There are many types of massage techniques, but they all revolve around the same principle: the kneading and stroking of muscles and other soft tissue to improve health and well-being. Various types of massage oil may be use to help reduce friction and nourish the skin.
Massage has been used as part of healing for centuries in nearly every culture. However, in the early 20th century, massage therapy was overshadowed by prescription drugs and the rise of technology. With the increased interest in alternative medicines, healing through the use of massage has grown since the 1970s.
Massage has been generally used to reduce tension, stress and fatigue while improving circulation. Below is a list of benefits you may receive from a massage:
- Promote relaxation
- Reduce back and migraine pain
- Enhance the immune system
- Improve flexibility and relieve tight muscles and muscle spasms
- Nourish the skin
- Increase circulation
- Relieve tension and stress
- Cleanse the body of toxins
- Improve emotional well-being
- Aid in athletic performance and speed recovery
As long as massage is performed by a trained therapist, there are few risks. Side effects can include pain or discomfort, bruising, swelling and sensitivity to massage oils. You should always tell the massage therapist about any health conditions, allergies and pregnancies before you start a session.
It is suggested that you drink plenty of water after the massage to help remove toxins from the body that are loosened during the massage. Stretching or taking a warm bath before the massage can help loosen your muscles, which improves the therapist ability to manipulate the muscles.