Massage therapy benefits is increasingly being offered along standard treatments for a wide variety of health conditions.
Massage therapists may be trained in a variety of different massage techniques. You will perform client assessments to determine what massage treatments are most appropriate. These options include soft tissue manipulation, relaxation techniques, stretching techniques, finger/hand pressure to specific points on the body, hydro-therapy, manual stripping or cross-fibre friction of muscle tissue, trigger point therapy and drainage techniques. As part of a team, you will consult with other health care professionals such as physiotherapists, chiropractors, physicians and psychologists.
What is Massage Therapy?
Massage therapy is manual manipulation of soft body tissues (muscle, connective tissue, tendons and ligaments) to enhance a person’s health and well-being. There are dozens of types of massage therapy methods (also called modalities). People seek massage therapy for a variety of reasons – to reduce stress and anxiety, relax muscles, rehabilitate injuries, reduce pain, and promote overall health and wellness. At Northwestern, you are not simply going to a massage school – you are studying to be a healthcare professional who provides massage therapy.
Types of massage therapy
Hot Stone Massage therapy
For this kind of massage, the therapist places warmed stones on certain areas of the body, such as acupressure points. The stones may be used as massage tools or be temporarily left in place. Used along with other massage techniques, hot stones can be quite soothing and relaxing as they transmit heat deep into the body.
Deep Tissue Massage therapy
Deep tissue massage targets the deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue. The massage therapist uses slower strokes or friction techniques across the grain of the muscle. Deep tissue massage is used for chronically tight or painful muscles, repetitive strain, postural problems, or recovery from injury. People often feel sore for one to two days after deep tissue massage.
Shiatsu Massage therapy
In Japanese, shiatsu means “finger pressure.” For shiatsu massage, the therapist uses varied, rhythmic pressure on certain precise points of the body. These points are called acupressure points, and they are believed to be important for the flow of the body’s vital energy, called chi. Proponents say shiatsu massage can help relieve blockages at these acupressure points.
Swedish massage therapy
Swedish massage is perhaps the most popular type of massage therapy. It is comprised of five basic strokes: effleurage (sliding or gliding), petrissage (kneading), tapotement (rhythmic tapping), friction (cross fiber) and vibration/shaking. Johan Georg Mezger is accredited for founding the Swedish massage, which is only called such in English and Dutch speaking countries as well asHungary. Everywhere else, it is referred to as the “classic massage”.
Infant massage therapy
Infant massage refers to the application of gentle strokes and rhythmic hand movements to a baby’s body. The technique is an ancient practice that was introduced to western society over 30 years ago. It has become more popular in recent years. A specially trained therapist will teach parents the basics of infant massage. They will be shown a sequence of movements using a special oil. The aim of this therapy is to strengthen the parent-baby bond, and help babies to feel secure and loved. Infant massage can also promote better sleep, relieve discomfort such as wind, and ease emotional stress. It can also support the development of babies born prematurely as it boosts muscle tone and circulation.
Benefits of massage therapy
A massage therapy can help reduce your fatigue by eliminating blockages in the body’s meridians or invisible energy lines. It also helps to increase mental alertness.
Massage alleviates muscular pain, whether caused by overwork or injury. If an athlete is in pain, he or she will not be able to approach maximum poundages. Chronic or acute pain unavoidably psyches out the lifter. The less pain that is felt, the better the lifter will perform. Pain is a signal that something is wrong, so that will have to be dealt with. Massage will often be part of the required therapy.
If you are attending a wedding, make sure you head for a massage prior to the function. Spa therapies like facials and body polishes uses gentle exfoliation techniques to remove dead skin cells and stimulate new cell growth which gives you healthy, glowing skin.
Massage therapy increases muscle relaxation levels. Many lifters exhibit that hard driving type-A personality where relaxing is difficult. In those situations stress can get the better of the lifter. With regular massage, such a lifter can learn to relax body and mind and perhaps improve his performances.
Going in for a body massage helps relieve pain by healing damaged muscle tissues. It improves blood circulation leading to increased supply of oxygen and other nutrients to the muscles.