Massage therapy refers to the manipulation of the soft tissues of the body. It is one of the staples of traditional medicine that helps relieve stress, muscle tension, and pain caused by daily fatigue or acute and chronic disorders. Today, millions of people worldwide use this method of treatment to cure various nervous and tissue-related ailments. Massage therapy is usually safe, and it does not entail any side effects; however, it is necessary to consult a traditional medicine doctor in advance to make sure you can receive this great therapy.
History of Massage Therapy
The history of this treatment dates back to about 2700 BC. In the text of the Yellow Emperor (Chinese Internal Medicine Reference Book), skin and muscle massage and exercises for the hands and feet are recommended for the treatment of paralysis, fever, and chills. About 400 BC, Hippocrates advised physicians to use massage as a remedy, especially in sports and war injuries. Ancient documents show that the Japanese and other civilizations such as Egypt, Rome, and Arabia used massage therapy.
Ibn Sina emphasized being active to maintain good health. He states that when waste accumulates in the body, the risk of infection, illness, and inflammation increases, and the immune system is weakened. “The best way to prevent these complications is to exercise,” he says. He explains that if the movement of the limbs is done correctly, at the right time, and by the person’s temperament, the person will not need to take medicine. He also used massage therapy techniques to disperse muscle wastes and relieve fatigue.
How does Massage Therapy Work
Usually, different types of massage affect the body with a similar mechanism. When the muscle is overactive, the accumulation of waste products, including lactic acid, can cause pain, cramps, and even muscle spasms. Massage improves blood circulation and lymphatic flow, delivers fresh nutrients and oxygen to these tissues, and aids in the removal of toxins and healing.
Stretching muscles can also put pressure on blood vessels and nerves and cause pain by restricting blood flow. Massaging the affected area, the muscle pressure on the affected nerves gradually decreases, decreasing the pain. The exact mechanism helps heal damaged muscles. However, we should note that massage should be given by a massage therapist who is an expert in traditional medicine. Herbal medicine consultation with a trained doctor in traditional medicine can go a long way in choosing the best type of massage.
In addition, massage increases endorphins (pain relievers) and increases the secretion of the hormone serotonin (mood modulator). It has also been shown that massage induces the release of stress hormone (cortisol). For this reason, massage is often recommended as a complementary treatment for people whose immune systems have been weakened by stress.
What Happens in a Massage Therapy Session?
At the first visit, the massage therapist will probably ask you about your medical history. You can talk to a doctor online to ask for consultation and a medical report before visiting the massage therapy center. Then there are some questions about your current physical condition, lifestyle, stress level, any pain experience, and what treatment you are looking for.
The room where the massage therapy is performed is clearly warm and has soft light. If you wish, soothing music along with candlelight and incense with a pleasant aroma is used. Oily essential oils are often used to rub the skin to improve the quality of the massage. You can request a full body massage or a topical massage. You can put a towel or bedding on other parts of the body. Lie on a comfortable reclining bed that often has a place for the head and does not require head and neck rotation.
Massage therapists may use a variety of strokes and techniques. You can request a general body massage or a massage focused on painful or stretched areas. We recommend that you notify your therapist whenever you feel discomfort or pain. A treatment session usually lasts between 30 and 90 minutes.
The number of sessions required for treatment varies. A weekly visit is often recommended to reduce stress. For acute conditions, the number of treatment sessions depends on the nature of the disease. Traditional medicine doctor can help you with the type and number of sessions needed. An online doctor consultation app can also aid you in contacting the best practitioner in your area.
Massage Therapy Benefits
Massage therapy is very effective in treating diseases and can improve your physical and mental health.
Also, the experience of relaxation after a busy day and relief from chronic pain is the result of using this method regularly, which creates a happy mood for you. Some of the benefits of massage therapy include:
- Pain relief: Massage therapy is very effective in relieving backache, neck pain, and knee osteoarthritis.
- Cancer: Massage therapy effectively reduces the pain of cancer patients, calms them, and raises their spirits.
- Mental health: Massage therapy helps to calm the patient and improve the patient’s depression. It is also very suitable for relaxing middle-aged people.
- Rehabilitation of sports injuries
- Reducing stress
- Increasing relaxation
- Reducing anxiety and depression
- Improving general health
What Are the Precautions in Massage Therapy?
- Avoid massage if you have a high fever, inflammation, infection, phlebitis, thrombosis, jaundice, or infectious skin disease.
- Do not massage on open wounds or burns or at the site of a previous injury. In case of bruising or sprains, delay the massage for 24 hours.
- If you have a chronic illness, such as arthritis, cancer, or heart disease, get traditional medicine consultation before having a massage.
- Tell your massage therapist if you are pregnant, as massaging certain areas can cause premature labor.
What Research Says about Massage Therapy
Various researchers have talked about the effects of massage therapy. For example, some research has shown that massage therapy and traditional medicine have a positive impact on the mind. Massage therapy makes traditional medicine more effective. As a result, the patient’s recovery process is accelerated.
“The benefits of combining massage therapy with traditional herbal therapy include stress reduction and peace of mind,” says Amy Montia, a physical therapist. In fact, by combining these two methods, slow breathing is created for the person. This breathing leads to awareness through concentration. Awareness causes a person to become aware of his body and pain in different parts of the body. This knowledge helps with pain tolerance and stress management.
Another study was conducted at McMaster University in Canada by Mark Tarnopolski. This study aimed to show the effects of massage therapy on muscles, even at the cellular level. The researchers obtained their samples from the muscle tissue of the subjects’ legs. The individual’s leg muscles were examined before and after intensive training. In this study, changes in the leg muscles were examined.
Experts say that before and after physical therapy exercises, the genes responsible for repair and inflammation increased significantly. They noticed a more significant difference when the leg muscles were massaged after physical medicine.
These muscles were different from those that received only physical medicine training. More precisely, the results showed that the protein that causes inflammation in the massaged foot was reduced threefold.
Regarding combining the two methods of massage therapy and physical medicine, this issue is also raised that massage after physical exercises reduces the existing inflammation. This inflammation may be the result of physical activity in the limbs. This reduction in inflammation accelerates the healing process.
Different Types of Massage
Swedish massage is a gentle massage that massages the whole body and is suitable for people:
- Who are new to massage
- Who has a lot of tension
- Who are extremely sensitive to touch
It can help loosen muscle knots and is also a good choice for completely relaxing during the massage.
Hot stone massage
The hot stone massage is helpful for people who have muscle pain and tension or want to relax. This type of massage therapy is similar to Swedish massage, and only the masseurs use hot stones and their hands. It reduces muscle tension, improves blood flow, and reduces pain by using the power of heat.
Aromatherapy massages are suitable for people who want to improve their emotions with massage, this type of massage can help:
- Strengthen the spirit
- Reduce stress and anxiety
- Reduce depressive symptoms
- Eliminate muscle tension
- Pain relief
Deep tissue massage
Deep tissue massage uses Swedish massage pressure. This massage is a good option if you have a chronic muscle problem, such as pain, injury, or imbalance. This massage can help reduce muscle stiffness, chronic muscle pain, and anxiety.
The masseur uses low strokes and deep finger pressure to relieve tension from the deepest layers of muscle and connective tissue during a deep tissue massage.
Shiatsu massage is suitable for people who want to relax and get rid of stress, pain, and tension. This massage is a kind of Japanese massage that causes the following:
- Strengthens the feeling and physical relaxation
- Reduces stress, anxiety, and depression
- May relieve headaches
- Reduces muscle tension
Shiatsu massage is done all over the body, but your massager may focus on specific parts of the body that need more attention. During the massage, the massager will use his hands, palms, and thumbs to massage certain parts of your body. Rhythmic pressure or pressures are used. You can be fully clothed during this massage.
Thai massage is better for people who need more active massage and want to reduce stress and pain. It can also help improve the following:
- Blood flow
- Energy level
It massages the whole body using movements similar to yoga stretching. You also have to change the position for different situations. You can wear loose and comfortable clothes during the massage. Thai massage lasts 60 to 90 minutes.
If you are an avid fan of getting traditional medicine treatment consultation, you must have heard about massage therapy. It is a fantastic technique used by traditional medicine experts for a variety of purposes. It can reduce tension and help your general health. However, your need to consult your doctor before attempting to receive any type of massage. Thanks to the platforms provided by the Internet, you can get online doctor consultation any time you wish.