Benefits of Massage
Massage has been used since time immemorial. Doctors from ancient Rome and Greece, such as Hippocrates (“the father” of medicine) and Galen used massage as a therapeutic tool. Earlier, it was used by Chinese and Indian doctors, whose legacy is currently one of the most popular, such as Shiatsu and Ayurveda.
In Europe, massage gained fame in the 19th century in Sweden, where fencer Per Henrik Ling created the Royal Gymnastics Institute to develop treatment techniques for musculoskeletal problems. In this institute was created the Swedish massage, which later became popular in the rest of the European continent.
In a simplistic view, massage is useful only for muscle problems. However, studies have shown that it has a much broader potential for health benefits. It is not, however, a complete treatment system, but a complementary therapy that helps to improve the general health of the person, complementing the conventional forms of treatment.
The body is constantly sending us signals, which we must pay attention to. It starts with a small symptom, such as a simple contracture, a pain, fatigue… and continues with something deeper and deeper that can become a more serious problem.
Through sliding, friction, beating and kneading techniques, the therapist acts on the circulatory, lymphatic, nervous and subtle or energetic systems.
The positive effects of massage are psychological and physiological and its effect is almost immediate.
Psychological Benefits of Massage
The most recognized effect of massage is the relaxation of body and mind, but depending on the technique used and the speed and intensity of movement, can also be very stimulating. In this way, it can eliminate both mental and physical fatigue and give the body resistance to cope with disease and lack of harmony.
It reduces anxiety and can minimize depressive mood. Therefore, clinical work has emerged demonstrating the benefits of massage in insomnia, depression and anxiety. Even more complicated psychiatric illnesses such as anorexia nervosa and obsessive-compulsive disorder show results
suggesting a significant effect.
Its benefits are not restricted to adults. In very young children it represents a stimulus that improves immunity and nervous system development. That is why several studies with newborns show that massage soothes and improves sleep. Children with autism have been sensitive to massage, which may reduce some of their symptoms.
Stimulates positive feelings and keeps negative ones in check;
Increases energy and stimulates the intellect;
It improves a person’s image of himself and, consequently, self-esteem.
Physiological Effects of Massage
Massage also has the ability to reduce pain and has been indicated for chronic pain of fibromyalgia, low back pain, neck pain and rheumatic diseases.
It can be used in cases of constipation (bowel arrest) to stimulate peristaltic movements and thereby help regain intestinal rhythm.
- Boosts the breath;
- Favors lymphatic drainage;
- Reduces muscle fatigue and decreases tiredness. Muscle massage causes them to develop their strength and ability to move. It also produces a significant increase in venous and lymphatic circulation within it, facilitates and increases muscle metabolism;
- Stimulates the nervous system effectively;
- Relaxes and benefits sleep;
- Improves skin elasticity, blood circulation, immune system and muscle toning;
- Stimulates and balances the digestive system;
- Helps fight high blood pressure;
- Improves the functioning of all organs;
- It activates circulation because it acts on the veins and produces a clearing or emptying action of the venous walls. In the skin, the temperature increases from 2 to 3º C. This temperature increase brings benefits to people who suffer from circulatory problems, neurovegetatives, etc .;
- In case of anemia, chiromassage (especially at the abdominal level) is indicated, as it stimulates the hemoglobin-producing function in the blood;
- Facilitates the absorption of liquids, preventing swelling and dissolves fat accumulations, preventing cellulite.