What is Massage Therapy?
Massage Therapy is a form of alternative medicine recognised around the world as being able to treat people suffering from stress, fatigue, anxiety and help with the rehabilitation of injuries. Massage Therapy is considered by most health professionals to be a form of Alternative Medicine however that view is quickly changing as the value of massage for its health benefits is fast becoming recognised as a Complimentary Medicine.
As already mentioned, massage therapy can be used to relieve stress, fatigue and anxiety; all of which are experienced by people at some point during their working lives. Massage therapy can assist with rehabilitation from injuries such as strains, sprains, muscle tears and surgery. In some cases the right form of massage treatment is more effective than strong medications and in every case massage is healthier than pharmaceutical drugs.
How does it work and what are the effective applications?
The effect of massage and how it works differs depending on the type of treatment received with two major categories of massage being Therapeutic Massage and Remedial Massage. Therapeutic Massage is commonly referred to as Swedish Massage. This technique uses long, slow movements with varying depths of pressure to create a sense of relaxation and improved wellbeing. This is done to help alleviate the feelings of stress and anxiety, improve circulation, relieve congestion by loosening soft tissue and help create a positive mood for the client. Quite often essential oils are used in combination with Swedish Massage to enhance the beneficial effects of the treatment with oils such as lavender and ginger are either burned in an evaporator or mixed in with the massage oil to help the customer relax.
Therapeutic Massage is ideally suited to people who regularly suffer from stress and anxiety and it is a great way to enhance the experience of a holiday for people who are travelling.
Remedial Massage covers a very broad range of techniques such as Deep Tissue Massage, Acupressure, Cross Fibre Mobilisation and many, many more. These particular techniques aim to address problematic areas of the body that are causing a lot of problems or grief such as back pain, frozen shoulder, sciatica and more. Remedial Massage is used to break down muscle adhesions and scar tissue which will in turn restore proper function of muscles and limbs. Virtually all of the Remedial Massage techniques available use a rather firm pressure which is normally quite uncomfortable.
A common misconception among therapist’s and clients is the idea that a remedial treatment has to hurt or be painful in order to be beneficial. Fortunately for the client, this isn’t the case.
To put it simply, in a way that anybody can understand and that is: Pain is the body’s way of telling you “You’ve gone too far!”
No massage treatment should ever hurt but it may be uncomfortable at times.
Massage Therapist Requirements
Now we need to remember that it is possible for anybody to advertise massage services even without having any proper training or qualifications. The truth is there are no laws preventing this like in the way there are laws preventing unqualified people from working as an Electrician or Plumber. One of the fundamental parts of being a Massage Therapist is being able to understand physical conditions such as injuries and illnesses. Failure to recognise these conditions and implement an effective and safe treatment can potentially result in greater injury or illness to the client which is definitely something to avoid. In this regard it’s important to understand your therapist’s level of training and how they are able to recognise your body’s requirements.
Never be afraid to ask your therapist about their level of training and qualifications, after all your health and safety is in their hands.
Having said that there are, in my opinion certain qualities a therapist needs in order to perform great treatments. Of course these qualities differ depending on the treatment you need. Do you need a strong remedial massage to loosen up your limbs, restore mobility and improve physical condition or would you prefer a relaxing therapeutic massage to emotionally and physically soothe your body? From my own personal experience there is a rather significant factor that determines the quality of a remedial massage and a therapeutic massage. masajes medellin
I have always found Therapists with an athletic history tend to provide a more effective form of Remedial Massage than therapists who never had an interest in sports. Why this is the case I can’t exactly say but I believe it may be due to the therapist’s personal sporting experience with injuries, fatigue, muscle stiffness, soreness and quite possibly their own experience with receiving remedial therapy and/or physiotherapy. This personal experience which they have built over the years can give a better understanding of the requirements a client needs and they are able to provide the right treatment your body needs.
As a highly active massage therapist I enjoy my work and helping other people find the treatment they need, but I also enjoy receiving massages on a regular basis. While I do recognise the benefits of a remedial massage I personally prefer to receive a relaxing therapeutic massage. Therapeutic massage is very soothing and is a great way to relax, unwind and de-stress. While therapists with athletic backgrounds are able to give quite effective relaxing massages, it’s not what I would consider their strength. I’ve found spiritual people who believe in a balance of body and soul provide the most relaxing massages as they seem to be able to connect with how you are feeling both physically and mentally while you’re receiving your treatment.