Massage is always best if performed by a therapist you can relate to as it encourages the mind and body to switch off, relax and de-stress. Massage should be used as part of your regular healthcare routine in conjunction with other therapies, healthy eating and exercise. For your first few sessions, usually weekly, treatment is likely to be corrective by undoing muscle tension that has been gradually increasing over the years. At first, you may feel a little sore but this should improve within a couple of days. Don’t worry if you have feelings of nausea or headache, this should pass quickly. Once your chronic muscle tension has eased and your body is moving more easily, a regular massage every month or two should keep your body and joints working smoothly.
As muscle pain is a major cause of people taking time off work, it makes sense to budget for a regular schedule of therapy to keep you, or your employees, in the best of health. Rather than just an indulgence, massage should be considered an essential part of your health plan. It’s important to work with a practitioner that offers the right type of massage most suited to your condition and expectations.
“Minor illnesses were the most common reason given for sickness absence but more days were lost to back, neck and muscle pain than any other single cause.” In Business, May 2014, Derbyshire & Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce
Types of massage available :
Deep Tissue Massage
Deep tissue massage is useful for relieving tight, knotted or painful muscles. It can also release fascial tension (see below). These can occur directly as a result of injury, physical compensation to avoid pain or poor posture. Slow, deep pressure, or friction, is applied either following the line of your muscles or sometimes across the grain of the muscle. This encourages the tissues to release and the body to repair. Talk to your therapist if the pressure isn’t suitable for you, they should adapt to your needs.
Myofascial Release (myo is Greek for muscle and fascia the connective tissue)
Fascia is the connective layer linking muscles to other muscles, organs, tissue and skin throughout the body. A particular technique of lifting the skin and creating a wave effect is used to release fascial adhesions between the skin and muscles.
Swedish Massage Therapy/Massage Therapy
Swedish massage is the most common form and is a good massage to have for your first time. It uses a combination of effleurage, which are long strokes to warm the muscles, together with kneading and cupping. The whole effect induces a very calm, relaxing massage.
Aromatherapy uses light massage strokes to apply essential oils. The oils are selected to suit your desired outcome whether it is relaxation, balance or stimulation.
Hot Stone Massage
This is the application of warm stones to relieve muscle tension and sometimes alternating with cold stones to reduce inflammation. The effect is warming, soothing and comforting.
This massage is designed for anyone who is active. A sports massage focuses on treating and preventing injuries rather than relaxation.
Lymph Drainage Massage
The lymph system is the body’s secondary circulation system and your defense against disease and infections. Lymph drainage is achieved with light pressure and gentle movement which encourages flow and finds a path for drainage of toxins from the lymphatic system. This massage will help your immune system by removing toxins.
Reflexology is usually applied to feet with the aim of treating a corresponding area of the body. It can be used to ease stress and pain and has had some success with addiction withdrawal.
Indian Head Massage
Is part of traditional Indian grooming and has been used for generations. It is based upon Ayurvedic principles and aims to balance mind, body and spirit. The massage is to the head and shoulders without the need to undress.
Benefits of regular massage:
- Reduced muscle & nerve pain
- Reduced effects of stress on the mind and body
- Improves quality of sleep
- Reduces headaches
- Improves posture
- Improves activities of daily life