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Benefits Of Massage Therapy

Nov 16, 2007
Massage therapy covers a large group of techniques and practices. Did you know that over 80 types of massage exist? In all of these kinds of massage, the therapist presses, rubs and manipulates the muscles and some of the other soft body tissues using varying movement and pressure.

Most therapists use their hands and fingers, but some may use their elbows, forearms or feet. The main purpose of massage therapy is to relax the soft tissues and increase the delivery of oxygen and blood to the areas that have been massaged, warm them and thereby decrease pain.

Here are a few of the popular types of massage therapy:

1. Swedish massage - In this type of therapy, the therapist will use long strokes, knead and will use friction on the muscles. He or she will also move the joint to aid in their flexibility.
2. Deep tissue massage - The therapist will use patterns of deep finger pressure and strokes on different parts of the body where the muscles are knotted and tight. The therapist will focus on layers of muscles that are deep under the skin.
3. Trigger point massage - A variety of strokes are used by the therapist and deeper and more focused pressure is applied on knots that will sometimes form in the muscles. These knots are painful when they are pressed and can cause symptoms in other parts of the body.
4. Shiatsu massage - Varying rhythmic pressures are applied by the therapist from the fingers on different body parts that are important for the flow of vital energy which is call qi.

There are many reasons why people use this therapy. Most of these are health related issues such as: the relief of pain, stress, to rehabilitate sports injuries, increase relaxation, aid in the feeling of general wellness and help in the areas of depression and anxiety.

There are some other reasons that scientists may feel that massage therapy is beneficial:

1. Changes occur in the muscles of the body when certain forces are applied to them.
2. Massage therapy may help to block pain signals that are sent to the brain.
3. Massage may help to guide a person's nervous system away from the sympathetic and move it towards the parasympathetic. The sympathetic nervous system is often referred to as the fight-or-flight response. The parasympathetic nervous system helps the heart rate and the breathing to slow down and the person becomes more relaxed.
4. Massage therapy may stimulate the release of serotonin or endorphins(chemical).
5. Massage may help cause beneficial changes in the body for example, the prevention of scar tissue formation and the increase of the flow of lymph which help in the fight against disease.
6. Massage therapy may help to improve sleep. This plays a role in pain and in healing.
7. It may also provide a health benefit due to the interaction between the patient and the therapist.

If you have never tried massage therapy, and if it is within your budget, then you may want to give it a try. Perhaps you may experience some of the benefits that it has to offer.
About the Author
Alex Olson wrote a number of highly popular articles which concern health problems. In them she pays much attention on massage therapy , its types and benefits.
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