Health Alert 143
Have you ever treated yourself to a professional massage? The benefits of massages are many. They act directly on the muscular, nervous, circulatory and lymphatic systems.1 Massage reduces stress, anxiety, muscle soreness, tension, improves sleep, facilitates pain management, improves circulation and detoxifies the body, among other benefits.
We talked about use heat to detoxify through you skin. Today you’ll learn about how to rid your body of the deeper and stubborn toxins through massage therapy. I’ll also give you tips on how to pick the right type of massage therapy for what ails you.
* A Touch Away from Wellness *
Massage therapy is a hands-on manipulation of the soft tissue and joints of the body. The soft tissues include muscle, skin, tendons and associated fascia, ligaments and joint capsules.2
Massage has many diverse physiological effects. The different movements of a therapist’s hands can physically stretch muscles, ligaments, tendons, and fascia. It inhibits muscular spasms. Depending on the technique, it can be either sedating or stimulating to the nervous system.3
Another purpose of massage is to rid the body of toxins. Massage increases the flow of blood and lymphatic fluid. Both of these carry away wastes from your cells.
* The ABC’s of Getting the Best Massage *
There are several different types of massage, each with a specific intended benefit and outcome. This is not an all inclusive list of the many different types, but rather the most popular.4
Deep Tissue Massage- is the same as deep muscle therapy or deep tissue therapy. It is a term used to describe various massage styles that focus on the deeper muscles and connective tissues of the body. The therapist uses movement and pressure to reshape and realign the muscles and connective tissue, breaking old, habitual holding patterns. This is excellent for destressing and detoxifying.
Lymphatic Drainage-uses gentle rhythmic, pumping movements following the direction of lymph flow in the skin that produces rapid results in reducing swelling and removing wastes from the connective tissue back to the blood stream. Other benefits include reduction of pain, a relaxation response and an apparent enhancement of immune function. This is the type of massage most effective for detox.
Neuromuscular Therapy- This comprehensive program of soft-tissue manipulation balances the body’s central nervous system with the musculoskeletal system. The goal is to help relieve the pain and dysfunction by understanding and alleviating the underlying cause. It is also used to locate and release spasms and hyperactive contraction in the tissue, eliminate trigger points that cause referred pain, restore postural alignment, proper biomechanics and flexibility to the tissues, rebuild the strength of injured tissues, and assist venous and lymphatic flow.
Shiatsu- is the Japanese term for “finger pressure”. This system for healing and health maintenance has evolved over thousands of years. Shiatsu derives both from the ancient healing art of acupuncture and from the traditional form of Japanese massage, amma.
It is a combination of many different techniques and modalities practiced since at least 200 B.C. The belief behind Shiatsu is that the body becomes out of balance due to blocked energy. This blocked energy can cause discomfort or disease in the body. A Shiatsu therapist identifies and releases these blockages.
Swedish Massage- is also known as the Western or classic style of massage. It is a scientific system of manipulations on the muscles and connective tissues of the body. The many benefits of Swedish massage include generalized relaxation, dissolution of scar tissue adhesions, and improved circulation. It may speed healing and reduce swelling after injury.
Why not treat yourself to a massage today? Massage enhances the purging effect of exercise. Schedule one as a means of motivating and rewarding yourself for sticking to an exercise program.To Your Good Health,
Al Sears MD