What Is Massage?

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Massage is the manual manipulation of tissues to improve health and well-being by relaxing muscles, relieving tension, and improving circulation.

Massage has been around for thousands of years. It is probably one of man’s earliest remedies for pain relief.

The word “massage” comes from the Greek root of “masso,” which means “to touch”.

There are many different types of massage, but the most common is Swedish, which includes deep tissue, sports massage lymphatic drainage, neuromuscular therapy and myofascial release. Rolfing® Structural Integration is another Western form of massage.

Asian forms of massage include Shiatsu, Thai Massage, Jin Shin Jyutsu, and Ayurvedic treatments. Reflexology was actually developed in the West, but derives from Eastern ideas that the body has a flow of energy, or “chi” that can be unblocked with treatment.

Other energy-based treatments include Reiki, Polarity Therapy and Brennan Healing Science.

Massage has significant psychological and physiological benefits:

  • It reduces tension and anxiety, calms the nervous system and promotes a sense of relaxation and well being.
  • It improves blood circulation, which delivers oxygen and nutrients to the cells.
  • It stimulates the lymphatic system, which carries away the body’s waste products.

Massage therapy can also help with pain management in conditions such as arthritis, sciatica, and muscle spasms. But many healthy people get massage regularly because it helps them maintain physical, mental and emotional well being.


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