Lifestyle

Benefits of massage

Everything you need to know about getting a massage.

Massages have grown in popularity in South Africa, with private clients and corporates alike enlisting services of massage service providers. While reasons for seeking these services vary from health, leisure and even just a family and friendship circle bonding session, what’s clear is that the market is not short of clients.

What’s the history behind massages?

Massages are said to have originated in India, dating approximately to 3000 BCE. This Ayurvedic practice was created by Indians to promote healing and alignment with health.

What are the available types of massages?

Deep tissue

Deep tissue massage aims to reach deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue. A massage therapist will slowly press their fingers into the skin with pressure. They will use slow, firm strokes to target deep tissues. They may specifically target knots in the muscles. Muscle knots, or myofascial trigger points, are specific areas of tension within the muscle fibre.

Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy is a practice that uses scent for the purposes of promoting healing and balance within the body. Essential oils are used in aromatherapy massages. There is a myriad of essential oils available and each is used for specific properties. An essential oil like lavender can help with relaxation and releasing stress and tension.

Sports massage

The purpose of a sports massage is to improve the health of the soft tissue in the bodies of people who play sports or exercise regularly. It involves the manipulation of soft tissues, including the: skin, muscle, tendons, ligaments and fascia. By targeting all of these soft tissues, a sports massage therapist aims to prevent or relieve injuries, enhance muscle performance, and correct muscle imbalances.

Swedish massage 

This type of massage alleviates ailments such as muscle aches, pain as well as stress. Swedish massage involves the combination of short and long massage strokes. The massage therapist will ensure that they use light to moderate pressure to massage the client. Sometimes a client’s limbs are moved for added effect.

Reflexology

Reflexology uses different amounts of pressure on specific parts of the hands and feet with the aim of benefiting other parts of the body. The practice may help promote relaxation and reduce pain.

What are the benefits of undergoing a massage?

Some of the physical benefits of massage and myotherapy include:

  • Reduced muscle tension
  • Improved circulation
  • Stimulation of the lymphatic system
  • Reduction of stress hormones
  • Relaxation
  • Increased joint mobility and flexibility
  • Improved skin tone
  • Improved recovery of soft tissue injuries
  • Heightened mental alertness
  • Reduced anxiety and depression

All these benefits go a long way in dealing with various health conditions such as:

  • Subacute/chronic low back pain
  • Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS)
  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • High blood pressure
  • Insomnia
  • Life threatening illness such as cancer, etc

The listed benefits above should make taking time for a massage a worthwhile consideration.  

Learn more about the benefits of massage with HealthSpas.

 
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