment that may involve removing some clothes.
It's also common sense and widely known that a bit of 'preventative' care is a lot more effective than patching someone up once a problem has fully developed.
Despite the recent increase in demand for complementary therapists in recent years - good massage therapists are still actually quite hard to come by and we are fortunate enough to have 2 at the Centre.
BENEFITS OF MASSAGE
Massage helps to increase flexibility, restoring full range of movement to joints. Posture improves as well. Once you have regained this flexibility, regular massage will help to maintain it.
Massage helps remove waste products from the muscles by increasing venous return. The arterial supply also increases, delivering more oxygen and nutrients to the muscles, helping to repair damaged tissue.
Relief from Long-Term Problems
Muscle problems may be present for months before you feel discomfort. For example, long periods in front of a computer can cause a build-up of scar tissue, leading to shoulder and neck pain. Massage plus corrective exercises can help considerably.
Prompt Attention to Injuries
Minor injury to muscles can occur without your noticing. Regular massage means that they can be identified and treated promptly, preventing them from becoming more significant.
Massage can bring tremendous benefits to everyone physically and mentally…remember that the power of touch is immeasurable.
OTHER POTENTIAL BENEFITS OF MASSAGE THERAPY
Reduction in muscle tension and stiffness
Relieves low back ache
Eases over-worked, 'pulled' or strained muscles
Reduces pain and swelling
Reduces the formation of excessive scar tissue
Relieves muscle spasms
Provides greater joint flexibility and range of motion
Enhances athletic performance; Encourages healing after injuries caused during sport or workouts
Promotes deeper, effective and easier breathing
Stimulates circulation of blood and lymph fluids
Relieves discomfort, pains & aches during pregnancy
Reduces high blood pressure ( hypertension )
Helps relieve tension headaches
Enhances the health and nourishment of skin
Improves muscle tone, leading to better posture
Supports and strengthens the immune system
Treats musculoskeletal problems
Aids 'post operative' rehabilitation & recovery
Aids rehabilitation after sports or other physical injury or trauma
Helps relieve stress and aids relaxation
Reduces levels of anxiety i.e. following emotional trauma
Relieves insomnia & restlessness
Satisfies needs for caring nurturing touch
Fosters a feeling of well-being
Encourages body awareness and increases awareness of mind-body connection
Massage Therapists at the Centre
Other forms of Massage available
Traditional Thai Foot Massage
Other Related Therapies