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The Benefits of Massage

Lifestyle & Opinion

By Stephanie Trimble

Though getting a massage is very expensive, it can be very beneficial to the mind, body, and soul. A massage can help one improve on flexibility and range of motion. During a massage the muscles begin to relax, which lowers stress levels. A massage session ranges between 30 minutes to 120 minutes, so it is good to stay hydrated before and after a session to feel 100%. There are many different modalities of massage that do different things to the human body. Here is a list of a few beneficial types of massages:

Deep tissue massage can release chronic muscle tissue causing the knots and tension to desecrate. A massage therapist can do this by applying deep pressure to the problem area and working the tension out of the deep muscles. The therapist can also work one area to release an entirely different area of the body; for example the client may have a problem in his/her feet or legs, but the therapist would do deep tissue massage on the gluteal region to release the tension in the inferior part of the body. It is also proven that a deep tissue massage lowers blood pressure and reduces hormonal stress levels after 30 to 60 minutes of massage.

Swedish massage is a general relaxing massage that uses a lighter or firmer pressure to relax the muscles. This type of massage uses gliding strokes in the direction that the blood returns to the heart. Muscles have lots of toxins, which makes its tender and sore, so when a Swedish massage is performed these toxins are released from the muscle and the muscle begins to soften. Swedish massage may also decrease stress levels and increase oxygen in the muscles.

Reflexology is an alternative type of massage that focuses on different energy zones of the hands and feet. These energy zones correspond with certain organs or body parts, so receiving reflexology would be just like receiving a full body massage. Typically the therapist would focus on these different zones to help a problem any area of the body. Reflexology also releases tension in the feet, ankles, hands, and wrist.  A reflexologist does not use lotion because reflexology consists of stretching, holds, and palpation done on the feet and hands. Reflexology can increase the flow of energy in the body causing the body to help lower stress levels and illnesses.

Prenatal massage is a massage done on pregnant women. A pregnant woman can receive this all throughout her pregnancy with a doctor’s note, unless she is a high risk patient. During the first trimester the woman can be laying facing prone if it’s comfortable for her. After that it is required for women to lay on their side with pillows for comfort; this is called side-line massage. This massage can focus on all parts of the body except points on the neck, ankles, and wrist. Prenatal massage can help with edema and the natural aches and pains women get from pregnancy. This is typically a lighter, relaxing massage because deeper pressure or holding trigger points can either make the woman sick or cause damage to the her body during pregnancy. Overall prenatal massage is definitely recommended to help during pre-labor or labor by helping the baby move into breach position.

This is just a list of a few types of massages. Massages in general can reduce stress, help blood circulation and improves body posture. Therapists encourage clients to receive a massage once a month on top of staying healthy and active to establish perfect health. There are many different modalities that do different things but are all beneficial to anyone’s health and body. People may think it is a luxury to get a massage, but in a way, massages are definitely a need in everyone’s lifestyle.

Header photo by Thomas Wanhoff (flickr creative commons license).

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