You may think, "Massage??! That word can bring up an unsavory image!"
Well, the ancient and effective medical use did lose some of its value and prestige because of the parlors, however this image is fading, as awareness of these therapeutic properties grow. Thank goodness!
The benefits are huge and lasting. You can experience improved daily functioning and relief from pain, increased quality of sleep, better circulation and decreased stress with regular massage therapy.
Relax your way to a more healthy and youthful you!
Massage can help you to regain your strength, balance and efficiency. Some techniques use lymphatic drainage to help you detoxify and feel rejuvenated, while others work to increase your circulation and promote relief from stress.
We have researched a lot of different types, and there are some specific approaches that yield more results in terms of your anti-aging goals. We have listed them here further down on this page.
But perhaps you’re really new to the idea. Here are some of the things you can expect.
Your First Massage?
Have you ever had a professional massage? If so, you may already know what a wonderful experience it can be. But, if you haven't... this will give you a pretty good idea what will happen, and how it can help you:
In therapeutic massage, the soft tissue structures of your body are manipulated by holding, causing movement and/or applying pressure to the body. Usually the hands are used and sometimes the elbow for added pressure.
Sometimes, bodywork involves deep-muscle massage, which stretches the connective tissue around tight muscles, ridding them of cramping and allowing greater freedom of movement. This can also improve motion in your joints, soften hardened muscle tissue, and stimulate your lymphatic system. (All are excellent for helping you to realize your anti-aging goals!)
The purpose of Therapeutic Massage is to prevent and alleviate pain, discomfort, muscle spasm, and stress. It is also used to promote health and wellness by improving the functioning of your circulatory, lymphatic, muscular, skeletal, and nervous systems. (Again, optimal overall wellness leads naturally to your healthy longevity.)
Classical massage can help to invigorate you. It can also ease your muscular and perhaps emotional tension. You will love it for relaxation.
If you're like some people, however, you may find it hard to tolerate the close physical contact that bodywork involves. You may be sensitive to manual stimuli. Using only a qualified practitioner could help to put you at ease.
The benefits could very well out-weigh your discomfort. And over time, as you experience the benefits, and you come to trust your practitioner(s), you may just look forward to you next massage!
Okay, now that we understand a little more about what bodywork is, let's take a look at a few of the different types specifically geared for anti-aging.
A gentle, relaxing massage that uses long strokes, kneading, friction, tapping, percussion, vibration, effleurage, and shaking motions. Usually, this treatment would include the following sequence of techniques:
- Effleurage: gliding strokes with the palms, thumbs and/or fingertips
- Petrissage: kneading movements with the hands, thumbs and/or fingers
- Friction: circular pressures with the palms of hands, thumbs and/or fingers
- Vibration: oscillatory movements that shake or vibrate the body
- Percussion: brisk hacking or tapping
- Passive and active movements: bending and stretching
Swedish massage feels good, and as well as being relaxing and invigorating, it will increase your circulation and relieve some of your body’s stress.
Focuses on specific complaints, such as neck stiffness, back pain, frozen shoulder, or muscles spasms. Trigger points occur in muscles, tendons, and the connective tissue (fascia) around nerves, muscles, and bones. These points often radiate pain to other parts of the body.
The therapist applies deep, continuous pressure to the irritated point. The area is first prepared with massage before deep pressure is applied with hand or elbow. After the tension in the point has been released, the muscles around it are stretched and stroked. A session lasts about one hour.
Involves the therapist employing a "plucking" technique (similar to playing a guitar) on the tendons, fascia and nerves, which sets up a vibration from the nerves to the muscles. This reflex helps to relax muscles, free joints, improve lymph and blood circulation.
Unlike massage, there is no force or deep pressure applied.
Conditions that are benefited by this approach include problems in the back, such as sciatica, abdominal and diaphragmatic pain, chest and sternal pain. These issues can also be helped: carpal tunnel syndrome, bursitis, headaches, digestive and respiratory conditions.
Using guided movements and verbal directions, practitioners of the Alexander Technique re-educate the musculoskeletal system to improve mobility, balance, and posture. After poor habits are identified, new patterns of movement are introduced, with particular attention to the alignment of the head, neck, and spine.
An Alexander session may begin with the practitioner aligning your body while you lie on a massage table. Then, you will be guided through practice in standing, walking, sitting, and bending.
The goal is to make you aware of conscious patterns that create poor posture and muscle tension. With awareness of these patterns, you are then encouraged to inhibit them.
The Alexander neuromuscular re-education is beneficial in correcting spinal deformities, relieving chronic neck and back pain, and improving balance and movement.
Massage can cure a lot of what ails you. It is an excellent complement to your anti-aging routine.
Find a practitioner that you trust and with whom you can feel relaxed and at ease. And then … just let go.
Give yourself the gift of a more relaxed and healthy you.
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