Massage therapy is manual manipulation of soft body tissues (muscle, connective tissue, tendons and ligaments) to enhance a person’s health and well-being. There are dozens of types of massage therapy methods.
Massage therapy dates back thousands of years to ancient cultures that believed in its medical benefits. The first written records of massage therapy are found in China and Egypt.
The first known Chinese text, “The Yellow Emperor’s Classic Book of Internal Medicine” dates to 2700 BC. It was published in English in 1949 and has become a staple in massage therapy training. It also includes acupuncture, acupressure and herbology.
Egyptian tomb paintings from 2500 BC show that massage therapy was a part of their medical tradition. Egyptians get the credit for pioneering reflexology. Their studies and traditions greatly influenced other cultures such as the Greeks and Romans.
What are the benefits Massage Therapy?
This form of therapy involves hands-on techniques to increase circulation, relieve tension, reduce stress, relieve anxiety, improve sleep, and promote relaxation throughout the entire body, as well as many other benefits. The body’s soft tissue areas include the muscles, tendons, connective tissue, etc. If someone is tense and in need of a release, or they have been injured and have extensive muscle and/or nerve tissue damage that plagues their body, massage therapy might be worth exploring.
What does a typical Massage Therapy session look like?
Your massage session should take place in a warm, comfortable, quiet room. Soft music may be played to help you relax. You will lie on a table especially designed for your comfort.
It is always good to discuss with the therapist your aim for the massage, such as relaxing or invigorating. Advise them as well on the pressure you prefer and do let them know if the pressure is not right for you.
Most massage techniques are traditionally performed with the client unclothed; however, it is entirely up to you what you want to wear. You should undress to your level of comfort. You will be properly draped under a sheet during the entire session.
How do I find a specialist that suits me?
There are many different massage therapy methods ranging from the more holistic energy healing type, to a sports injury massage. It is good to first understand what you want from the massage to find a suitable practitioner.
Next, go out and try them! Regular massage can be beneficial so find a practitioner whose touch you resonate with to be comfortable with your decision. The more you work with a single practitioner, the more they learn about your body to support you in feeling the benefits.