Massage Therapy is a combination of science and art which provides a relaxing experience by artistic hand strokes on the body to rejuvenate the mind and body and eliminate stress scientifically.
Massage is an excellent preventive treatment essential for the maintenance of health and fitness. Prevention is always far better than cure. Nowadays, people of all ages are increasingly considering Ayurveda therapies as a way to encourage an improved sense of well-being and as a means to a long, happy and harmonious life free of illness.
Ayurvedic massage therapy works on both the physical and mental levels, transmitting a life-giving energy that assists all systems of the body to repair and renew themselves. Ayurvedic massage practitioners concentrate on the subtle energy points (like in Shiatsu), that respond to gentle physical manipulation, and with the needs of the different body types. The author guides both the novice and the practitioner through each step of the full body and explains which massage oils and massage techniques work best for particular body types.
Massage Therapy is defined as “a profession in which the practitioner applies manual techniques, and may apply adjunctive therapies, with the intention of positively affecting the health and well-being of the client”.
Therapeutic massage improves functioning of the circulatory, lymphatic, muscular, skeletal, and nervous systems and may improve the rate at which the body recovers from injury and illness.
Massage Therapy operates on the foundation of different types of strokes and oils that work on stress accumulated areas in an effort to achieve a relaxed mind and body.
Benefit of Massage Therapy (System wise)
People have been enjoying the benefits of massage for thousands of years. Records indicate that it was used in several ancient societies for a variety health reasons. Today, massage still provides benefits to all the systems of the body, some of which are outlined below.
Benefits to the Nervous System
The nervous system is profoundly influenced by the application of massage. The effects of massage may be soothing and sedative, providing relief from nervous irritability. Disorders such as insomnia, tension, headaches and other stress-related conditions respond to the healing power of touch as peace and harmony returns to the troubled mind. Alternatively, the effects of massage on the nerves may be stimulating, promoting an increase in the activity of the muscles, vessels and glands governed by them. It is invaluable in cases of lethargy and fatigue.
Benefits to the Muscular System
The muscular system derives enormous benefits. Muscles maintain a balance in relaxing and contracting. Some massage movements relax and stretch the muscles and soft tissues of the body, reducing muscular tension and cramp. Fibrous tissues, adhesions and old scar tissue can be broken down and cleansed of waste deposits. As muscles contract, toxic products are eliminated. Other movements produce the contraction of muscles promoting good muscle tone. Muscle fatigue and stiffness caused by over activity, and the resulting build-up of toxic substances in the muscles, is reduced by muscular contraction and relaxation.
Benefits to the Skeletal System
The skeletal system is strengthened by using massage. Bone is indirectly affected by massage. Improvements to the circulation of blood and lymph in the muscles lead to better circulation in the underlying bones, benefiting their nutrition and growth. Stiffness of the joints, and pains resulting from conditions such as arthritis, are reduced providing comfort and ease of movement.
Benefits to the Circulatory System
The circulatory system also benefits from the action of massage. It takes the pressure off the arteries and veins, accelerating the flow of blood through the system providing relief for poor circulation and cardiac problems. The heartbeat strengthens the rate of the heartbeat decreases and high blood pressure is reduced.
Benefits to the Lymphatic System
The lymphatic system is stimulated and the flow of lymph is accelerated throughout the system. As the massage strokes are performed, the waste and poisonous substances which have accumulated in our overstressed bodies are rapidly eliminated.
Benefits to the Respiratory System
The respiratory system responds an increased activity in the lungs is stimulated by massage. As the treatment proceeds, the breath slows and deepens. If necessary, mucous and bronchial secretions can be encouraged to leave the lungs by percussive movements on the back and over the lungs.
Benefits to the Digestive System
The digestive system benefits when massage promotes the peristaltic activity (wave like motion) in the colon enhancing the elimination of faecal matter and combating constipation. It strengthens the muscular walls of the intestines and abdomen, and stimulates the secretion of digestive juices from the liver, pancreas, stomach and intestines.
Benefits to the Skin
The skin, both the activity and the nutrition of the benefit from massage. The sweat and sebaceous glands are stimulated, improving their function and ensuring the elimination of waste products. Skin condition, texture and tone are greatly improved - the skin is healthy and glowing following a treatment.
Benefits to the Genito-urinary System
The genito-urinary system, the use of abdominal and back massage promotes the activity of kidneys, which enhances the elimination of waste products and reduces fluid retention.
Benefits to the Reproductive System
The reproductive system can also be improved. Abdominal and back massage can help to alleviate menstrual problems such as period pains, irregular menstruation, PMS and the symptoms of menopause.
Overall Health Benefit of Massage Therapy
- Massage therapy and bodywork increases blood circulation thus enabling the body to pump more oxygen and nutrients into tissues and vital organs.
- A therapist can render massage that stimulates the lymph system, the body’s natural defense, against toxic invaders.
- Helps in releasing endorphins, the body’s natural painkiller.
- Is being incorporated into treatment for chronic illness, injury and recovery from surgery to control and relieve pain.
- Relieves pain for migraine sufferers and decreases the need for medication.
- Contributes to shorter labor and reduced tearing for expectant mothers, as well as lessening the need for medication, minimizing depression and anxiety, and shortening hospital stays.
- Can relax tense and tightened muscles. Massage therapist often render massage to treat low-back pain and neck pain.
- Reduces overall stress. It helps the body's stress response by lowering levels of stress hormones such as cortisol.
- Massage therapy could also treat inflammatory conditions such as arthritis and tendinitis
Physical Benefit of Massage Therapy:
- Helps relieve muscle tension and stiffness
- Fosters faster healing of strained muscles and sprained ligaments; reduces pain and swelling; reduces formation of excessive scar tissue
- Reduces muscle spasms
- Provides greater joint flexibility and range of motion
- Enhances athletic performance; Treats injuries caused during sport or work
- Reduces blood pressure
- Helps relieve tension-related headaches and effects of eye-strain
- Enhances the health and nourishment of skin
- Improves postureStrengthens the immune system
- Treats musculoskeletal problems
- Rehabilitation post operative
- Rehabilitation after injury
Emotional Benefit of Massage Therapy:
- Promotes a relaxed state of mental alertness
- Improves ability to monitor stress signals and respond appropriately
- Enhances capacity for calm thinking and creativity
- Satisfies needs for caring nurturing touch
- Fosters a feeling of well-being
- Reduces levels of anxiety
- Creates body awareness
- Increases awareness of mind-body connection