Massage therapy is the process of pressing, rubbing and generally manipulating muscles as well as other tissues in the body for various reasons. Massage houses different techniques and it dates back to thousands of years. In Europe, it became popular during the renaissance era. In the United States, massage therapy was introduced in the 1850’s by 2 American physicians who had studied in Sweden. Thereafter, it became popular and widely promoted for an array of health purposes. It was particularly popular among the athletes in the 1970’s.
Health Benefits of Massage Therapy
Studies conducted in the year 2007 show that an estimate of 700,000 children and 18 million adults had received massage therapy. People consult massage therapy for a number of health- related reasons; pain relief, stress reduction, relaxation, relieves sport injuries, manage depression and anxiety, general wellness.
Types of Massage
The Swedish massage is a popular type whereby the masseuse incorporates deep circular motions, long strokes, vibration, kneading and tapping. This is similar to a sports massage.
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Other common types of massages include trigger point massage and deep tissue massage which focuses on painful muscle knots (myofascial trigger points) which may cause pain anywhere around the body.
Where to Find Massage Therapists
Massage therapists are found in different settings. These include; hospitals, private offices, studios, nursing homes, sports and fitness centers, homes and event work settings. Before attending to their clients, massage therapists will usually ask their patients about their medical history, symptoms, and their desired results. They may also perform evaluation through touch to identify tense and painful areas. It is through this that they will also determine how much pressure to apply.
How is Massage Performed?
The client lays lies on the table undressed or in loose fitting clothes. If undressed, they may be covered in a sheet. The masseuse will use massage oil or lotion in order to reduce friction against the skin while performing the massage. Besides lying on the table, massage may be performed while the client is sitting on a chair. The session may be brief or long, lasting up to an hour depending on the patient’s needs.