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Invest in Your Health with Therapeutic Massage. If You Don’t, Who Will?

Please don’t wait another day to start feeling better again.

Massage, Reiki and CST allow me to work deeply into the muscles of my clients but without the pain often associated with “deep tissue massage.” Sore points are gently held until they release, and restrictions in the central nervous system are removed, allowing circulation to flow through the muscle fibers again, restoring movement and flexibility.  It may take a few seconds longer, but because the body isn’t being forced, the effects are longer lasting. Think about it — you don’t like to be forced to do things; are your muscles any different?

diane-massage-articleAnother benefit of therapeutic massage is that it works with the body as a whole — not just a few problem spots. This not only gives longer lasting results, but it benefits you in ways and in areas you didn’t realize you needed.

Most forms of medicine treat the body as if it were a machine that can be “fixed” with the right drug, exercise or stretch. As a professional massage therapist, I am not a mechanic; I do not fix bodies. Rather, I help your body to heal itself.

A much better way, don’t you think?

What is Massage Therapy?

Massage is one of the oldest, simplest forms of therapy and is a system of stroking, pressing and kneading different areas of the body to relieve pain, relax, stimulate, and tone the body. Massage does much more than create a pleasant sensation on the skin, it also works on the soft tissues (the muscles, tendons, and ligaments) to improve muscle tone. Although it largely affects those muscles just under the skin, its benefits may also reach the deeper layers of muscle and possibly even the organs themselves. Massage also stimulates blood circulation and assists the lymphatic system (which runs parallel to the circulatory system), improving the elimination of waste throughout the body.

Some Benefits Of Massage
  • Relaxing
  • Soothing
  • Healing
  • Reassuring
  • Eases tension, stiffness, and pain
  • Improves breathing
  • Improves circulation
  • Enhances well-being
  • Reduce headaches
  • Open sinuses
The Effects Of Massage

Although a single massage will be enjoyable, the effects of massage are cumulative and a course of massage treatments will bring the most benefits. Regular massage can have the effect of strengthening and toning the entire body mechanism, and so help to prevent unnecessary strains and injuries that might otherwise occur due to excess tension and any resulting structural weakness. Massage can stimulate or calm the nervous system-depending upon what is required by the individual-and thus help reduce fatigue, leaving the receiver with a feeling of replenished energy. At its best, massage has the potential to restore the individual physically, mentally and spiritually.

Deep Tissue or Therapeutic Massage

Therapeutic massage can include trigger point therapy, sports massage, deep tissue, myofacial release, and other modalities of massage to therapeutically treat the client. The massage is custom tailored to each client’s body and their main complaints to alleviate pain through the massage therapy.

The results and benefits of therapeutic massage are releasing constricted areas in the muscles thus alleviating pain. You can experience a significant decrease in pain after just one treatment. Receiving massage on a regular basis can help naturally manage pain and stress from chronic injuries.

Relaxation Massage

Relaxation massage is a gentle technique that uses smooth, gliding strokes. The primary purpose will be to help you relax, and the massage therapist will probably move at a slower pace and use light pressure.

Woman Receiving Massage

During a relaxation massage there is less emphasis on working out knots in the muscle tissue, and sometimes people even fall asleep during a relaxation massage.

There are many substantial benefits to a relaxation massage, including calming the nervous system, promoting a sense of well-being, improving blood circulation and stimulating the body’s lymphatic system, which carries away waste products.

Prenatal (Pregnancy) Massage

Prenatal massage is therapeutic bodywork which focuses on the special needs of the mother-to-be as her body goes through the dramatic changes of the childbirth experience. It is a fast-growing field in the United States that has attracted the interest of labor and delivery nurses, nurse-midwives, childbirth educators and obstetricians. Massage therapy enhances the function of muscles and joints, improves circulation and general body tone, and relieves mental and physical fatigue.

The popularity of prenatal massage is the result of a trend toward a higher level of wellness, especially during pregnancy. Many women are postponing childbirth until they have achieved other goals, such as careers and relationships. Because of this, pregnancy is anticipated and enjoyed to its fullest for the wondrous experience it is. Today’s pregnant women – along with other health care consumers – are looking for alternative approaches to support traditional health services.

Shiatsu Massage

Shiatsu, which literally means finger pressure, is derived from an ancient form of holistic Chinese medicine that combines massage and acupressure and has been in existence for more than 2,000 years. Shiatsu helps maintain and restore health by improving the flow of energy along the meridians. Meridians can best be understood as pathways for the circulation of Qi, or subtle energy, which exists in everyone.

The central concept in Oriental medicine is that all physical problems are a result of obstructions in the flow of Qi. Shiatsu uses techniques such as stretching, rocking, holding and various degrees of pressure using thumbs, palms, elbows or knees to release these obstructions. Shiatsu is done on a futon mat on the floor and the client is fully dressed at all times. No oils are used and client must wear loose fitting clothing and fresh clean socks.

Shiatsu massage, therefore, combines the knowledge of massage, which people have used for centuries to heal their aches and pains, with energy pathways that are interconnected and provides a holistic tableau for addressing mind, body, and spirit.

Myofascial Release

massage therapistMyofascial release is a form of soft tissue therapy used for pain relief, increasing range of motion and balancing the body. Techniques include manual massage for stretching the fascia and releasing bonds between fascia, integument, muscles, and bones are applied. The fascia is manipulated, directly or indirectly, supposedly to allow the connective tissue fibers to reorganize themselves in a more flexible, functional fashion.

Experts estimate that upwards of ninety percent of disease is stress-related. And perhaps nothing ages us faster, internally and externally, than high stress. Massage in general — and Acupressure in particular — is an effective tool for managing this stress, which translates into:

  • Decreased anxiety.
  • Enhanced sleep quality.
  • Greater energy.
  • Improved concentration.
  • Increased circulation.
  • Reduced fatigue.

Acupressure and CranioSacral Therapy can also help specifically address a number of health issues:

  • Alleviate low-back pain and sciatica.
  • Ease medication dependence.
  • Enhance immunity by stimulating lymph flow—the body’s natural defense system.
  • Restore movement and flexibility of weak, tight, or atrophied muscles.
  • Improve the condition of the body’s largest organ—the skin.
  • Increase joint flexibility.
  • Lessen depression and anxiety.
  • Bring oxygen, nutrients and energy into tissues and vital organs, improving circulation.
  • Reduce spasms and cramping.
  • Relax and soften injured, tired, and overused muscles.
  • Release endorphins—amino acids that work as the body’s natural painkiller.
  • Relieve migraine pain.
  • Clear the foggy mind for better focus and clarity of thinking.
  • Balance feelings of being overwhelmed or “stuck”, making it possible to function again.
  • Aid in the process of grieving.

Diane Negley is a massage therapist with The Stress Management Institute for Health and Fitness Professionals.  She is a 12 year Army Veteran and has been practicing for eight years in many different therapeutic massage techniques. Diane has over 800 hours of Massage Training and is also trained in Reiki, Reflexology, Crainiosacral, Myofascial Release, Lymph Node Drainage, Hot Stone and Kinesiology. Diane can be reached by email at healingpointmassage@abmp.com or visit http://www.tsmihfp.com/wellnesscenter

MFN Contributing Author