The Forms of Therapeutic Massage

By: Scott Meyers

Massage therapy has been practiced for thousands of years. There are tomb paintings from the Egyptians that show people being massaged. Massage counts among one of the oldest and simplest forms of medical care. A book written 2700 years before the birth of Christ recommended breathing exercises and massage of the flesh and skin. Massage was use by both the Greek and Romans as a way to relieve pain. It was said that Julius Caesar had daily massages to relieve symptoms of neuralgia. Hippocrates wrote, "Rubbing can bind a joint that is too loose, and loosen a joint that is too rigid."

Shiatsu massage, also known as acupressure is sometimes confused with acupuncture. Both are based on the Chinese meridian system, but there are no needles involved in shiatsu massage. The therapist applies pressure with thumbs, fingers, and palms to specific parts of the body. The spots are determined during a physical assessment by the massage therapist. Then, various parts of the body are tapped, squeezed, rubbed, and have pressure applied to unblock energy are increase the flow of energy.

Shiatsu massage will benefit you in the following ways:

Releases toxins from the body
Deep tissue and muscle relaxation
Increased flexibility
Reduces blood pressure
Reduces stress
Prevents disease
Reduces mental anxieties
Increases physical and mental awareness

The massage therapist knows which part of the body to massage and manipulate with the fingers to allow stress reduction, ease mental anxieties, and all the benefits listed above.

Massage has been incorporated with other forms of holistic and complementary therapies. Massage therapists are using touch and therapeutic massage with aromatherapy and reflexology.

Hot stone massage is another form of therapeutic therapy and is useful for promoting deep muscle and tissue relaxation, ease stress, calm the mind, improve circulation, and relieve pain. There are certain physical conditions treated by hot stone massage. They are back pain, muscle aches and pains, insomnia, depression, arthritis, and fibromyalgia. Hot stone massage may also help with circulatory problems. Hot stones are place on specific sites on the client's body to help open the "energy pathways." Hot stones may also be used to release tension in the muscles before a deep tissue massage is administered.

Massage therapy has been given a bad name because of the reputation that "massage parlors" have received. That image is being replaced as more people understand the difference between a massage parlor and a true massage - the benefits and the value of therapeutic massage. Massage is now being used in hospital intensive care units, for newborn babies and children, as well as patients with AIDS and cancer. Most American hospitals and hospices offer some form of massage therapy to benefit their patients. Massage is often offered in pain clinics, drug treatment centers, and other health centers.

Another form of therapeutic touch is the healing touch. A touch can mean love and caring and is a basic instinct we are born with. You can practice healing touch by holding hands, hands on healing, nurturing with your hands, and by healing touch. Remember that reaching out to touch someone is an action that shows others that you love and care for them.

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Scott Meyers is a staff writer for Its Entirely Natural, a resource for helping you achieve a naturally healthy body, mind, and spirit. You may contact our writers through the web site. Follow this link for more information on Massage Therapy.

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