Massage therapy is one of the oldest healthcare and wellness practices known to man, the earliest dated origin being far back as 2700 BC (about 4700 years ago). Today, massage therapy is more widespread than ever, and you can easily find a Spa or Wellness center that offers different types of massage services with a simple Google search on your phone.
Many doctors even recommend massages as part of recovery therapy for patients suffering from muscular or joint discomfort due to accidents or congenital disorders. That said, it is too bad many people still consider this basic therapeutic exercise an opulent luxury and not a necessity.
The World Health Organization (W.H.O) describes being healthy as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” Knowing this, it would be common sense to state that any measure that positively impacts our overall physical, mental, and social health while decreasing the incidence of diseases is necessary.
What does a massage entail?
Massage therapy typically involves using hands-on manual maneuvers to manipulate soft body tissues like the muscles, tendons, and ligaments. The maneuvers used may range from light stroking and kneading applied to surface muscles to applying deep pressure to target deeper lying tissue.
A certified massage therapist usually handles massage therapy at spas and treatment centers. These experienced therapists use many different techniques, and effective massage therapy will involve one or a combination of these techniques to help you get optimal relaxation and relief.
This is the most common form of massage when visiting a Medical Spa like Halo salt. skin. spa for a regular massage session. We also have a variety of other massages to meet your needs.
It uses a method of systemic long-gliding strokes, kneading, vibration, and other frictional techniques to target the superficial layers of muscles to make you feel relaxed and energized.
Generally, these strokes are applied in the direction of blood flow towards the heart to increase circulation. However, they may sometimes be combined with a slight movement of the joints to improve range of motion and relieve muscle tension.
Deep tissue massage
As its name suggests, deep tissue massage targets deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue by applying greater pressure with slower and more forceful strokes directed across the skin.
This type of massage is more suited for people recovering from muscle damage after an injury or those with chronic muscular tension.
sports massage uses techniques similar to Swedish and deep tissue massage, but it is especially geared towards athletes to help with their training and performance, and recovery from injuries.
Also known as trigger point massage because of its focus on specific areas of tight individual muscle fibers.
It is primarily applied to release trigger points or intense knots of muscle tension that form as a result of injuries or muscle overuse, this type of massage is often used to relieve severe muscle and joint pain.
Benefits of massage therapy
Massage is normally considered an essential part of integrative medicine. It is reported to improve blood circulation, reduce muscular tension, stimulate the nervous system, and enhance the healing of body tissue. The benefits we stand to gain from regular massage sessions are numerous, and a couple of them include:
- Increasing motion range and joint and limb flexibility
- Relaxing tense and stiff muscles
- Enhancing immune system function
- Relieving spastic muscles
- Improving blood and lymph circulation
- Alleviating stress and inducing relaxation
- Promoting mind-body connection
- Reducing blood pressure by promoting deep breathing techniques and steady heart rate
- Alleviating pain and swelling resulting from injuries
- Accelerating the healing rate of soft tissues damage after injuries such as cramped muscles and sprained ligaments
- Reduce the formation of scar tissue after soft tissue injuries or invasive procedures
- Improving body posture by releasing tension in joints that affect posture
- Increasing mental awareness and alertness
While more research still needs to be done on the effectiveness of massages for certain conditions, studies have shown the effectiveness of massages in ameliorating conditions such as;
- Digestive disorders
- Nerve pain
- Stress-related insomnia
- Lumbar pain
- Upper back and neck pain
- Myofascial pain syndrome
Beyond these obvious benefits, some people relish massages for the general feeling of comfort, care, and connection they get from it. Notwithstanding, massages are not meant as a substitute for regular medical care. If you have some underlying medical or physical condition, remain on any standard treatment plans prescribed to you and let your doctor know you’re considering massage therapy.
What to expect
You can get a massage session at home or at a professional Spa or Wellness Center. Massages don’t require elaborate preparation before a session is booked. However, your designated massage therapist may ask you about your medical history or any underlying physical condition you may have. They may also ask about your reasons for getting a massage and what you hope to get out of the session.
Massage sessions usually cost anywhere between $100 to $250 depending on your specific requirements.
Massage therapy usually requires you to get unclothed to some degree, but you should only undress to the point you feel comfortable. Your masseur or masseuse will allow you privacy to undress. Afterward, a sheet or drape is provided to cover you, and only the body part being massaged is exposed.
Oil or lotion is usually used to reduce friction, and the sessions may last anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes, depending on what technique is utilized and the severity of your symptoms. You may ask for music during this time to help you relax, or you may ask for the room to be kept calm and quiet if you prefer.
Although it is unlikely you feel any major discomfort during the process, be sure to let your therapist know if any body part feels particularly tense or sensitive so that they can apply pressure accordingly.
Finding a massage therapist
Florida regulates massage therapy through licensure after the therapist has fulfilled necessary registration and certification requirements, so check for these when booking an appointment.
Halo Salt Skin Spa has licensed massage therapists and offers a variety of massages such as Deep Tissue Massage and innovative massage techniques like CBD Massage and Hot Stone Massage for anyone looking for a certified massage center in the Tampa area.
The take home
If you’d ever thought massages were only a luxurious indulgence, now is the time to put aside that thought. Regular massages can be a powerful tool in promoting general wellness, whether you have a specific health condition or are just looking for a mode of stress relief.