How to Give a Perfect Massage
A health article about Massage from Your Health Online the A to Z directory of dealing with Health Problems & nutritional Self Care Strategies
This is arguably one of the best things one can have after a very stressful day. Nothing relieves the body of the aches and pains that it experiences other than a well given an in-depth massaging of tired or stressed muscles.
Touch therapy is proven to be one of the best stress relievers because it invigorates not only the body, but also the mind and the soul. A massage clears the passages towards the harmonious function of one’s mind and body, thereby unifying the two elements.
In the physical sense, a massage will definitely induce relaxation and good blood circulation. The motion from the massage also induces the excretion of toxins from the body.
People go to therapists every now and then to be able to experience a good massage. However, learning how to administer muscle relaxing techniques to other people is definitely something wonderful. Just think about giving a massage to your loved one and effectively relieving her of the pains in her muscles and joints.
There are many ways of giving massages. If we are going to be strict about it, there are more than 30 formally recognized types of massage all over the world. Which one do you use? Which one shall you opt to learn?
This chapter tries to give some basic tips on how to properly execute these techniques over the different prominent parts of the body. We shall discuss how to work with the back, foot, leg, hand and arm, neck and chest, face and head.
One major body part that usually needs massaging is the back. The back usually hurts because of the posture and body structure of the person.
A person who works all day in a chair will surely feel some stress on his back after a hard day’s work. A person who has a big belly can also expect to feel pain in his back because of the unwanted weight that it supports.
In giving a back massage, remember that the three parts that benefit most from a back massage are the spine, the shoulder blades and the hipbones. You can employ smooth circular presses along the shoulder blades to relax the muscles around the area.
Smooth straight slides can be used to relax the muscles in the spine area. The hipbones are to be worked on with slow circular presses.
Foot and leg massage
An average person takes thousands of steps per day. Those who come to work with high heels or hard shoes will definitely suffer from foot pains after their work and will definitely want to have a foot massage. A good foot massage will allow for better circulation of blood in the foot.
Stroking in an upward motion from the ankle to the leg will relieve the tension from the blood vessels. Ankle rotation is also one good way of relieving foot stress.
And of course, one should not forget to gently work the sole of the foot by giving circular presses around the painful areas.
Hand and arm massage
Making smooth stroke patterns along the arm and the hands will induce better blood circulation. Rotate the arms in a circular motion as well to loosen the joints.
The hands should always be worked on gently to avoid causing further pain.
Neck and chest massage
Bad posture can lead to pain in the neck and chest area. Starting from the area below the ear, one should make smooth downward strokes up to the shoulder area.
This would relieve the tension from the neck. Double-handed circular motion finger presses should be employed at the neck area at the back.
Face and head massage
Yes, the face can be massaged as well and a face and head massage can be very relaxing indeed. One of the best parts to work with on the face and head area is the pair of temples.
Give some pressure while pressing the temples in a circular motion. Massage the cheekbones and the forehead as well for added comfort.
These are some pretty basic tips on how to give a whole body massage. At the end of the day, technical know-how and execution are very important, however, it’s the love and willingness to relieve your loved one from his or her body pains that really counts.
The Power of Self-Massage
In the old days healers made medicine by mincing and dissolving herbs and self-massage was a common practice for maintaining good health and relieving body pains. Self-massage is the easiest form of instant healing.
When you unconsciously rub an aching knee or a throbbing head, the pain is relieved through a simple instrument – the hands.
Until today, this practice has been used all over the world. With a large number of studies on self-massage, there is substantial medical evidence to prove the great value and power of human touch.
The human touch is so natural that people without it are more likely to become irritable and depressed. Many studies show that children exposed to a family where touch is normal grow up healthier – physically and emotionally – and more capable of withstanding pain than those deprived of touch.
Self-massage has numerous direct effects on the health of a person. It aids in digestion, relaxes muscles, improves circulation, speeds up the elimination of waste and stimulates the lymph system.
Moreover, the psychological benefits of this produces a feeling of relaxation and well being, which cannot be compared to any modern medicine.
Self-massage can be done anywhere. It can be performed with or without clothes, while watching TV or talking on the phone, as long as you’re in a comfortable position.
The following simple techniques for the hands, feet and shoulders, which you can perform by yourself, can be used to alleviate certain body pains.
1) Massaging the hands
The hands are probably the most abused part of the body. Just think about all the daily tasks you perform with holding or clutching actions and other hand movements. The following steps can relieve the tension around your hands.
First, stroke the back of your left hand, push upward to the wrist and glide it back gently. Squeeze the hand completely and then press it between your palm and fingers.
Next, squeeze each of your fingers all over, making circular pressures with your thumb. Hold your finger at the base and gently pull and stretch it.
Using your thumb, stroke the joints and tendons at the back of your hands. Then, turn your hand over and support it with your fingers. Do a firm, circular pressure with your thumb, working up to the wrist.
End the massage by stroking the palm of your hand from fingers to wrist. Then repeat the steps for your other hand. When both hands are massaged, apply your favorite hand lotion.
2) Massaging the Feet
The average person walks around 115,000 miles in a lifetime. Since the feet hold the entire body weight, it’s no wonder why many people suffer from foot pain.
Once you ignore a foot ache, it can lead to back aches, bad posture and fatigue. When you massage your feet daily, not only can it rejuvenate your body, it can also prevent further body pain.
Massaging your own feet is easy. Sit and rest one foot on the opposite leg. Put one hand on top of the foot and the other under the sole. Stroke it smoothly from the toes to the ankles and slide it back to the toes. Repeat the step.
Work on each toe by squeezing it firmly and carefully stretch each toe with a mild pull. Put pressure down the sole’s center and lines using one thumb on top of the other.
Then, using your fingertips, stroke around the ankles up towards the leg and glide slowly back to the ankles. Work on the other foot and finish the session by stroking your foot as you did in the first step.
3) Massaging the Shoulders
Many people suffer from headaches, stiff necks and aching shoulders after an exhausting day at work. Massaging your shoulders can alleviate these typical pains and allow you to have a good night’s sleep.
Stroke your left shoulder with your right hand. Mold your right hand to the curves of your shoulders. Start the session at the base of your skull, down to the neck, shoulders, arm and elbow. Glide back to the neck and repeat the stroking for two to three times. Do the other side.
Clench your right hand into a fist and pound it gently over your left shoulder. Keep your wrists flexible and repeat the step on the other side.
Finish the session by performing a “hypnotic stroke” with your hands smoothly stroking your face, neck, shoulders and arms. Do this with both sides.
Although going to a massage therapist can completely rejuvenate your body, time and money can be a disadvantage for some people.
With these simple self-massage techniques, you can alleviate any body pain in the comfort of your home while saving hundreds of dollars. The power of self-massage is in your hands; use it.
The Basics of Massage and Pregnancy
Pregnancy is one of the most fulfilling conditions for a woman. On the other hand, it can also be the most painful experience since the mother-to-be goes through dramatic changes during pregnancy.
During pregnancy, the expectant mother experiences:
* Heart increases blood volume up to 50%.
* Blood flow in the kidney increases by 35%
* Lungs increase oxygen consumption by over 10%
* Increased urination
* Breakouts, rashes and skin discoloration
* Weight gain, stressing the bones and joints
* The digestive system becomes displaced
* The diaphragm, stomach and intestines are pushed upward by the uterus
Massage during pregnancy is a therapeutic practice that can relieve most of these common pains, reduce the occurrence and even prevent them from happening. In addition, massage therapy can relieve mental fatigue, enhance muscle and joint functions and improve circulation as well as general body tone.
Massage therapy and Pregnancy
Today, massage therapy for pregnant women, more commonly known as “prenatal massage”, is a fast developing field in the United States. It has attracted professionals such as delivery nurses, obstetricians, midwives and childbirth educators.
The popularity of this field is the result of women leaning towards wellness during pregnancy. Since most women today postpone childbirth until becoming stable with their relationships and career, they find alternative approaches that can alleviate the pain from traditional pregnancy.
Benefits of Prenatal Massage
The stressful and uncomfortable experiences during pregnancy can be reduced by massage therapy. It can particularly help in:
* Alleviating muscle cramping, stiffness, tightness and tension
* Relieving headaches, backaches, sore feet, edema, stiff necks and sciatica
* Increasing nutrients and oxygen to the mother and fetus’ cells
* Stabilizing hormone levels
* Increasing muscle flexibility
* Relaxing and having better sleep
* Increasing circulation
* Reducing stress on the heart
* Eliminating waste products through the circulatory and lymphatic system
* Decreasing insomnia
* Relieves neck and back pains caused by muscle weakness and imbalance
* Assisting proper posture
* Reducing hands and feet swelling
* Lessening sciatic pain
* Relieving sinus congestion
* An easier childbirth
* Increasing milk production
* Speeds up healing during postpartum recovery or after cesarean birth
* Realigning pelvis after birth
* Relieving stiffness and soreness after childbirth
In addition to these physical benefits of massage therapy for pregnancy, it just feels good for the expectant mother to receive a soothing human touch. Plus, a study conducted by Miami’s School of Medicine showed that massage therapy could reduce stress hormones in the body.
According to this study, human touch is important to a mother’s emotional and physical well being since she is adapting to a new body image. Regardless of personal conditions, the body of a mother-to-be is challenged, stressed and changed in many ways. Prenatal massage gives special attention to the pregnant woman, which also nurtures the baby that is developing within her.
Her husband, friend or relative can give massage to the pregnant mother. However, to maximize the benefits of prenatal massage, it is recommended to seek the services of experienced massage therapists, who are certified in postpartum, labor and pregnancy massage.
Is Prenatal Massage Therapy For You?
For most mothers, massage and pregnancy is a perfect match. However, a professional massage therapist will consult the mother-to-be about personal complications or problems with the pregnancy before the massage begins.
Generally, massage therapists will not go through the prenatal massage for women with circumstances such as fever, diabetes, heavy water or blood discharge, unusual pain, high blood pressure, abdominal pain, morning sickness, pre-eclampsia, diarrhea, vomiting, any malignant condition and other contagious illness.
Moreover, any body part of the pregnant woman with skin rashes, open bruises and sores, any kind of inflammation; local infection sites and distended or raised varicose veins should not be massaged.
Pregnancy massage is performed in different ways. The pregnant woman may lie on her side or lie on her belly. With the modern pillows specifically designed for expectant moms, it is now possible to lie flat on their stomachs regardless of how far along they are.
Prenatal massage can be performed anywhere from 20 to 60 minutes, depending on the discomfort you are experiencing. It is recommended that a pregnant woman, during her second trimester, should go to her massage therapist at least once a week for treatment.
Introducing a new life into the world is a wonderful, miraculous and challenging experience. Practice prenatal massage to make your pregnancy a comfortable experience.
The Art of Infant and Child Massage
People have been massaging babies and children for centuries. It is considered one of the most effective healing arts of traditional culture through out the world. Although infant and child massage has not been accepted worldwide, it is an instinctive act from a parent to his or her child.
In the last decade, the popularity of child massage exploded in the USA and other parts of the world. Many fathers, mothers, guardians, friends and grandparents today are seeking instructors to educate and guide them through the art of infant and child massage.
Massage is helpful for all babies, but it is particularly beneficial to infants. According to a particular infant massage research; it helps in increasing weight gain in premature infants of up to 45%.
In addition, touching the infant and Kangaroo care – the practice of holding the baby on the adult’s chest – is now proven to shorten the hospital stay of the baby.
Benefits of Infant and Child Massage
Infant and child massage is important to develop and improve emotional, physical and psychological characteristics of your child.
1) Relaxation – Although you may think that your infant’s life only involves a routine of changing diapers, eating and sleeping, they are actually caught up in a state of constant changes. Meaning, from the mother’s warm and comfortable womb, they are now in a world where everything else is new.
Even infants and children are prone to stress. Since the fast-paced world causes adults to forget about relaxation, their infant or child notice this and they themselves cannot learn to relax.
Massage eases the muscles, which leads to relaxation. When you practice massaging your child on a regular basis, he or she will learn the fundamentals of relaxation and eventually learn how to relax on their own.
2) Parent Awareness – Since the adult will be regularly involved in helping the infant to relax, he or she will be able to understand the child’s needs. In addition, it is a great way to develop bonding with the infant at an early age.
3) Relief – It is normal for your child or infant to experience pain. The most common discomforts of babies are spasm, gas and teething pain. Certain massaging techniques can help relieve the pain, ease muscle spasms, disperse gas, relieve pains associated with teething, tone the digestive system and ease emotional stress. In massaging the infant, you can also purchase soothing oils, which have aroma that could calm the child.
4) Stimulation – A child’s muscles can become tensed and may need to be massaged for relaxation. On the other hand, these muscles can also be loose, which can be stimulated by means of massaging.
Child massaging not only helps in stimulating the muscles, it can also stimulate other systems of the body. For instance, massaging helps aid digestion, which in turn, could ease the symptoms of constipation.
Infants usually have cold hands or feet. When this happens, it means that the child has poor circulation. To counter this, massage the hands or feet until it becomes warm. Infant massaging helps in stimulating blood flow.
5) Parent-child Bonding – The bonding of a parent and child is a continuous process from the infant’s early age until he or she becomes older. Infant or child massaging encourages a unique and strong interaction between the parent and child.
When you make it a habit to massaging your child daily, he or she will expect the schedule for the massage. You could either massage them once they wake up, after a bath or before going to sleep.
Make sure that the room where you will be massaging your infant is warm and comfortable for you both. Remember that premature infants cannot regulate their body temperate, it is important to set the room temperature at a comfortable level.
Several studies have shown that infants prefer massages with oil. Most massage therapists recommend aromatherapy, plant or vegetable oil, which can provide a gentle scent. Make sure not to use any other mineral-based oils, which are not easily absorbed.
The first few weeks of the baby’s life may seem all about breastfeeding and mother-infant interaction. Since most fathers may feel left out, infant massaging can be a great way to bond with the new child as well as alleviate certain body pains of the baby.
Although infant massaging can only eases pain temporarily, it is the most natural and loving act a parent could give their child at an early age.
The Benefits of Deep Tissue Massage
Life has become busier and too complicated. People work so hard that they usually have no time to take care of themselves. This kind of lifestyle, although not easily recognized stresses the body a lot and makes the person more and more prone to diseases and other medical conditions.
If the muscles of the body are stressed, for example, the flow of oxygen becomes poor. Likewise, the nutrients are just wasted and not absorbed by the body. Thereafter, inflammation occurs and accumulates toxins in the muscles making some movements painful.
This is not limited just to the elderly. People from all ages are vulnerable to the implications of stress to the body. No matter how strong your body seems to be, if you abuse it, there will certainly be negative effects.
Indeed, the body needs pampering from time to time. Besides, it will not be productive anymore if it is overworked and so stressed out. There are several ways of combating stress and tension and one of them is called deep tissue massaging.
Deep tissue massaging is yet another technique that targets and concentrates on the inner layers of the muscle tissue. Its main objective is to loosen the tension in the body through the application of strokes that are slow and finger pressure on contracted areas of the body. Doing this is said to e eliminated because of this.
Deep tissue massaging resulted from years of study. It has been matched well to the needs of a tension-filled body. Instead of going for a plain massage, this appears to be a better option.
As the target of such massaging is more specific, there may be soreness during the procedure as well as some hours after. The uneasy feeling may be gone after a day or two especially if it was done correctly. The pressure must be directed across the muscle grains.
Deep tissue massaging is beneficial in several ways. It makes you feel good by loosening the muscle tissues, releasing the toxins from the muscles, and making blood and oxygen circulate properly throughout the body. You must drink lots of water before and after the procedure since water will help flush out the toxins.
A build up of toxins in the body will no doubt have a negative impact on the various parts of the body. Sometimes, the symptoms may not be that obvious but you start feeling bad when it has become a major problem already. Thus, it is essential that you monitor closely your lifestyle and the way it has been affecting your health.
Moreover, the best thing about deep tissue massaging is that it targets deeply seated traces of tension in the body. With this, most consider it as corrective and, at the same time, therapeutic. What are normally not addressed by simple massages is easily targeted by this.
The techniques and movements may be comparable to that of a Swedish massage but there is more pressure. Such intensive pressure on affected areas is necessary to release adhesions, which are called chronic muscle knots.
The entire process may be a little painful and uncomfortable but is all worth it. You can always request to lessen the pressure a bit if you feel that it is too much already.
Although results are promised to be really good, do not expect that you will achieve them immediately after just one session. You may feel better but if you intend to correct something, some more sessions may be necessary.
As with any form of treatment, patience and commitment are very important. You have to believe that the treatment can do something about your condition.
Likewise, it is also important that you check on the knowledge and capacity of the person doing it. Survey for institutions that are well known to deliver good services. Otherwise, you may just be exposing yourself to greater harm and damage.
Deep tissue massaging is indeed a good option for those seeking to remedy the negative effects of stress. However, the procedure must also be coupled with a change of lifestyle.
If you continuously go back to your old ways, deep tissue massaging may not work no matter how often you go for treatment.
Aromatherapy and Massage: A Healthy Combination
Aromatherapy is considered as a form of healing that makes use of various aromas from pure extracts of flowers, leaves, herbs, and other plants. These extracts are converted to oil which is said to be therapeutic as it is inhaled and as it is applied on the skin.
Essential oils cannot be applied purely as they may cause redness, burning, or irritation. Carrier oils like jojoba, grape seed, and almond oil are usually mixed.
Moreover, using a specific type of oil for straight 12 weeks or more may not be that effective anymore as the skin may be resistant to it already.
Such aromatherapy oils must be stored in a cool, dry place to preserve their effectiveness. A dark bottle is most advisable since light does not penetrate easily.
Plastic bottles will only hasten their deterioration. Proper storage will make the oils last for about a year.
Massage complements aromatherapy very well. Massage has been known to be effective in loosening muscle contractions, releasing toxins in the body, and improving blood and oxygen circulation. The use of aromatherapy oils for massage is, no doubt, doubly beneficial.
Aromatherapy and massage can easily affect the autonomic nervous system. It can cause the fight and flight response to calm down thus reducing the amount of hazardous stress hormones in the body.
A person who has significantly low levels of stress become less prone to diseases or recover easily from any sickness or health problems.
This kind of complementary therapy is widely used in many healthcare institutions around the world. It has been proven to greatly improve the quality of life of patients. Thus, it is being recommended to cancer patients as a form of supportive therapy.
A research on this was conducted at the Marie Curie Cancer Care in London where 103 cancer patients either received massage or aromatherapy massage. Results show that those who received aromatherapy massage had significantly reduced anxiety levels as compared to those who only got basic massage.
Some improvements in the patients’ disposition, physical comfort, and quality of life in general have also been noted.
The research concludes that aromatherapy oils add up to the physical and psychological well being that patients feel in addition to the physical comfort that massage actually provides. These results are in conjunction to the benefits of touch therapy, which are further enhanced by the power of aromatherapy.
Not only are aromatherapy and massage proven to be helpful to cancer patients, it has also been found out that they may help people with learning disabilities. The senses of smell and touch play a major role on this.
The olfactory system has direct connections to the limbic system, which is the part of the brain that has to do with emotions. The senses of touch and smell appear to be less complicated as compared to the senses of hearing and sight. With this, a form of communication maximizing touch and smell is easier, especially for people with learning disabilities.
People with such disabilities are often characterized by stereotypical behaviors, monotonous actions that are purposeless, and impairment in their senses. These characteristics appear reduced with aromatherapy and massage.
This form of therapy works by causing the person to avoid self-stimulation. This happens because they start to become more aware of their own body and build tolerance to touch.
As such, they are able to divert their focus to something else and not just to themselves. This is initially manifested by the capacity to interact with the therapist.
Moreover, even athletes benefit from aromatherapy massage. For quite a while already, it has been part of athletic training.
It boosts performance and makes recovery thereafter easier. Serious athletes, like those who participate in Olympic games, have regular sessions before and after every game.
Indeed, aromatherapy and massage can do a lot of wonders. This is specially the case if it is done properly and carefully.
Since the pairing of aromatherapy and message has been proven to be really effective in intervening with some medical conditions, practitioners are usually required to undergo some years of training first. The use of such powerful oils is endless and must not be underestimated.
How Does the Acupressure Pressure Point Therapy Works?
Pressure point therapy, in general, involves the pressing of specific body points. These body points are scattered all over the body, and are usually found on the fingers, palms, limbs, and knuckles. The pressure point to focus on mainly depends on the illness that a person is feeling. Most of the time, acupressure is done to relieve stress, pain, and promote good health.
Acupressure is similar to Chinese traditional way of healing, which is acupuncture. It also originated from China about 5,000 years ago. But instead of using needles to treat a particular disease, a certain amount of pressure is applied in its place.
Here in the U.S., acupressure is used largely for relief and relaxation. But in China, it is used as a form of first aid. It is practiced on people who are suffering from colds, sore muscles, headaches, and even hangovers.
The acupressure technique is relatively easy to learn. You might need to go to a specialist for the first few treatments. And as you become familiar with the process, you can proceed to doing acupressure to yourself and to others.
Acupressure touches upon the old Chinese belief of chees, chakras and energies. Acupressure is known to facilitate the flow of the vital energies in the body.
The Chinese medicine of long ago believes that when the flow of the body's energy is hindered in any way, sickness will soon follow.
Acupressure is tasked to release a person's blocked energies. This is also the principle followed by its counterpart, the acupuncture therapy.
The acupressure technique entails the stimulation the acupoints. Acupoints are the body's specific points of energy. It is also what is referred to as the energy channels.
The act of pressing the points firmly is the acupressure technique in itself. As the practitioner does that, the energy of the body begins to flow again toward the parts that are under illness or discomfort. The result is a gradual but effective way of healing.
Acupressure uses no tools or needles. It is performed with hand massaging and by manually pressing the specific body parts. Scientifically speaking, this method is seen to release endorphins. Endorphins are the natural painkillers present in the body.
The length of a single acupressure treatment varies greatly from 15 minutes to an hour. It all depends on the wellness or the sickness of the patient.
It can be performed either in a sitting or lying position. Some therapist would require patients to be dressed with only a towel, so as to achieve a full-body therapy.
Each specific point on the body corresponds to a certain illness. Back pain, for example, is addressed by pressing the specific body point located behind the knees. On the other hand, pressing the body point found at the top of your foot relieves migraines.
Pressure is commonly applied for 3 to 10 seconds. But it could be longer than that in a number of cases. And it can be done repeatedly as needed.
Usually the relief is instant. But if the problem still exists, or if its severity level did not go down at the very least, the acupressure therapy is considered not to be effective. It might not be effective for you on that specific day or to your specific ailment.
The overall impact of the acupressure therapy is absolute relaxation and loosening up. There could be minimal aching of the muscles, but it should not be strong enough to be considered as pain.
The initially visit to the therapist is three to eight times. After which, you should be able to determine if acupressure proves to be effective for you or not. For stress management, a weekly or a monthly series of treatments are required.
A lot of people have tried acupressure and are pleased with its results. Even the pains caused by surgical operations and nausea are relieved as well. It is also seen to help other body conditions such as sinusitis, motion sickness, and morning sickness.
To experience the goodness of an acupressure therapy, the first step is to find a good therapist. Unfortunately though, there is no licensing program for acupressure therapists just yet. Try to get recommendations from friends and family members who had experienced it instead. That's going to be a good start for you.
If you wanted to ease pain away from your body without the use of medicines and chemicals, acupressure therapy is worth trying. Experience its benefits and see for your self if the natural way of doing things is a better option.
Reflexology: An Effective Pressure Point Therapy
When it comes to pressure point therapy, reflexology must be the most popular one. Reflexology is a practice of applying pressure to specific body points on the hands and the feet. It promotes relaxation and has the ability to improve one's overall health.
The power behind reflexology is the idea that the foot and the palm of a person are connected to the glands, organs, and the systems of the body. The thumbs and fingers of the practitioner press the certain points. Doing so are regarded to encourage the healthy functions of the body.
The root of reflexology is not specifically determined, but it is believed that the early Chinese, Indian, and Egyptian practice it. One of these people are said to have started the field, as it is known today.
But it was William H. Fitzgerald that had modernized reflexology. It was in 1900 that he introduced zone therapy, an evolution of reflexology.
He was an American physician specializing in ear, throat, and nose. In his studies, he had found out that pressing certain areas of the foot and the hands could benefit the health of the body in general.
By 1930, his colleague Eunice Ingham had proposed that the foot is better to work on rather than the hands. Ingham is a physical therapist and she continued to draw maps of the feet showing its correlation to the other parts of the body.
In her study, she had found that the toes are related to the head and the neck. The ball of the feet, on the other hand, corresponds to the lungs, chest, and the heart.
In general, the left foot corresponds to the body's right side and the right is to the body's left side.
It is also believed that reflexology follows the same concept as the Chinese medicine. Chinese medicine regards the body to be filled with energy. Now when the flow of that energy is blocked, diseases will follow.
In the research conducted for reflexology, it is found out that there are 7,000 neurons and nerve endings are found in the foot. If the nervous system is the brain of the computer, the foot serves as the keyboard. Pressing the several points on the foot are regarded to unblock the body's energy and enhance its flow on the different parts.
Reflexology is very similar to the theory followed by acupressure and acupuncture. The only difference is that the other two involves the rest of the body parts. Reflexology, on the other hand, focuses more on the feet and hands alone.
As one presses the foot and the hand the right way, the chemicals monoamines and endorphins are released. These are the body's natural defense against pain. These compounds work to relieve stress on the body. And even the current day medicine agrees to this concept.
Before a reflexology session starts, a small conversation has to be initiated first. The practitioner may need to know the patient's lifestyle and general health condition. They also have to be informed of any current and previous sickness.
During the actual session, your shoes have to be removed and will be asked to sit in a reclined chair. A lying down position is also acceptable. The reflexologist would then proceed to educate you on the important points of the foot.
The session starts with the rubbing of the foot. This is to warm-up the feet for the rest of the session. Areas of the feet that feel sensitive and taut are telltale signs that its particular body part is suffering from energy blocks.
The practitioner will further determine what other body parts need attention. Then he will center on these areas. The whole session may last anywhere from 30 minutes to as long as an hour.
To fully maximize the reflexology's health benefits, a session has to be scheduled weekly. Try to know the specific points the practitioner focuses on. So the next time, you can conduct the sessions yourself.
Reflexology is a good alternative medicine. But it should never be used to replace a doctor's prescribed series of medications. Reflexology is going to be helpful in speeding up the healing process. If you haven't tried it yet, do so now. Experience its natural benefits.
Shiatsu: A Revolutionary Pressure Point Therapy
The Japanese have their respective line of massage and pressure point therapy. If the Chinese have acupuncture, they have shiatsu. The name shiatsu itself originated from the Japanese words shi and atsu, which means finger and pressure respectively.
In Japan, shiatsu is considered as a hands-on healing method. In the west, more particularly in the U.S. it is the closest equivalent of Chiropractic massages.
It follows the ideology of physiology and anatomy. The main body parts used in conducting a shiatsu massage are the fingers, the palms, and the thumbs. Elbows and knees are not used.
Shiatsu practitioners in Japan need a license to perform the therapy. There, they are called Shiatsupractors. Tokujiro Namikoshi introduced shiatsu to North America. He came from a line of shiatsupractors himself and is properly trained with it.
In looking for a shiatsu practitioner in America, always check if the ABTA or the American Bodywork Therapy Association duly certifies him. Their office is located in New Jersey, if you need further verification.
The essence of shiatsu is to diagnose and to heal. With the use of the palms, thumbs, and fingers, the body's irregularities are detected. And once diagnosed, they can be attended to accordingly.
Now the process of detection, or the implementation of a practitioner's analyzing skills, is the harder part in learning the art of Shiatsu. And that is actually where the training focuses on.
People who wanted to undergo natural healing through a shiatsu massage do not have to be previously diagnosed of their previous pains or illnesses. Shiatsu is capable of knowing and healing at the same time. And to top it all, shiatsu is also capable of preventing diseases. And needless to say, prevention is always better than cure.
A single shiatsu session would last for about an hour. The number of sessions you need to undergo for optimal healing is determined by the severity of your illness.
For acute problems, 4 to 8 sessions should be good enough. Acute problems include headaches and stress. Chronic conditions like back pain would require longer treatments.
As with all other treatment procedures, the noting of medical history is always the first step. Practitioners would like to be informed as to what their patient's lifestyles and diets are, to say the very least. This will help them more with every session.
Shiatsu sessions are always done lying down, fully clothed. The practitioner does the massaging and pressing with you on the mat on the floor. The first touch will be on the abdominal area. It is believed that this is where the body tension originates.
The same idea of enabling the energy flow through the body is followed. The main objective of the pressing is to facilitate the body's energy to move freely. And when the energy flows nicely, healing is initiated.
Shiatsu is not your traditional massage. It involves a lot of other techniques, and that includes holding, rotating, and stretching. Kneading and rubbing are also employed. Other types of shiatsu massage involve the use of the feet as well.
The general effect of a shiatsu massage is very relaxing. But patients may feel rather odd due to the body's reaction to it. You might hear your stomach gurgle or you may suddenly shudder due to tension. Don't worry. These are all normal.
And people may have varied body reactions after a shiatsu session. Some may feel sleepy while others are invigorated. Feeling exuberant after a session is expected. And that feeling may even last for around a week or two after the treatment.
A regular shiatsu massage will ensure you of good health and protection from common illnesses. This is most advisable to people who have problems in dealing with their day-to-day stress. Those who feel muscular tensions and aches are most benefited because they can feel relieved outright.
Although shiatsu is generally good for the body, avoid undergoing treatment if you have any open wounds or rashes. If you are prone to getting clots on the blood or had been operated on recently, do not attend a session. If you do, it would just be a health risk to you.
In general, people who are pregnant and have abdominal illnesses should not go to a shiatsu session until after they are back in perfect health. Those who are to attend one, on the other hand, are not supposed to eat for at least two hours prior.
Shiatsu is a good alternative to people who wanted to get rid of stress. If you do not want to take pills and wanted to do it the natural way, try shiatsu. It could be the pressure point therapy you have always been looking for.
What You Need to Know about Massage and Kinesiology
Kinesiology is basically the study of how people’s bodies move and respond to messages sent by the brain. The term, which stems from the same root word of ‘kinetics’, literally means the deep understanding of movement. Kinesiology is most popularly applied in alternative medicine as a type of massage therapy that involves the monitoring of muscles to see what could be wrong or imbalanced in a person’s body.
The technique of Kinesiology carefully scrutinizes the stress reactions that may be unresolved in people’s bodies. From this, the Kinesiology practitioner would assist the body to heal naturally with the help of procedures such as massaging.
How did Kinesiology come about?
Kinesiology is often seen as an offshoot of chiropractics, combined with the ancient Chinese principle of chi energy, which is most commonly demonstrated in acupuncture. Kinesiology uses biofeedback or muscle monitoring to guide practitioners in the massage therapy.
How does Kinesiology work?
A healthy and normal nervous system is creatively designed for self-regulation and adaptation to changes in the environment. However, there are times when the body fails to adapt well, and this manifests with stress in muscles. Kinesiologists then look for the muscle stress patterns to see what could be causing the problems and how to fix them.
What can be treated by Kinesiology?
Kinesiology can treat a wide range of ailments by stimulating body energies and tapping its hidden potential to heal itself. A lot of ailments actually stem from these body imbalances and thus Kinesiology could help treat or cure a lot of disorders, both physical and mental.
Among the many health problems that can be treated by Kinesiology are muscular disorders, allergies, emotional problems, stress, nervous disorders, nutritional deficiencies and psychomotor difficulties.
How is Kinesiology practiced?
A Kinesiology practitioner usually gets the health history of the patient. The patient then lies fully clothed on the massage table, where the practitioner will perform a series of tests involving the patient with some trials depending on the health problem at hand. Here are some of the tests that may be involved in a Kinesiology session:
Physical test – here, the Kinesiology practitioner would test the integrity of the neuromuscular system by tasking the patient to manipulate a leg or an arm in particular ways. The patient would then hold the positions, as the practitioner would exert mild pressure to the limb.
Chemical Test – here, the practitioner would test the reaction of the patient to particular allergens or foods by placing small quantities of a suspected substance to the body. The Kinesiologists would examine the body’s reaction by watching for the relationship among muscles and their corresponding organs.
Mental Test – here, the practitioner would ask the patient to think about particular objects or feelings while the muscles are being monitored. Certain imbalances or stress reactions are being watched for in this session.
Among the wide range of techniques used in Kinesiology are acupressure, hypertonic release of muscles, massage emphasizing body, reflex and trigger points, nutritional counseling, homeopathic remedies such as aromatherapy, lymphatic massage, and emotional release.
Is Kinesiology medically proven?
There are a lot of ailments in the nervous system that can influence muscle strength. However, there is not much scientific research that backs up the philosophy of Kinesiology since it is regarded as a health practice that uses the energy model instead of medical principles. Nevertheless, a significant number of patients who underwent professional Kinesiology therapy have given strong testimonies about the relief they experienced after sessions and the great improvements of their general well being.
How does one find a Kinesiology practitioner?
When looking for a Kinesiologist, it is best to consult with the professional alternative medicine association in your area to get a list of their members who practice Kinesiology. You may also ask referrals from health practitioners as well as the recommendation of your family and friends.
When you first meet a Kinesiology practitioner, do not be afraid to ask about their experiences, qualifications and trainings received. Avoid Kinesiology practitioners who prescribe you to totally abandon the medical treatments you are going through because such cases must be carefully consulted with your physician.
Kinesiology could greatly help relieve a lot of symptoms that are connected to a lot of body ailments. However, Kinesiology should not be used to solely diagnose disorders. It is still best to avail of Kinesiology in conjunction with conventional medicine.
What You Need to Know about Massage and Reiki
Reiki is basically a healing practice that uses spiritual energy to treat a person’s state of being and aura. The term Reiki literally means the Universal Energy of the Life Force.
The principle of Reiki may be applied to massaging, which is basically the procedure of kneading or rubbing certain parts of people’s body as a form of therapy.
A lot of people think that Reiki is automatically a form of massage, but in reality the Reiki and massaging are independent from each other. However, a lot of massage therapists get raining for Reiki healing to enhance their skill in massage therapy.
Massage Therapists who have a background in Reiki are more knowledgeable about using the body’s energy to improve their client’s physical and spiritual health.
A Reiki massage session usually begins with the head down to the body, working on the seven charkas – the body’s energy centers. Different hand placements are performed for each particular chakra, in order to bring out the body’s ability to heal itself.
A lot of patients who received regular Reiki massage have improved the quality of their lives and have developed greater pain management. Reiki massage can be distinguished from regular massage by the way therapists do not manipulate or need the patient’s muscles or tissues.
Rather, the Reiki therapist’s hands remain very still throughout sessions, allowing healing energy to transmit from the practitioner to the patient.
People who have qualms about body-to-body contact need not be adamant with Reiki massage sessions. Patients remain fully clothed throughout the duration of the Reiki massage session since skin-to-skin contact is not really needed and the therapists are bound not to do anything that could make the patient feel uncomfortable.
Reiki massage may even be performed to body parts that are covered by bandages and casts in order to send healing energy to injured muscles and broken bones.
Reiki massage is used in treating a wide variety of ailments such as muscle pain, stress, injuries, pain, temporomandibular joint syndrome (or lock-jaw) and tension, among many other medical conditions.
It was a Japanese doctor named Mikau Usui who discovered the principle of Reiki and applied it to therapeutic procedures. However, the principles of Reiki have existed for thousands of years, particularly in ancient Tibet. Reiki practitioners may treat not only people but animals and plants as well.
Anyone who has an open mind about spiritual healing may learn the craft of Reiki. In Reiki classes, learners study the different hand placements and various mediations that could help heal patients.
Learners study how to manipulate the body’s seven charkas in order to bring about healing for various illnesses and ailments.
Reiki sessions are believed to be entirely safe, as they do not cause any injuries or side effects. Different sensations may be felt during a session, which range from a feeling of warmth to a tingling sensation.
Reiki healing may even be done over long distances, and a Reiki Master may be able to send healing energies anywhere in the world.
Reiki, however, requires a great opening of the mind of both the practitioner and the patient. Massaging is usually used to reinforce Reiki healing and to help the patient ease into the healing process. In Reiki healing sessions, music is involved to amplify the release of healing energies.
The great thing about Reiki is that it does not treat the illness, but it treats the cause of the illness instead. The healing that Reiki imparts is applied to all levels of the state of being, and is therefore not just a superficial form of treatment.
Among the many beneficiaries of Reiki massage sessions are people with relaxation problems, children and adults with ADHD, people with mental and emotional problems, and persons with various disorders in the mind and the body.
Reiki has also been observed to help people change old and unwanted habits such as smoking. Reiki has even been seen to help relieve colds, flu, headaches, sprains, and strains.
Reiki should not be seen, however, as a complete substitute for conventional healing methods. At best, Reiki may be used to supplement most medical treatments for best effect. To know more about Reiki, you may ask local alternative medicine practitioners and organizations.
What You Need to Know about Sports Massage
Massaging has been found to be among the oldest practices of physical therapies known to man. It has been discovered that various cultures have practiced massage for more than 3000 years throughout human civilization. However, it is only rather recently that massage has been accepted in the modern world as an important part of treatment particularly in sports.
What are the objectives of sports massage?
Just like in most kinds of massaging, the sports massage practitioner was a particular goal in mind in terms of the general well being of the patient. In sports massage, the objectives gear towards the improvement of an athlete’s performance and the quick recovery of muscles used for the specific sports involved.
As more and more people get involved with sports and physical exercise, sports massage grows in popularity as well as it is becoming to be greatly recognized to help improve recovery and performance.
Since sports massage is essentially a type of massage therapy, it follows similar principles, which involve a deep understanding of human physiology and anatomy, especially with regards to the skeletal and muscular systems.
Such knowledge is essential in order for the practitioner to determine how massage therapy may benefit the athlete and how best to integrate the therapy into the particular training program.
The aim of sports training is to enhance an athlete’s performance and create a competitive edge by subjecting their bodies to activities that develop speed, stamina, strength, skill, and agility.
Depending on the particular sport, the athlete’s status, or the position in sports teams, the body may be subjected to different degrees of challenges. But no matter how systematic or efficient the training the body will probably be overused and over worked.
The use and possibly the abuse of the body often lead to some problems with the bones or the muscles that could accumulate more ailments over time, hindering not only the rate of the athlete’s improvement, but disturbing the actual performance as well.
Faced with such conditions, the athlete might not be able to perform in the best state, which could create the risk for injuries and traumas.
While the body is capable of healing itself, the capacity of the body to recover may be jeopardized with the continuous use with sports training.
The body needs a lot of time to heal but time is not a luxury for sports enthusiasts who require frequent training. This is where sports massage comes in as it greatly enhances the speed of athletes to recover from the rigors of their training as it speeds up the body’s ability to heal and recuperate.
What are the benefits of sports massage?
When done by a skillful and certified practitioner, sports massage is greatly effective in easing the tension of muscles and restoring the muscular and skeletal systems’ balance. When athletes receive sports massage regularly, they could also prevent injuries, especially those that are related to muscle overuse.
The continuous accumulation of tension in the bones and muscles due to frequent strenuous activity often leads to stress on the joints, the muscles themselves as well as the connective tissues such as the tendons and ligaments.
Oftentimes, these imbalances in the muscles are not diagnosed until they are grave enough to cause extreme discomfort for the athlete or until performance is severely disturbed.
However, a very good sports massage practitioner would have the necessary knowledge and skill to be able to detect discrepancies in an athlete’s muscles and soft tissues at a very early stage. The massage therapist would also be knowledgeable enough to treat any disturbance early on.
What precautions should be taken with sports massage?
While sports massage is generally beneficial for athletes who are stressed and tensed, there are cases when sports massage is not advised because they may even make injuries worse. The following situations usually do not call for sports massage:
- Acute injuries and traumas such as brushings, sprained ligaments, burns, open wounds, contusions and chilblains.
- Fevers of over 100 degrees
- Abnormalities in blood vessels such as thrombosis, varicose veins, and phlebitis
- Hemophilia or extreme tendency to bleed
- Infectious diseases such as herpes, viral infection, bacterial infection, and fungal infection
- Tumors or cysts
For such cases mentioned and other serious disturbances, it is best to consult with a physician before undergoing sports massage.
Sports massage may greatly enhance an athlete’s general well being. To know more about sports massage, consult with a health practitioner or a sports specialist.
Self Care nutrition strategies to support your Massage Therapy
Even when we try to eat well, we're disadvantaged. The nutritional content of most food has been compromised over the years, not only by deficient soils and modern production, transportation, storage and processing methods, but also by the enormous amounts of chemical and artificial substances added to promote growth, storage life, taste and appearance.
It's for this reason that more and more medical authorities are advocating the use of vitamin and mineral supplements. However, finding them in the right combination can be both confusing and costly.
The nutrition products I am going to recommend you make use of knowledge gained from the botanical world's 6,000 year history. They incorporated health building nutritional herbs with the best modern technology to help our bodies cleanse and detoxify so that the cells - the tiniest living units - can be as fully nourished as possible.
This allows the cells to grow, repair and to perform their functions with the best possible efficiency so that we feel and look better and are more able to prevent and fight disease. Once the body begins to clear itself of toxins it can more efficiently absorb nutrition.
Aloe Vera Juice is a refreshing and anti-bacterial drink, you might find that taking this daily, diluted in some filtered water will not only refresh you like ‘a shower inside you’ but also assists in dealing with any digestive issues you may also be experiencing.
You may find benefit from our information on detoxification as well as a bit about detoxing because of change of diet
It may be due to difficulties with your digestive system that is causing your body to be starved of key nutrients, vitamins or minerals. In this case you may find useful answers by reviewing our article on Nutrition For Your Cells. There is also more information here about why is nutrition such an issue nowadays?
It may be that your metabolism has slowed due to pressures that have been placed on your system through life in general or through specific “challenges” you have faced in the last few months or last few years. Review this by looking at our article about balancing your Metabolic Rate.
Further reading through our articles on Massage health issues will give you a body of information that will help you decide what options you have to deal with the underlying causes of your problem through giving your body the nutrition products that will assist you body to heal from the inside out.
We wish you well in your search for solutions to this Massage problem and your movement towards better health in all areas.
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