Massage Facts To Enroll or Schedule an Intern Massage Call 713-333-5250
Here are some reported benefits of massage:
Massage is one of the oldest, simplest forms of therapy and is a system of stroking, pressing and kneading different areas of the body to relieve pain, relax, stimulate, and tone the body. Massage does much more than create a pleasant sensation on the skin, it also works on the soft tissues(the muscles, tendons, and ligaments) to improve muscle tone.Although it largely affects those muscles just under the skin, its benefits may also reach the deeper layers of muscle and possibly even the organs themselves.Massage also stimulates blood circulation and assists the lymphatic system (which runs parallel to the circulatory system), improving the elimination of waste throughout the body.
Massage is a simple, non-invasive therapy which restores, rehabilitates and revitalizes your body and mind. Anyone of any age in any condition can use and benefit from massage.
There are many different kinds of massage therapy. Individual therapists listed in our directory will be happy to explain the approaches which they use, when you contact them.
All forms of massage involve systematically working the muscles and other soft tissues of the body to optimize the functioning of the various body systems. Massage therapy eases the pain and discomfort of injuries, strains, accidents and illness to allow the body's natural healing processes to work most effectively. It enhances your vitality and sense of well-being.
Massage can be a regular part of your health care plan. You can work with a massage therapist to either overcome or prevent injury and illness. Massage keeps your muscles and soft tissues well-toned, improves your posture, and re-balances your body and mind.
The Effects of Massage:
Although a single massage will be enjoyable, the effects of massage are cumulative and a course of massage treatments will bring the most benefits. Regular massage can have the effect of strengthening and toning the entire body mechanism, and so help to prevent unnecessary strains and injuries that might otherwise occur due to excess tension and any resulting structural weaknesses. Massage can stimulate or calm the nervous system-depending upon what is required by the individual-and thus help reduce fatigue, leaving the client with a feeling of replenished energy. At its best, massage has the potential to restore the individual physically, mentally and spiritually.
Studies funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have found massage beneficial in improving weight gain in HIV-exposed infants and facilitating recovery in patients who underwent abdominal surgery. Researchers have found that massage is helpful in decreasing blood pressure in people with hypertension, alleviating pain in people who suffer from migraines and improving alertness and performance in office workers.
An increasing number of research studies show massage reduces heart rate, lowers blood pressure, increases blood circulation and lymph flow, relaxes muscles, improves range of motion, and increases endorphins (enhancing medical treatment). Although therapeutic massage does not increase muscle strength, it can stimulate weak, inactive muscles and, thus, partially compensate for the lack of exercise and inactivity resulting from illness or injury. It also can hasten and lead to a more complete recovery from exercise or injury.
Research has verified that:
Office workers massaged regularly were more alert, performed better and were less stressed than those who weren't massaged.
Massage therapy decreased the effects of anxiety, tension, depression, pain, and itching in burn patients.
Abdominal surgery patients recovered more quickly after massage.
Premature infants who were massaged gained more weight and fared better than those who weren't.
Autistic children showed less erratic behavior after massage therapy.
According American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA), massage helps both physically and mentally.
"Often times people are stressed in our culture. Stress-related disorders make up between 80-and-90 percent of the ailments that bring people to family-practice physicians. What they require is someone to listen, someone to touch them, someone to care. That does not exist in modern medicine.
One of the complaints heard frequently is that physicians don't touch their patients any more. Touch just isn't there. Years ago massage was a big part of nursing. There was so much care, so much touch, so much goodness conveyed through massage. Now nurses for the most part are as busy as physicians. They're writing charts, dealing with insurance notes, they're doing procedures and often there is no room for massage any more.
I believe massage therapy is absolutely key in the healing process not only in the hospital environment but because it relieves stress, it is obviously foundational in the healing process any time and anywhere."
Joan Borysenko - Massage Journal Interview, Fall 1999
Physical Benefits of Therapeutic Massage
- Helps relieve stress and aids relaxation
- Helps relieve muscle tension and stiffness
- Alleviates discomfort during pregnancy
- Fosters faster healing of strained muscles and sprained ligaments;
- Reduces pain and swelling
- Reduces formation of excessive scar tissue
- Reduces muscle spasms
- Provides greater joint flexibility and range of motion
- Enhances athletic performance
- Treats injuries caused during sport or work
- Promotes deeper and easier breathing
- Improves circulation of blood and movement of lymph fluids
- Reduces blood pressure
- Helps relieve tension-related headaches and effects of eye-strain
- Enhances the health and nourishment of skin
- Improves posture
- Strengthens the immune system
- Treats musculoskeletal problems
- Rehabilitation post operative
- Rehabilitation after injury
Mental Benefits of Massage
- Fosters peace of mind
- Promotes a relaxed state of mind
- Improves ability to monitor stress signals and respond appropriately
- Enhances capacity for calm thinking and creativity
- Emotional Benefits
- Satisfies needs for caring nurturing touch
- Fosters a feeling of well-being
- Reduces levels of anxiety
- Improves body awareness
- Increases awareness of mind-body connection
Types of Popular Massage Techniques
Relaxation/Tension Release Massage
The importance of both relaxation and adverse stress are often underrated. With today's lifestyles, adverse stress is beginning to break down our bodies. In the relaxation state, the body can self-heal.
The main intention is to relax the client, staying well within comfortable pain levels. Muscular tension release will occur but focus remains on encouraging the release of ?feel-good? hormones, increasing the body?s ability to cope with stress.
Deep Tissue Massage
This will address serious or long-standing muscular tension and knots. Identifying areas of dysfunction and adhesion, the muscle is worked with, and against, its fiber direction until realignment is achieved. It can be uncomfortable/painful for short periods, but is extremely beneficial for restoring optimal function.
A very gentle, subtle form of bodywork performed largely with hands off the body, the outcome of which is to change and/or balance a client?s energy field (or ?aura?) - deeply relaxing and energizing. The improvement in a client?s energy field has wide-ranging positive effects.
Lymphatic Drainage Massage
Lymphatic Drainage Massage consists of very light, rhythmic strokes in a specific pattern towards the main drainage areas of the body.
It is very helpful for any edema (swelling from excess fluid in the tissues) and especially for anyone who has had lymph nodes removed. It benefits women who experience bloating during their monthly cycle (or post-menopause) and to also help in recovery from injury.
The lymphatic system has a group of collection vessels and organs that cleanse the blood and return it to the circulatory system. The body?s lymphatic system is closely tied in with the immune system.
Fascial release is a subtle, gentle technique to balance the cranium - great for alleviating headaches, scoliotic (s-bend in the spine) patterns and pelvic dysfunction.
Fascia is a thin tissue that covers all the organs of the body. This tissue covers every muscle and every fiber within each muscle. All muscle stretching, then, is actually stretching of the fascia and the muscle, the myofascial unit. When muscle fibers are injured, the fibers and the fascia which surrounds it become short and tight. This uneven stress can be transmitted through the fascia to other parts of the body, causing pain and a variety of other symptoms in areas you often wouldn't expect. Myofascial Release treats these symptoms by releasing the uneven tightness in injured fascia.
Avalon School of Massage
A Houston Massage School
2990 Richmond Ave., Suite 200
Houston, Texas 77098
Copyright 2005 Houston Massage School