Healthy Beginnings

Enjoying the Benefits of Massage Therapy

Our skin is the largest sensory organ in the body, which is one of the reasons we enjoy being touched, and yet massage is not merely skin deep! The art of therapeutic touch, or massage, has been around since ancient civilization. Evidence suggests that prehistoric people massaged their muscles and rubbed herbs, oils, and various substances on their bodies to heal and protect. In many cultures, special healers were said to have the power to heal by touch alone.

Studies show that we hold cellular memory, sometimes called “body memory,” which implies that all sensation is stored in the cells of muscles, bones and connective tissue. The plethora of emotions we experience such as joy, sorrow, daily stress or sudden trauma, can cause problems ranging from annoying discomfort and pain, to becoming potentially debilitating. When our natural state of feeling calm, energetic and capable are upset by too much stress or a sudden crisis, the body responds by going into a state of “flight or fight,” which is appropriate for a small amount of time, but is detrimental if it becomes a normal way of life. Therapeutic massage helps our tissues exchange stress hormones and other waste products for fresh nutrients. This helps to increase the blood and oxygen supply in the circulatory system and increases the flow of the lymphatic system, which in turn allows for more energy, increased ability to stay healthy and gain clarity of mind; which allows both body and mind to return to a more relaxed and balanced state. The benefits have been so inspiring that known authors such as Hippocrates, Homer and Herodotus have written on the subject!

There are many different types of massage therapy, or bodywork. Currently, the most popular in this country are Swedish (relaxing,) deep tissue, sports, hot stone, Reflexology (feet) Acupressure and prenatal. Some others include Thai, Lomi Lomi (Hawaiian) and Tui-Na (Chinese.) Each style offers particular techniques and purpose, based on years of practice and results. There are also several techniques that use the hands without touching the body. This is referred to as energy work and is used for people and animals alike. Reiki, Cranial Sacral, Ortho-Bionomy and Reconnect are the most commonly practiced.

Those seeking to find alternative ways to monitor stress, relax and feel better, are choosing massage, and feel better about themselves for doing so. As always, be sure to check with your doctor if you have any health concerns or think you may be pregnant. You will find that receiving a therapeutic massage is by far one of the most satisfying and relaxing ways to take care of yourself mentally, emotionally and physically. The best part is that all you have to do is show up and your therapist does the rest!

References:

1. http://www.sandiegomasseurs.com/massage_modalities_defined.htm

2. http://www.scientificamerican.com/blog/post.cfm?id=adult-stem-cells-retain-cellular-me-2010-07

3. http://www.massage.net/articles/

4.http://www.eduref.org/Virtual/Lessons/Health/Body_Systems_and_Senses/BSS0014.html

For more info, contact Massage Envy on South Virginia in Reno at (775) 853-8399.