There’s no denying the power of bodywork. Regardless of the reasons that brought you to a masseuse – pain management, luxurious pampering, stress relief, etc. – massage therapy can be a wonderful tool in the art of growing young.
Depending on the style used, massage can help decrease anxiety, relieve sore muscles, enhance sleep, promote energy, improve concentration, increase flexibility, relieve headaches, reduce muscle spasms, increase circulation and much more. Its benefits are so vast because of the many different styles of massage that have been developed. One style may be good for you, while another might be better for your friend or spouse. It all depends on what feels best to you.
A relaxing massage can be incredibly beneficial for stress relief. Living a hectic, modern lifestyle can cause an undue amount of stress. Without proper stress management activities, stress can build up until it starts to affect your life in negative ways. Moodiness, sleep problems and weight fluctuations are just a few of the more common symptoms of a high-stress life. Prolonged periods of high stress can have even more damaging results on the mind and body.
A relaxing massage uses gentle to medium pressure to relieve feelings of stress. Rather than working deep muscle tissues, it involves kneading and rubbing the outer layers of body tissues to promote relaxation and circulation of lymph and blood. A relaxing massage is generally given in a dimly lit, warm room and can cover many areas of the body, including the legs, back, arms and neck. Throughout the massage you should feel your tensions and stresses melt away, leaving you feeling calm and relaxed.
If you have a passion for sports or intensive exercise, you may benefit from sports massage. Developed specifically to help cut down on sports-related injuries, sports massage techniques focus on overworked muscles in order to help release any built-up tension and lactic acid. This allows more blood and oxygen to return to the muscle, which can help promote post-workout muscle repair.
Lomi Lomi is an ancient Polynesian massage technique that was thought to promote the flow of love and harmony throughout every cell in the body. The large, broad strokes used were created to wash away negative thoughts, emotions and memories in order to make room in your life for positive forces. Lomi Lomi may be especially beneficial for anyone seeking to align thoughts and actions with more positive energies.
Thai massage is sort of a hybrid of massage and yoga – the therapist puts the client into specific positions that have therapeutic benefit and helps hold the position while the benefit is created. There are even massage techniques tailored to specific ages. Massage therapy for babies was developed with movements that incorporate nurturing touch and reflexology (holding specific points on the hands or feet). When performed by parents, it can be a beautiful, relaxing experience for parent and child.
At the other end of the age spectrum, geriatric massage provides relief for many of the uncomfortable conditions that arise with age – stiff muscles and joints, arthritis, tendonitis, and other aches and pains. A masseuse trained in geriatric massage will take great care in positioning and working on the body, often adapting techniques to the specific needs and requirements of the person receiving the massage.
Every form of massage has one added benefit – the simple pleasure of human contact. We are social creatures hardwired to benefit from touch. It helps us relax and feel comfortable. While some people may at first find the thought of a stranger touching them unappealing, it will usually take only a few minutes to become relaxed. By the end of the session, you won’t want to get off the table.
No matter what your reason for seeking out a massage, the benefits to your mind and body will leave you feeling relaxed and rejuvenated.