The main function of massage therapy is to manipulate the muscles, tendons, ligaments and the connective tissues. During the process, one’s health and well-being are enhanced. Massage therapy serves many purposes, ranging from stress and anxiety reduction, muscle relaxation, injuries rehabilitation, pain reduction and just promoting overall health and wellness of a person. Massage also enhances the blood circulation and tonifies the body system
To meet the above requirements massage aims at manipulating the body tissues, tendons and ligaments. The hands are the tools used by the therapist in order for him or her to identify the patients physical and emotional needs. For a therapist to know the conditions of the tissues and the sources of pain, he or she strokes the massages the patient’s body with hisher hands. Massage uses two major working mechanisms. One is the mechanical action that is created by moving the muscles and soft tissues of the body using stretching movement and pressures. This process cleanses the acids and deposits in these tissues thereby breaking up fibrous tissue and loosening stiff joints.
The other working mechanism is the reflex which comes about when treatment of one part of the body affects another part of the body. When the pressures are applied on one part of the body, the pulses travel to some other parts of the body via the nerve pathways. Therefore, it is possible for the therapist to apply pressure on the lower back to treat a stiff knee and so on. The difference between therapeutic massage and relaxation massage is that therapeutic massage aims at restoring the patients’ health while relaxation massage aims at restoring the person’s happiness.
There exists a lot of message types. Examples are pregnancy, sport, reflexology, deep tissue and hot stone massages. All these are different and since therapeutic needs vary from person-to-person and from day-to-day, different people require different types of massages. Understanding the different strokes applied in each type is key to choosing the best massage type suitable for a given individual.
At the end of the gentle massage, the patient experiences relaxation and a sense of well-being. Stimulation of the nerve endings in the skin results in muscle relaxation. For the person to have the feel-good sensation, the nerves release the endorphins and inhibits the stress hormones. Stronger massage intensifies the circulation. The result of this is the enhancement of the oxygen and nutrient supply to tissues and hence relaxes them. Strong massage works on the lymphatic system which in turn transports the waste products away from the tissues. The end result of the massage therapy is enhancing a person’s well-being.