What Is Massage Therapy?
Massage therapy, often referred to as bodywork or somatic therapy, refers to the application of various techniques to the muscular structure and soft tissues of the body. Techniques include applying fixed or movable pressure, holding, vibrating, rocking, friction, kneading and compression using primarily the hands, although massage therapists do use other areas of the body, such as the forearms, elbows or feet. All of the techniques are used for the benefit of the musculo-skeletal, circulatory-lymphatic, nervous, and other systems of the body. In fact, massage therapy positively influences the overall health and well-being of the client:
Physical and Mental Benefits
* relaxes the whole body
* loosens tight muscles
* relieves tired and aching muscles
* increases flexibility and range of motion
* diminishes chronic pain
* calms the nervous system
* lowers blood pressure
* lowers heart rate
* enhances skin tone
* assists in recovery from injuries and illness
* strengthens the immune system
* reduces tension headaches
* reduces mental stress
* improves concentration
* promotes restful sleep
* aids in mental relaxation
Sports massage therapies are both preventative and therapeutic, and are used by athletes during warm ups, training and competition to treat and/or aid in the prevention of injuries; help improve flexibility, range of motion, and performance; and aid in mental clarity. Virtually every professional sports team/ person employs professional sports massage therapist, and are often privately employed by professional athletes.
Deep tissue massage
Deep-tissue massage utilizes slow strokes, direct pressure or friction applied across the grain of the muscles with the fingers, thumbs or elbows. Deep-tissue massage works deeply into the muscles and connective tissue to release chronic aches and pains; its purpose is to reach the fascia beneath the surface muscles.
Practitioners must have a thorough understanding of the human body and have been trained to administer deep-tissue massage, as injury can occur if the technique is not performed properly. This technique is useful in treating chronic pain, inflammation or injury.