Massage is one of the most versatile treatments, as it can be used on a variety of different patients to produce a number of positive results; massage produces psychological benefits as well as mechanical and physiological advantages. Massage is commonly used on patients with back and neck pain, headaches, tension in the muscles, joint stiffness, problems with posture, pain caused by cancer and respiratory problems.
Major benefits of massage therapy
- Raised body temperature
- Increased circulation
- Improved removal of waste products and lymphatic drainage (this helps to fight infection)
- Reduced muscle tension
- Reduced pain and stiffness
- Improved motion in the soft tissues and joints
- Reduced stress levels
- Increased relaxation
There are many different types of massage technique; the most common are listed below:
- Effleurage: this is a fairly gentle action, which is usually done at the beginning of the massage. The hands glide along the skin in the direction that the veins and lymphatic system flows. This technique is aimed to relax the muscles and reduce inflammation.
- Petrissage: this technique involves a number of different actions, which include rolling the skin and kneading soft tissue; these actions are slightly firmer and are designed to reduce swelling, increase circulation and prevent muscle spasms.
- Friction: this technique applies direct pressure to an affected body part; it is designed to wear down scar tissue and is beneficial during the recovery process following an injury.