What is massage?
Massage is a general term for pressing, rubbing and manipulating your skin, muscles, tendons and ligaments. Massage may range from light stroking to deep pressure. There are many different types of massage, including these common types:
- Swedish massage: This is a gentle form of massage that uses long strokes, kneading, deep circular movements, vibration and tapping to help relax and energize you.
- Deep massage: This massage technique uses slower, more-forceful strokes to target the deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue, commonly to help with muscle damage from injuries.
- Sports massage: This is similar to Swedish massage, but it's geared toward people involved in sport activities to help prevent or treat injuries.
- Trigger point massage: This massage focuses on areas of tight muscle fibers that can form in your muscles after injuries or overuse.
Benefits of massage
Massage is generally considered part of complementary and alternative medicine. It's increasingly being offered along with standard treatment for a wide range of medical conditions and situations.
Studies of the benefits of massage demonstrate that it is an effective treatment for reducing stress, pain and muscle tension.
While more research is needed to confirm the benefits of massage, some studies have found massage may also be helpful for:
- Digestive disorders
- Insomnia related to stress
- Myofascial pain syndrome
- Soft tissue strains or injuries
- Sports injuries
- Temporomandibular joint pain
Beyond the benefits for specific conditions or diseases, some people enjoy massage because it often produces feelings of caring, comfort and connection.
Despite its benefits, massage isn't meant as a replacement for regular medical care. Let your doctor know you're trying massage and be sure to follow any standard treatment plans you have
FOOT REFLEXOLOGY BENEFITS
Think about how much stress your feet go through each day. No body part is more abused than your feet. Standing, running, jumping – our feet do it all! Reflexologists believe that overall health begins in your feet and travels up. The benefits of foot massage are endless – not to mention it feels downright great! Although there are no “hard facts” to prove what a foot massage can really do, practitioners and patients alike claim that reflexology can:
- Cure colds/minor ailments
- Prevent/cure diseases
- Increase energy
- Relieve stress, pain, and anxiety
- Improve blood and lymph circulation
- Prevent injury
- Relieve pain from MS and chemotherapy
- Stimulate activity of internal organs
- Successfully treat liver dysfunction, constipation, IBS, chronic headaches, and skin allergies
- Relieve pressure on legs and feet in pregnant women
REFLEXOLOGY & DIABETES
Diabetes restricts blood flow to the feet, which can cause problems including numbness, tingling, calluses, and foot ulcers. Many diabetics are unable to find relief from these symptoms. Reflexology can help by improving circulation and reducing the risk of neuropathy. Some patients are so relaxed during a session that that their blood sugar drops. In addition, a proper foot massage will help keep your vital organs in good condition. Make sure to drink plenty of water after each session!
Unfortunately, not everyone is a candidate for foot massage. If you suffer from conditions like athlete’s foot, plantar warts, or osteoporosis you should stay away from foot reflexology.