Some conditions can be treated through massage. Back pain, headache, osteoarthritis and even anxiety has shown a reduction of symptoms through massage therapy.
- Effleurage is a stroke used in this form of massage therapy. This promotes relaxation and is generally used in the beginning and at the end of a session. The stroke is a light, gliding motion over the skin. The therapist maintains contact with their hands on the body, and directs the stroke towards the heart.
- The massage therapist will then move into another stroke called the Petrissage. This technique consists of circular manipulations using shorter strokes. The therapist will knead, squeeze, push or grasp the muscle tissue. This stroke can be done with one or both hands. Pressure is applied to the area through the palm of the hand, fingertips, thumb, knuckles or forearm. This stroke is used in the middle of massage treatments, after the effleurage stroke has been performed and the body is relaxed and warm. The results can be soothing and stimulating.
- When there is a direct injury accompanied by inflammation, the next stroke called friction will benefit injuries. These strokes are used to help break down connective tissue within the muscles. This technique can help sooth tendons and ligaments from inflammation, like tendonitis. The therapist uses small circular motions with the proper amount of pressure. Gentle stretching of the affected area is performed and ice is applied to treat the tissue. Friction is performed when tissue is relaxed and fingers are used to compress the tissue over the injured area. The pressure is increased slowly, and short back and forth strokes are applied.
- Another stroke is called tapotement. This stroke is performed by cupping the hands and holding the fingers firmly together. Light to heavy chopping strokes are made by the edge of the therapists hand. Gentle to heavy pounding with the side of a fist is sometimes performed. This technique is used primarily for relief in respiratory conditions and can help the lungs.
The health benefits from this form of massage therapy are vast. The techniques used can affect nerves, muscles and circulation. There are positive affects on organs, glands, and bones that promote good health overall. Massage improves the bodies circulation. Having an improved circulation has many health and wellness benefits, especially helpful for people with diabetes, people on low sodium diets, and senior citizens. Massage will speed healing after injury, and has been known to enhance other medical therapies in recovery from disease.
Many ailments can be treated with massage therapy and it promotes a sense of well-being and relaxation. Boosting the circulatory and immune systems can benefit blood pressure and aid in digestion. Muscle tone and skin tone can be stimulated through therapy. The health benefits that are gained through massage therapy are beneficial in alleviating symptoms and reducing pain.
People are looking for ways to live healthier and prevent illness and disease in their lives. Taking steps to add positive influences can keep a person healthy and happy for years. Adding massage therapy to the regime will offer a person another outlet to promote a strong well-being. Finding the right massage therapist that is trusted, and offers comfortable surroundings, is essential. Knowing what the process involves and what techniques are being used allows a person to be completely relaxed during treatment.
A Swedish massage therapist must be trained and educated in the art of touch. Many states require a therapist to complete formal education and pass an exam for a license. Some states require training and education and other certifications. A therapist must have essential knowledge of the human body. Many classroom hours as well as hands on training must be dedicated to become qualified in massage.
A massage therapist will learn about bone structures and all the key muscles and joints. They must know the functions of all the systems of the body. A massage therapist learns about all the main diseases and how they affect the body. They must understand movement through Kinesiology, which is the study of motion and body mechanics. The therapist will be well-educated in the role and application of massage and how it promotes good health and rehabilitation.