Massage is an integral part of many physical rehabilitation programs and the benefits of massage provide relief to people from all walks of life. The benefits of massage as a healing therapy date back 4,000 years when massage was used in traditional Chinese medicine to cure a number of conditions. Massage is a ‘hands-on’ therapy. Aromatherapy massage tends to be more relaxing than other forms of massage such as Swedish. Longer, slower strokes are used, and the massage is much less vigorous. However, this does not mean that Aromatherapy massage is not as beneficial in relaxing the muscles, it is just done in a different way. There are many variations, ranging from a gentle stoking and kneading of muscles to firmer, deeper, manual techniques. The benefits of massage affect the body as a whole and influences the activity of the musculoskeletal, circulatory, lymphatic, and nervous systems.
Types of Massage
There are several types of massage available that offer different benefits.
o Aromatherapy Massage: Essential oils from plants are massaged into the skin in order to enhance the healing and relaxing effects of massage.
o Lymphatic Massage: Light, rhythmic strokes are used to improve the flow of lymph throughout the body.
o Reflexology: Specialized thumb and finger techniques are applied to the hands or feet.
o Shiatsu: Gentle finger and hand pressure are applied to specific points on the body to relieve pain and enhance the flow of energy through the body’s energy pathways.
o Swedish Massage: A variety of strokes and pressure techniques are used to enhance the flow of blood to the heart, remove waste products from the tissues, stretch ligaments and tendons, and ease physical and emotional tension.
Other massage treatments, which may be more specialized include:
o Craniosacral Massage: Gentle pressure is applied to the head and spine to correct imbalances and restore the flow of cerebrospinal fluid.
o Myofascial Release: Gentle pressure and body positioning are used to relax and stretch the muscles, fascia, and related structures.
o Polarity Therapy: A form of energy healing, used to stimulate and balance the flow of energy within the body to enhance health and well-being.
o Rolfing: Pressure is applied to the fascia to stretch, lengthen, and make it more flexible, realigning the body so that it conserves energy, releases tension, and functions better.
o Sports Massage: Often used on professional athletes and other active individuals to enhance performance and prevent and treat sports-related injuries.
o Trigger Point Massage: Pressure is applied to “trigger points” (tender areas where the muscles have been damaged) to alleviate muscle spasms and pain.
Benefits of Massage – How can massage help me?
The benefits of massage are extensive and include the ability to reduce stress, relieve muscle tension and evoke feelings of calmness and relaxation.
Growing evidence suggests that if you allow regular periods of massage in your schedule you will gain a sense of wellbeing be fitter and be healthier in mind and body.
The benefits of massage include:
o Enhanced flexibility and circulation
o Encourages lymphatic flow
o Assists venous flow of blood
o Reduces edema
o Stimulates sensory receptors of the skin and subcutaneous tissues
o Improved self-esteem
o Provides gentle stretching of the tissues
o Encourages endorphin release
o Stimulates or soothes nerves
Massage causes essential oils to be absorbed through the skin. The many therapeutic claims that are made are due to the actual results people receive from aromatherapy massage. Aromatherapy has been known to relieve conditions aggravated by your emotional responses. Conditions that are stress related, such as headaches, premenstrual syndrome, back pain, and digestive disorders are often relieved with aromatherapy massage. Studies have even been conducted that showed patients having improved attachment to their newborns and a lack of post-partum depression among first-time mothers who received aromatherapy massage. Cancer patients are also benefitting from aromatherapy massage when they are in palliative care settings.
Aromatherapy uses essential oils to create a calming effect when oils from chamomile, geranium or lavender are used. Ylang ylang, rose, neroli or clary sage provide an uplifting effect, while rosemary energizes and cleanses. Pine, tea tree and eucalyptus are all considered decongesting oils. Essential oils can be used quite effectively for pain relief. Because the brain’s limbic region controls the body’s survival functions, the sense of smell has a great influence on the whole body. Black pepper, ginger, peppermint, and thyme produce heat and increase circulation, thus reducing pain. Lavender and lemongrass reduce pain by making the pain receptors less acutely aware of sharp pain. Chamomile, juniper, and tea tree oil reduce pain caused by inflammation with their anti-inflammatory properties.
All essential oils are harvested from plants through the use of steam distillation from the leaves, stems, bark, or root of a plant. They are highly concentrated, so you rarely need to apply more than a few drops of the oil to each application. When the oils molecules are inhaled, they enter the body through the nostrils, or they may be absorbed by the skin through massage. When used in massage they are often diluted by carrier oils such as grape seed oil, sweet almond oil, or apricot kernel oil.
To overcome insomnia oils of sandalwood, bergamot, clary sage or rose can be mixed with a carrier lotion and massaged into the skin or simply inhaled. The benefits of the massage alone plus the essential oils makes it a preferred application method. The benefits of aromatherapy massage are becoming more and more obvious as more people turn to it as a form of therapy for the countless number of ailments suffered by humans. Now aromatherapy massage can help if not eliminate every ailment from headaches to postpartum depression, speed up recovery from cancer, relieve pain and lower blood pressure.
For professional and beneficial aromatherapy massage, then head to Bonita Skin Care and Massage in Melbourne, FL.