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What It Is, And How It May Benefit You!
Happy Massage Therapy Awareness Week! (October 22-28th) I will be posting about Massage Therapy this week through the beginning of next.
First off, what is Massage Therapy?
According to the very first textbook I received in massage school, Massage is:
“the systematic or mechanical manipulations of the soft tissues of the body by such movements as rubbing, kneading, pressing, rolling, slapping, and tapping, for therapeutic purposes such as promoting circulation of the blood and lymph, relaxation of muscles, relief from pain, restoration of metabolic balance, and other benefits, both physical and mental.”
– Steiner Education Group
Massage is one of the oldest forms of alternative medicine, dating back to written findings from 2000 B.C.! It was mostly practiced in the “Eastern Cultures” and made it’s way to Europe around 300 B.C. Massage Therapy and research was not practiced much in the United States until 1856. From then till now, it has come a very long way. Nowadays there are many more modalities (methods) to practice, and constant research. Massage is also being more and more accepted by the healthcare community, which provides more job opportunities for therapists.
An important fact to make note of is that massage as a career also becoming more regulated. In most states you must have a License to practice. This and other legislation is what keeps actual Massage Therapists protected and separate from prostitutes, “massage parlors,” and those who may illegally try to claim that they can practice Massage or are Massage Therapists. You can read more about the process in this post.
How it works, and the many benefits
Some still believe massage is only a “feel good” kind of thing. Wrong! Massage can make you feel good, but is also extremely useful in aiding the body to heal itself it many ways! Many are unaware that Massage directly effects the circulatory and lymphatic systems, and can also effect every other body system. It is a wonderful method of preventative care as well. Most patients I see who have it practiced as part of a regular wellness routine come in at least once a month.
The specific benefits are numerous! Here are some main ones that have been noticed by the American Massage Therapy Association:
Between the techniques, pressure, and direction of pushing or stretching tissues, Massage can work wonders. Everybody is different, and every body is different! This is why we can not guarantee you will experience any specific benefit. Also, certain benefits might be experienced in certain populations (elderly, children, prenatal, etc) more so than others. My next few posts will talk about some of the modalities I am trained in that focus on certain populations.
Thank you for reading!
-Jillian, LMT, CPMT #MSG007989