In the contemporary day scenario, people use a variety of massage therapies to cure health related problems. Massage therapy is often considered a complementary and alternative medicine in United States and the culture is spreading to countries cross the globe.
Massage therapy encompasses techniques like press and rub to manipulate muscles and soft tissues of the body. Therapists most often use their hands to relax body muscles but may also at times use their forearms, elbows or feet. According to the National Health Interview Survey, 2007, 18 million people of the United States received massage therapy and 7, 00, 00 children used massage therapy as an alternative medicine.
Massage therapy can be used to relieve pain, reduce stress, induce muscle relaxation, rehabilitate sports injuries, and address depression and anxiety.
How does Massage Therapy Help:
- The oxygen capacity of the blood increases up to 15% after the massage.
- Massage therapy affects muscles throughout the body. It helps loosen contracted, shortened and weak muscles.
- Balancing the muscles can improve posture and lead to efficient movement.
- Massage therapy does not directly improve muscle strength but can aid in speedy recovery from fatigue post strenuous exercises.
- Massaging also keeps the tissues surrounding the muscles elastic by gently stretching the connective tissues using the press and rub technique.
- It increases the metabolism of the body by increasing the utilisation of absorbed material by the body cells. This is supported by the secretion of nitrogen, inorganic phosphorous and sodium chloride in the form of gastric juices, saliva and urine.
- Massage therapy helps relive anxiety and positively impacts the nervous system by stimulating and soothing muscles connected to the nervous system
- It helps in enhancing the condition of the skin as it improves the function of oil and sweat glands to keep the skin lubricated yet cool making the skin soft and supple.
- Increases blood circulation by directly or indirectly stimulating blood vessels that supple blood to the organs.
- Massage therapists counteract joint pains by stroking the muscle around the joint inducing a passive movement to release muscle tension and free the connective tissue around the joints that can bind the joints and eventually lead to inflammation.
- It catalyses the recovery from injuries like sprains and strains by improving circulation and accelerating the process of healing of the soft tissues.
- Stress and anxiety are plaguing the society and a massage therapy usually interests people who are trying to balance their work life and relationships. Massages stimulate the tactile senses it loosens muscle tension and enhances the airflow through the respiratory system.