Using Massage To Improve General Well-Being
Did you ever wonder about the health benefits of massage, or did you think it was just a luxury item for self-indulgent rich folks with lots of time on their hands for pampering? There are several different types of massage and many ways that massage can help to increase your general well-being.
Some of the most commonly known types of massage are Swedish, Lomi Lomi, Shiatsu (Japanese finger pressure), Aromatherapy massage, and Reflexology.
A quick definition of these types follows below:
• Swedish massage typically uses oil on bare skin and long sweeping, or circular, and rhythmical strokes that induce a sense of relaxation, peace, and calm.
• Lomi Lomi is one of the oldest and most powerful forms of healing. Lomi Lomi is one of the most profound forms of massage. The flowing with total energy, using long continuous, flowing strokes, combined with a very loving touch, relaxes the entire being. The Hawaiians view all aspects of the body as one and believe that the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual are all part of the “whole” self – when healing is effected on one level, all levels are affected.
• Shiatsu is typically performed through clothing on a mat known as a futon on the floor or a massage table and can be integrated into the massage using oil. Deep pressure on acupuncture or acupressure points using thumbs, hands, elbows, and even feet may be used. Shiatsu works by balancing the distribution of energy throughout the body.
• Aromatherapy massage uses oils blended with essential plant oils whose properties are known to have medicinal qualities. The beneficial molecules get absorbed into the bloodstream via the skin or inhalation and aid in healing.
• Reflexology is an ancient form of foot massage. Points on the feet relate to various parts of the body and are pressed and massaged to bring about healing or relaxation in the related body part.
You probably know that massage is incredibly relaxing. If you are into natural highs, or just want to feel better overall, then massage is probably a good choice for you.
So, how does it work? You know that when you have a massage your body quickly softens into a deep state of relaxation. Massage works by relieving muscular tension, increasing blood flow to and promoting relaxation.
From a Traditional Chinese Medicine point of view, massage helps to alleviate stagnation in the flow of vital energy, or Qi, and improve the circulation of energy. When energy in the body is in flow, health ensues. When energy is stuck, disease, pain, and discomfort is the result.
Various studies have found massage to be helpful in reducing symptoms in the following conditions:
- Muscular Pain
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Improve Circulation
- Sleep Disorders
- Blood Pressure
- Lack of Focus
- Lack of Creativity
The benefits of gentle caring touch should not be underestimated in and of themselves. Remember, the body is designed to heal itself.
There are a few contra-indications for massage, which include deep vein thrombosis, cancer, blood disorders, open wounds, severe osteoporosis, and fractures. If in doubt, consult your physician before trying massage.
Regular sessions can increase your quality of life by enhancing your mood, reducing the tension you carry, and alleviating an array of physical symptoms.
If you can manage a session, a week you will really notice an improvement in how you feel about yourself and your outlook on life will improve, as you feel more comfortable inside your own skin.