There have been a lot of changes in the health industry in the last few decades, and many new or previously rarer therapies have been getting a lot more attention because of this. Massage is one of those therapies now getting more attention and use, with much medical research being done into the benefits of massage, and many massage styles being modified and tailored to compliment research findings.
One of the most medically tested styles of massage is Lymph Drainage Massage – designed to increase the flow and drainage of lymph fluid and thus reduce cellular waste build-up. Lymph Drainage Massage is now often done in hospitals to help patients with kidney or heart problems whose systems have trouble expelling lymph fluid without assistance.
But why massage? you ask. Surely there is some simple tablet that would fix this? And there is – in fact, there are a number of medications that can help expel retained fluids. The problems with these tablets are that they not only don’t discriminate general fluid from unnecessarily retained fluid (thus dehydrating your entire body, instead of simply expelling fluid from the built up area), but they can also interact with other medications and cause complications in potentially already complicated cases. On the other hand, massage can focus on the area or areas in need of attention, and will not have a chemical reaction with medication.
This is a very clinical example of why massage is becoming more popular. But it isn’t only the doctors of ill people who are looking toward massage as a useful therapeutic assistant. Another example is active and athletic individuals who add massage into their training regimen.
Sports Massage was used by the Russian Olympic teams in the 1980’s, and has been proven in subsequent studies to have played a part in the success of such teams. Sports Massage can reduce lactic acid build-ups remaining after training sessions, and relax and release tension from muscles that haven’t realised that the training is over. Most gyms are now affiliated with a Massage Therapist, and many of these therapists will have Sports Massage training.
Another style of massage that is gaining popularity is Deep Tissue Massage. This extremely popular massage style is designed to relieve built up tension, stress, knotting, and scar tissue from muscles; and often leaves the receiver with a deep feeling of release, relaxation, and the feeling of achievement that accompanies the release of long-term tension.
Deep Tissue Massage is often used in medical cases such as sciatica or cases of post operative scar tissue removal. In fact, deep tissue massage is now used to treat constipation in some people, as the techniques of deep tissue massage (when applied to the digestive system) can assist the travel of food through the large intestine. Once again, this is an assistance that is able to give the results required without adding the complications that medical drugs can often lead to. Recently, the combination of Deep Tissue Massage and Hot Stones Massage has begun to be explored – leading to even deeper muscular relaxation and release.
But what about the luxury massage styles? you ask. The pampering Holistic Facials, the soothing Hot Oils, the invigorating Indian Head Massage? What do these do? What benefit are they? Well, as it happens, rather a lot!
Aside from the benefits of the beauty and therapy products used in the facial treatments, and without including the effects of the aromatherapy oils – both of which are discussed in other articles/posts; there are many benefits to luxury massages.
For this, you’ll need to know a little about body systems. You may have heard about your “fight and flight” body system (officially, the sympathetic system) – this is your body’s way of protecting itself in times of stress or danger. Your senses (sight, hearing, etc.) become more acute, focussed, and attentive; your heart pumps harder to make sure that there is enough oxygen in your muscles in case you need to move quickly; and the parts of your body that do things like digest food, move waste products, and think carefully (rather than responding quickly) all slow to a bare minimum so that they use as little energy as possible. This is how you are able to jump clear of unexpected traffic, catch glasses before you properly realise they are falling, and function on very little sleep in the lead up to a scary deadline or exam. It’s a very important system, designed to keep you safe and help you survive.
Like lots of body systems, this “fight and flight” system, has a complementary system for times of rest – the “rest and rejuvenation” body system (officially, the parasympathetic system). This is the system that allows you to relax your eyes, think carefully, slow your breathing, and focus more on your internal care – digesting food, repairing cells and tissues, fighting inflammation, and generally using energy and nutrients to repair and rejuvenate within the body. It isn’t great at responding to fearful situations, but it helps to prepare your body so that the next time you need your “fight and flight” system, it is at peak performance.
So, the luxury massage styles? Well, they put your body into the relaxed state that it needs to be in before the “rest and rejuvenation” system is able to begin to take control. This allows your body time to prepare itself, rebuild itself, and rejuvenate itself ready for your next adventure.
So next time you feel like you need a bit of help in these departments; whether it’s as simple as much needed time out after surviving a major deadline or trying to help out your poor swollen ankles, give us a call – we’ll find you the right massage style with the right therapist for the job, and have you back to your best in no time.