I believe in massage. I learned a long time ago that massage is good for relaxation and provides physical benefits to the body. If you are familiar with massage, you know there are good therapists and great therapists. A good therapist goes through the motions a great therapists pays attention to your body, focuses on issues you may have and offers suggestions how to improve. It’s like any occupation, they know their craft and of course they care. You know when you find someone with those qualities.
A good dictionary definition:
Massage therapy is the scientific manipulation of the soft tissues of the body for the purpose of normalizing those tissues and consists of manual techniques that include applying fixed or movable pressure, holding, and/or causing movement of or to the body.
Generally, massage is known to affect the circulation of blood and the flow of blood and lymph, reduce muscular tension or flaccidity, affect the nervous system through stimulation or sedation
, and enhance tissue healing. These effects provide a number of benefits:
- reduction of muscle tension and stiffness
- relief of muscle spasms
- greater flexibility and range of motion
- increase of the ease and efficiency of movement
- relief of stress and aide of relaxation
- promotion of deeper and easier breathing
- improvement of the circulation of blood and movement of lymph
- relief of tension-related conditions, such as headaches and eyestrain
- promotion of faster healing of soft tissue injuries, such as pulled muscles and sprained ligaments, and reduction in pain and swelling related to such injuries
- reduction in the formation of excessive scar tissue following soft tissue injuries
- enhancement in the health and nourishment of skin
- improvement in posture through changing tension patterns that affect posture
- reduction in stress and an excellent stress management tool
- creation of a feeling of well-being
- reduction in levels of anxiety
- increase in awareness of the mind-body connection
- promotion of a relaxed state of mental awareness
Massage therapy also has a number of documented clinical benefits. For example, massage can reduce anxiety, improve pulmonary function in young asthma
patients, reduce psycho-emotional distress in persons suffering from chronic inflammatory bowel disease, increase weight and improve motor development in premature infants, and may enhance immune system functioning. Some medical conditions that massage therapy can help are: allergies
, anxiety and stress, arthritis, asthma and bronchitis
, carpal tunnel syndrome and other repetitive motion injuries, chronic and temporary pain, circulatory problems, depression, digestive disorders, tension headache
, insomnia, myofascial pain, sports injuries
, and temporomandibular joint dysfunction.
No, that’s not me.
In laymen’s terms – it’s good.
That brings me to my latest massage adventure ~ or drive by. My daughter and I were at the Mall last weekend and upon leaving one of the stores we noticed a new business that offered massages. There was a bright sign out front of all the pressure points in the feet, so we stopped to look and talk about how that would feel really good to have our feet rubbed right now. The bait is on the hook – it’s so, so shiny! Then out of nowhere I suddenly felt hands on my back – “you’re so tight”. Hmm, okay. That’s all it took – next thing I know I’m laying down on the table paying for 20 minutes because you know it’s better than 10 minutes – of course, of course.
My daughter and I lay down on tables next to each other – she has the little lady. Of course, this means absolutely nothing. When it comes to massage, the size of the person doesn’t matter. I’ve been pummeled by a 4’8″ lady – it wasn’t pretty. The gal yells something to the back – a large burley guy appears, my masseuse. Why do I always get the big burley guy?
I’m no prude, but I’ll be honest there are some parts of my body I don’t like being rubbed – especially out in the open, in the mall no less. What’s that you say? You guessed it that would be the gluteal muscles. For the most part that’s no man’s land. The massage starts (all clothes on mind you – with a blanket on top – I told you it was a drive by). Pretty good, then all of a sudden I feel an elbow dig into the side of my right gluteal. You would have thought Medusa was in the room because I went about 10 levels of petrified. Then he used that same elbow to move down to the back of the thigh muscle. It hurt! It hurt really badly. Then some sort of survival/competitive mode kicked in – or pride:-0 (Please talk amongst yourselves). I wasn’t going to let him win. I was going to show him I could take it – aww yeah. You don’t know who you dealing with here if you think for one moment….now he’s doing the other side – very unpleasant.
My shameless plug for the Belleville area would be Tommy Z’s http://www.tommyzs.com/. My normal massage therapist is Yvonne. She knows her stuff.
The moral of the story – I need to stretch more and possibly focus on the gluteal muscles. My daughter was all smiles. Hers was great.