The art of massage has been around since time immemorial, widely practiced since hundreds of years by the Chinese, Indians and the Greeks. Though massage started off as a pain-relieving technique, medial practitioners now recognize that it also improves blood circulation by stimulating the lymphatic response; it is also well known that massage helps the body in throwing out accumulated toxins.
Massage is an ancient “bodywork” technique that is used to iron out muscle stress and also to provide relief from pain by applying pressure at sensitive points of the body.
Massage is beneficial for the many variables present in the body. It can strengthen the skin, relieve muscular and joint pains, and can also help in adding that element of robustness in ligaments, tendons and connective tissues. It also has the propensity to fortify the gastrointestinal system and the reproductive organs.
Only a professional massage therapist who has received adequate training can deliver a beneficial massage treatment. Though traditional massage involves administering pressure using hands and feet, nowadays the massage market is swamped with many mechanical aids that help in providing more depth and variety to the practice of massage.
One interesting device is the Massage Chair that comes equipped with all kinds of bells and whistles such as a motor and various mechanical protrusions that imitate the actions of a massage therapist. These massage chairs are computerized and can be adjusted according to the weight, height and the back contours of the person. These massage chairs give an all-round massage covering the back, neck, shoulders, hips, thighs, legs and even the feet.
All types of medical practitioners ranging from the common physician to the highly specialized sports trainer nowadays prescribe massage for pain/stress relief and recovery. Massage is helpful not only in providing physical relief, it also works on the mind, freeing it from routine problems such as depression, stress and mental fatigue.
Apart from mental and physical relief, massage is also used as a sense-stimulator during the course of making love. Massage connects with both the body and the mind, and rejuvenates the entire being while calming the senses at the same time. As such, just about everyone and anyone benefits from massage right from someone who is suffering from unbearable arthritic pains to the robust rugby player who is plagued by injuries, to someone who wants to get a sense of extraordinary stimulation during lovemaking.
Massage is always received in a professional setting, wherein the client has to remove his clothing and cover his body with sheets or towels. The massage therapist needs the massage receiver to be unclothed in order to get easy access to the body parts that need massage. The sheets and towel that drape the body provide the necessary warmth, comfort, and, of course, the privacy.
The client has to lie down on a table that may be warmed or sheeted so that it is comfortable to the body. A typical massage setting will also have other elements that soothe the senses such as enchanting music, aromatic candles and the like. It is important that the client is fully relaxed before the massage begins in order to receive the key benefits of massage therapy.
The massage session typically begins with the massage receiver lying face upward, a position also known as the “supine” position. During the second half of the massage, the receiver has to roll over this position is referred to as the “prone” position.
If the massage has to be effective, then communication between the therapist and the client has to be excellent. The client must keep communicating to the therapist if he feels the pressure being applied is too much or too less. Such feedback can help the therapist take corrective action. The client must always discuss his medical history and his current ailments with the massage therapist before partaking the massage.
Some of the well-known and prominent massage techniques are: The very popular Swedish Massage, Ayurvedic Abhyanga, Barefoot Deep Tissue Massage, Chair Massage, Chinese Tui Na, Chinese Zhi Ya, CranioSacral, Deep Muscle & Deep Tissue Massage, Effleurage, The Hawaiian Lomilomi, Roman Massage and Reiki.
As a side note, massage therapy rocks as a career choice. Great money, flexible hours and a growing interest and marketability help make this profession a hightly sought after massage therapy career choice.