Massage Therapy: A Necessity, Not Luxury
By Dr. Vivian
Massage therapy is one of the oldest healing arts. It induces physiological changes that not only make you feel better but also reduces the blood level of circulating stress hormones and helps to enhance immune function. Massage dates as far back as 3000 B.C. as documented by ancient Chinese records. Ancient Hindus, Persians and Egyptians also used massage therapy to heal many ailments. Part of Hippocrates’ teachings recommended the use of rubbing and friction to treat joint and circulatory problems. In present times, the benefits of massage are varied. Massage is used as a part of physical rehabilitation and has been proven beneficial in the treatment of many conditions including Low back pain, Fatigue, Arthritis, Diabetes, Hypertension, Infertility, Immune suppression, Depression, Bursitis and Smoking cessation. Massage also helps relieve the stress of everyday living that if left unchecked can lead to illness and disease. Traditional Nigerian massage is very popular and known for it’s amazing healing benefits.
Massage therapy which also includes Bodywork and Somatic Therapy is the application of various techniques to the body with the intent to reduce stress and fatigue while improving circulation. When the blood supply is increased to a massaged area so are the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to tissues and this process facilitates the removal of waste products. Studies have shown that urine output increases after a massage which may indicate that massage accelerates the body’s waste removal and detoxification process. There are more than 200 variations of massage, bodywork and somatic therapies and several therapists use a combination of different techniques which may include stroking, kneading, compression, vibration, tapping, friction, rocking or pressure to muscles and soft tissue. Oils, lotions and powders may be applied to the skin to help reduce friction. Some massage therapists employ the use of tools to aid the process.