What is Massage Therapy?
Massage is a treatment that uses different kinds of physical contact to relax, revive and heal the body. It is used to treat a wide range of emotional and physical health problems.
Massage is the stroking, kneading, warming, rolling and pressing of skin and muscles.
There are lots of different kinds of massage, each with broadly different origins and aims - some focus on soothing muscle pain; others on increasing energy levels; some aim to improve a specific physical condition; others simply to help you relax.
Massage makes you feel good in lots of ways, and can have a positive effect on your whole body - your bones, your muscles, your heart, your skin, your breathing, digestion, and your mental health.
Massage works in various ways:
It relaxes and refreshes tired or knotted muscles
It increases blood circulation
It stimulates deep circulation, both of blood and lymph which helps your body to heal, and generally work more efficiently
It encourages your body to produce endorphins - the natural chemicals in your body that make you feel happy
It's instinctive to give someone a hug or a pat on the back to comfort or reassure them; in some ways, massage is a formal version of that instinct.
What is Swedish Massage?
In Sweden, "Swedish massage" is simply known as "classic massage". And that is exactly what it is - a classic treatment which represents the western standard for massage.
Swedish massage is a whole-body therapeutic massage treatment that works the soft tissues and muscles to help restore health - creating a calming and balancing effect on the nervous system.
The massage therapist will use five main types of massage techniques in a Swedish massage: stroking and gliding; kneading; rubbing; tapping or pounding; vibration
What are the benefits of Swedish massage?
The various Swedish massage techniques, created by the Father of Swedish Massage, Per Henrik Ling, are designed to improve your circulation, soothe your muscles and make you feel more relaxed.
Unlike deep tissue massage, Swedish massage therapy uses softer strokes on the bonier and more delicate parts of the body, and stronger strokes where there is thicker muscle coverage. This adjustment of pressure makes it an ideal massage for relaxation.
Best known for soothing tight muscles and boosting well-being, Swedish massage also offers a whole host of other health benefits, including:
easing muscular strain by flushing out toxins
improving blood circulation and blow flow throughout the body
helping to keep ligaments and tendons supple and improving range of motion
reducing emotional and physical stress
easing back pain and chronic pain
What is Aromatherapy Massage?
Aromatherapy massage is Swedish massage therapy using massage oil or lotion that contains essential oils (highly concentrated plant oils).
During an aromatherapy massage, you inhale these essential oil molecules or absorb them through your skin. They are thought to promote beneficial changes in your mind and body by affecting the limbic system, a region of the brain known to be involved in emotion.
Use of therapeutic essential oils in massage is being explored for the following conditions:
What is Sports Recovery Massage?
Recovery massage is the application of massage techniques performed as soon as possible following an event in order to reduce muscle tension, soreness and recovery time.
What are the Main Goals of Recovery Massage?
The primary goal of recovery massage is to reduce the amount of recovery time required by the athlete. However, the following are also important goals of treatment;
Reduce muscular tension
Reduce immediate muscle soreness and prevent DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness)
Promote a state of relaxation
Relieve increased muscle tone
How Can a Recovery Massage Help Your Physical Sporting Performance?
Recovery massage can:
Reduce the chance of injury
Improve power and performance by increasing muscular flexibility and joint range of motion
Increase vascular flow to tissues, maximizing nutrient and oxygen supply
Improve the elimination of lactic and carbonic waste products, which result from muscle contraction during physical activity
Shorten recovery time post-event