Since massages can help release the brain’s natural hormones that combat pain, serotonin in particular, people using massage therapy to treat their injuries or chronic condition are able to experience relief on multiple levels. The increased natural production of these hormones can linger for a while, creating a gentle wave of calm that will follow you even after the massage is over. That’s why these kinds of massages are great for people whose pain makes it difficult for them to get a decent night’s sleep, which is a crucial part of the body’s natural recovery process.
Massage has a multifaceted effect on the body and evokes complex reactions involving all the tissues, organs, and systems. It improves the movement of lymph and blood in the vessels and tones the vascular system, facilitating the work of the heart. The hemoglobin content of the blood and the erythrocyte and leukocyte counts are raised. Massage increases gas exchange and the excretion of mineral salts, urea, and uric acid. Changing the character, force, and duration of the massage can affect the functional state of the cerebral cortex by lowering or raising general excitability, intensifying attenuated reflexes and reviving lost ones, improving the function of conduction tracts, and reinforcing the reflex links of the cerebral cortex with the muscles, vessels, and internal organs. Massage can accelerate the regeneration of a nerve after injury and relieve or stop pain.

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Nobly exhibited by Gwyneth Paltrow in a backless dress, this traditional Chinese medicine practice temporarily leaves raised, red cup-shaped 'wheals' on your skin. A heated cup is placed on your body and a vacuum is created which sucks up your skin. This suction drains excess fluids and toxins from the muscle tissue, and stimulates the nervous system, and brings blood flow to your muscles and skin. The immediate effects look a bit alarming (see Gwyneth) but it is a deeply relaxing treatment.

Massage therapists who have received specialized training and are certified in prenatal massage know how to position and support the woman's body during the massage, modify techniques, and avoid certain areas and techniques during pregnancy. Most will have a special table that allows the woman to rest comfortably and safely during the massage. Ideally, you should seek out a practitioner who is experienced and licensed in prenatal massage.


Evaluating its effectiveness in treating anxiety based on the Women’s Health Questionnaire (WHQ), researchers discovered that while reflexology was not shown to be more effective than non-specific foot massage in the treatment of psychological symptoms occurring during the menopause, it nonetheless led to a 50% decrease in anxiety, which surpassed the control group two-fold. (4)

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Challenges include breaking into the sports arena. Often, massage is not viewed as a primary service. If you do get in with a team or individual, the travel schedule can be daunting; long hours, little sleep, and being away from your family and business can be really difficult. Finally, the work can be very physically challenging. This can take a toll on the massage therapist, so exceptional body mechanics and self-care are essential.
Traditionally designed to apply pressure to layers of muscle, tendons and other tissues deep under the skin, deep tissue massage can be very effective in relieving problem areas and is highly therapeutic. Deep tissue massage is generally a modality to consider for athletes as well as the eight-to-five desk job. Muscles easily become tense and deep tissue massage can relieve some chronic patterns of pain and tension, specifically in the back, shoulder and neck areas.  

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When travelling with USA Swimming, a typical day for Olympic Trials, which is a 10-day trip, usually looks like the following: Arrive at pool by 9 a.m. to start 20-minute massage sessions for athletes. Break from 1:30 to 3 p.m. for lunch and return to pool by 4 p.m. for finals at 6 to 8:30 p.m. Massage athletes after finals at pool from 8:30 to 10 p.m.
George Taylor, M.D., writing in 1885, uses the terms "clappings, knockings, stroking, kneading, pullings, shakings and vibratings" as the passive movements used by Ling in his Swedish gymnastic system. However, he gives very little attention to describing those movements. This may be explained first because Ling provided no explanations and second by the following passage from Taylor: "But the employment of duplicated [passive] movements, it must be confessed, is attended with difficulties that will prevent their general use as a medical resource. An ordinary course of medical instruction does not confer the necessary qualifications for their successful application; the tact necessary to prescribe and apply them properly is only acquired by long and patient practice, and the labor is excessively severe."

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Pauline Wills, author of the Reflexology and Colour Therapy Workbook, teaches that colors can be applied to "areas where an abnormality has been diagnosed but which has produced no noticeable symptoms in the physical body." She states that the application can be done by imagining colors transmitted through the practitioner's hand or by Firstly, if the practitioner is sensitive to colour, they can visualize it being projected or by using "reflexology crystal torch." [8].

the manipulation of the soft tissue of the body through stroking, rubbing, kneading, or tapping, to increase circulation, to improve muscle tone, and to relax the patient. The procedure is performed either with the bare hands or through some mechanical means, such as a vibrator. The most common sites for massage are the back, knees, elbows, and heels. Care is taken not to massage inflamed areas, particularly of the extremities, because of the danger of loosening blood clots. Open wounds and areas of rash, tumor, or excessive sensitivity are avoided. Even if the extremities (legs) are not inflamed, they should not be massaged if the client has been immobilized for an extended period of time. The procedure is performed with the patient prone or on the side, comfortably positioned, with an emollient lotion or cream applied to the area to be massaged. The caregiver's hands are warm, and excessive pressure is avoided to prevent pain or injury. Kinds of massage are cardiac massage, effleurage, flagellation, friction, frôlement, pétrissage, tapotement,and vibration.
Whether you have temporary pain, are suffering from a longtime chronic condition, or just love to feel good, deep tissue massage and massage therapy can bring you lasting relief. Science tells us that deep tissue massage both feels great and is a known medical solution. In fact, the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health says deep tissue massage is proven to encourage healing and relieve pain and discomfort related to health challenges such as cancer, depression, chronic headaches, chronic neck or back pain, osteoarthritis of the knee, and more. Deep tissue massage is frequently used for relieving stress, managing pain, breaking down scar tissue, relieving muscle tension and improving health. Deep tissue massage has also been shown to be beneficial in reducing high blood pressure.
Ergonomic chairs serve a similar function as a massage table. Chairs may be either stationary or portable models. Massage chairs are easier to transport than massage tables, and recipients do not need to disrobe to receive a chair massage. Due to these two factors, chair massage is often performed in settings such as corporate offices, outdoor festivals, shopping malls, and other public locations.
Swedish massage is defined in large part by the original strokes that compose its method: effleurage (stroking), petrissage (kneading), tapotement (striking), and frictions (rubbing), with vibration added later. The French terms – effleurage, petrissage, frictions (massage a’ frictions) and tapotement – were never used by Peter Ling, by any of his successors nor by the Central Gymnastic Institute. So where did these terms come from?

Many people confuse reflexology with massage, Reiki, or acupuncture, but there are essential differences between these therapies.  Massage therapists manipulate larger areas of soft tissue in the body while reflexologists apply pressure to specific points on the feet, hands, and ears.  Unlike either massage or reflexology, Reiki does not involve any physical manipulation or pressure, but instead uses light touch to work with the subtle vibrational field thought to surround the body. Finally, while acupuncture and acupressure, like reflexology, use reflex points on the body to influence other parts of the body, the points are not the same and acupuncture uses points over the entire body.

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Deep tissue massage usually begins with lighter pressure to warm the muscles before massaging into deeper muscle fibers. For some, this may result in discomfort during the session and residual discomfort for a day or two after the treatment. The massage may release toxins into the body from the massaged tissue. Drink plenty of water for 24 hours after the massage to flush the toxins out of your body. Communicate with your therapist on the amount of pressure applied, especially in areas that are sensitive. Your therapist will immediately adjust the pressure. If you are suffering from chronic muscle pain, this type of massage may be what you need. A diagnosis from your doctor is recommended for any medical problem.
“The number one thing therapists should do to protect themselves from injury is avoid doing too much work,” says Bykofsky. She also recommends not over-scheduling, working too many hours, or holding too many deep massage sessions a week. Also, take advantage of other “tools” at your disposal, such as different parts of your hands and arms, using them for leverage to take some of the pressure off your thumbs.

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