When the privileged and deeper layers of our connective tissues and muscles are manipulated, we are said to be receiving a massage. Tension, vibrating, or motion movement or pressure that is stationary, structured, or unstructured acts on the body, manipulating it. The clinically effective act of massage is often viewed as therapy for tight ligaments, muscles, tendons, joints, connective tissue, or even lymphatic vessels, organs in the gastrointestinal system, or skin.
With over 80 different massage modalities available, massage therapists have a wide range of specialization areas from which to select. They may use their elbows, fingers, hands, knees, or feet during a massage. A client either lies down on a mat or special table or sits in a massage chair to receive treatment. During some types of massage, clothing may be fully or partially removed and a towel or sheet may cover certain sections of the body.
Mesopotamia, Rome, Japan, and Greece are several of the ancient civilizations that benefited from massage. The Bible contains a possible reference to this practice and Hippocrates written of it as “rubbing” in 460 BC. Different illnesses were erected in early Romania by a massage delivered by a tame bear, rather than a licensed professional. Today, we use massage to deliver relaxation, enhance our well-being, improve body functioning, and contribute to healing. In Chinese culture, the practice is a key part of mainstream healthcare and is included in medical school curriculum.
The middle of the 19th century saw the popularity of massage grow in the US Nurses used to practice it on patients to help pain subside and encourage sleep. Today, massage is commonly used on athletes to treat injury. Unlikely clients like businesses also seek massage therapists to provide relief from stress created by work.
Various types of oil may be incorporated into a massage and each is intended for a certain purpose or condition. Dry skin is treated using salts and heat rocks are especially effective to relax tense muscles. With popular methods like reflexology, deep tissue, and Shiatsu available, massage therapists can usually find one that addresses a client's need for treatment.
Many benefits can be gained from having a massage, including pain relief, reduced heart rate and blood pressure, and reduction in anxiety. Long-term patients report a reduction risk for disease or permanent pain reduction. Ongoing clinical studies continue to identify ways different kinds of massage affect the body and additional benefits that may be realized.