Introduction to Massage
I am a hundred percent sure that all of you are familiar with the term “massage”. After all, massage is probably the oldest and simplest existing form of medical care that it has been applied for relaxation, fitness, and other health purposes since time immemorial and up to these days.
On the most basic, massage is applied as a hands-on manipulation of the soft tissues of the body, including the muscles, connective tissues, ligaments, joints and tendons. It is highly considered as a form of medical care with the notion that it can help lessen the development of painful muscular patterning. It also helps to lessen the discomfort on the soft tissues associated with the everyday and occupational stresses, muscular overuse and chronic pain syndromes.
A Brief History
No one really knows exactly how old the practice of massage is. However, there are certain records to suggest that the practice may have been originated in Egypt and in China. The basis of this claim is the discovery of tomb paintings in Egypt that show people being kneaded. Another evidence to support such claim is the Chinese book written in 2,700 BC which recommends breathing exercises, and some exercises involving hands and feet. According to this Chinese book entitled “The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine”, massage is used for the treatment of complete paralysis, fever and chills.
The practice also flourished in India, with the known system of medicine, Ayurveda. This technique significantly puts major emphasis on the therapeutic benefits of massaging with the use of essential, aromatic oils and spices. From Ayurveda, the concept of massaging was introduced in many areas of the world and from that introduction several forms have been developed. Today, massage has been practiced not only throughout Egypt, China and India, but throughout the world.
Benefits of Massage
One major benefit of massage is for relaxation. As what most heath care professionals and therapists often say, the practice is favorable for combating everyday stress. It alleviates muscular tension and pain, including form of discomforts and anxiety. Many have also testified that a proper massage significantly improves the elasticity and flexibility of the tissues in the body as it boosts the range of motion joints, relaxes tight muscles, and speeds up recovery from a hard exercise.
Today, massage is deemed capable of promoting well-nourished and healthy skin. It is also believed to improve the immune systems, flow of the energy in the body, as well as the circulation of the blood plus lymph.
Types of Massage
As mentioned earlier, massage is now applied in different ways and forms for different purposes. One of the most well-known types is the Craniosacral Therapy, which is applied through a gentle and noninvasive manipulative technique. It is deemed best for promoting good health, making you resistant enough to any form of disease.
There is also the so-called Deep Tissue, which is often employed to release serious muscle tension. In this technique, slower strokes and direct pressure or friction is applied across the grain of muscles.
Finally, there is the Esalen, a combined technique of massage which has been influenced by the early Esalen leaders. According to some resources, this is the major form of massage that promotes sensory awakening. The main requirement in this form, however, is a sense of meditation, and that what makes the Esalen approach philosophical.