Body massages have been around since early times when the population was dependent to basic and intuitive medicine. But with recent studies on massages, it can be seen that they are in fact very much effective and have several benefits. Several body massage techniques can be witnessed around the world. Many of them have been researched upon and the others are reliable in accordance with their results. For centuries, numerous healers have tried their hand at several massage techniques to relieve the body from pain and to aid in the treatment of several diseases. Modern medicine is several paces ahead of this therapeutic technique and body massages has made their way to healthcare in recent times.

When is Body Massage Done?

The basic aim of massaging various parts of the body is to soothe the tension amongst the muscles and also to cut back on stress. It is clinically proven that massaging techniques effectively reduce stress and anxiety levels in terminally ill patients. Body massage basically involves pressurizing certain parts of the body using hand and finger movements. Many schools of ideas have been around in the field of massaging. Especially in recent times, individuals have become more aware of their body's wellness. Massages are now used for alleviating a wide range of pains, ailments or for recreational relaxation.

What are the Benefits of Body Massage?

Body Massages have various benefits; they increase the blood flow to the capillaries and improve a person’s metabolism. Body Massages of different types are used for the treatment of various body parts. Body Massage is also popularly known for its help in joint related pain and other bone related issues. Some benefits of body massages are gaining immense importance in recent times. To understand why a person must choose a certain technique of massage, they must first understand what the massage does and which part of the anatomy does it affect.

Body Massages can be rapid hand or finger movements to stretch soft tissues or timely gradual massages to improve muscle function. The masseuse may also optionally use lotions and oils for several purposes; one of them being the reduction of friction, which does not irritate the skin.

Different Types of Body Massages & Their Benefits

Although there are many types of massages, here are a few which have been significant since the recent past.

Swedish Body Massage: Swedish massage is a full body massage which is very relaxing. A Swedish massage involves gradual strokes, which are long and pressurized for specific tissues or muscles, then squeezing and pinching large parts of the skin along with circular movements around the joints. Then it consists of a series of taps and soft hits to relax the ligaments and tendons. This relaxes the body overall and thus the Swedish massage is the most commonly used massage technique in body massages.

Shiatsu Body Massage: As the name suggests Shiatsu massage is a Japanese technique. This oriental technique involves finger pressure gestures on the body. The name “Shiatsu” itself means "pressure with fingers." Shiatsu depends on the principles of acupressure. The massage technique is simply applying pressure to these acupressure points at regular intervals of time to achieve stability in what the Japanese call the "chi." They believe that energy flows through these acupressure points in the body and the failure of the energy to travel throughout the body causes pain in certain parts of the body. Thus one can see that Shiatsu body massage has many benefits, especially for relieving pain.

Thai Massage: This body massage technique is pretty popular. The masseuse uses their bodies to bend or stretch the individual's body, which greatly benefits the joint and muscle health. By repetitive compressions and expansions and also acupressure, the muscles and joints get relaxed with Thai body massage. Thai massage has been in the limelight since a long time and countries like Thailand and Malaysia use this as a tourist attraction. Thai massage has also been depicted immensely in pop culture.

Neuromuscular Massage Therapy: Neuromuscular therapy has a different approach to relieving body pain. In this type of body massage, the underlying cause of the pain is treated. Neuromuscular massage therapy is recommended at many advanced stages of diagnosis in terms of diseases which are complicated. This method of body massage stimulates trigger points on our bodies, which usually lie in between our muscles and bones. Neuromuscular massage therapy also focuses on using pressure-points on nerve bundles to improve overall circulation, posture and other movement based issues. Neuromuscular massage technique is mainly used for improving muscle and joint movement. The most significant point of difference in this massage technique is that it also relieves nerve related issues which affect the muscle function in the body.

Neuromuscular massage technique is very beneficial for accident survivors suffering from severe pain.

Detailed Benefits of Body Massages

Prevents Fibromyalgia: The muscles in our body sometimes get lethargic; and this makes the muscles tender, resulting in sudden onset of pain and general fatigue. Fibromyalgia is a hidden danger that we apparently do not detect easily. In recent times with machines doing most of our work for us, our use of muscles has evidently lowered in percentage. The lack of usage of our muscles leads to contractions in the muscles of our body. Stress and insomnia cause Fibromyalgia in most adults who are working a 9-to-5 job and most of these people refrain from exercising. A full body massage greatly benefits the muscle conditioning and prevents fibromyalgia.

Post Surgical Pain Relief: After any major surgery, most patients come face to face with regular pain. Massaging has proven to be effective against post-surgical pain. Massage is significantly important as it decreases the dependence on drugs to reduce pain which have many side effects. Massaging on the other hand does not involve the insertion of chemicals into our bodies for pain-relief. A body massage benefits and boosts the healing procedure after many surgeries. Pain related to using of muscles due to fatigue after the post surgical rest is also vital. Body massage help patients immensely in the rehabilitation process post surgery.

Mood Escalation: Body Massage relieves stress and makes the mood of a person better. Mood escalation is a very common benefit of body massages and can be called the major reason why people opt for these massages. Cortisol is the hormone that induces stress in us and massages have effectively combated stress by reducing the secretion of Cortisol in our body. After various studies, it has also been seen that dopamine and serotonin levels are also affected by massages. So we can easily say that a relaxing body massage greatly benefits our mood.

Prime Remedy for Headaches: From early ages, massages are used as a quick remedy for headaches. Headaches can be caused by different factors, but amazingly, massages seem to reduce each of those factors by increasing hormones like serotonin which affect the mood of a person and relieve headache. Migraines are effectively controlled by body massages as they improve sleep patterns. Getting a better sleep and decreasing the levels of person are some and thereby decreasing the chances of having a headache are some of the benefits of a body massage.

Increases Agility: Getting a full body massage done regularly keeps you fit and flexible. As massaging techniques basically revolve around muscle relaxation, body keeps the muscles in good health. This enables the person to use their muscles more freely and comfortably, making them more flexible. A body massage makes the individual more agile and energized. Body massage relaxes the ligaments and tendons in between the muscles and the bones; thus making the person less prone to sudden pain due to heavy muscular or skeletal use.

Combats Back Pain: Back pain is a common problem among the urban household. Back pain is caused by wrong posture and also by several other factors, such as lack of calcium and vitamin D intake or osteoporosis. Body Massages benefit and improve such situations for patients. Back pain is the most common reason why people sign up for massage programs for the entire body. Massage is proven to be more effective than acupressure according to some studies.

Helps with Osteoarthritis: Osteoarthritis cause stiffness of joints and impairs muscle and bone function. Massages have been a treatment procedure for this ailment, and the results have been promising. A body massage benefits the patients having pain from osteoarthritis.

Anti-Anxiety Therapy: A Body Massage benefits in relieving anxiety by increasing dopamine and serotonin secretions from the pituitary gland. These hormones affect the mood of a person. Thus, massages effectively reduce anxiety in people who find it difficult to handle it. Anxiety these days has become more common than a cold and thus body massage is a treatment which does not involve drugs and is very beneficial in getting rid of anxiety.

Conclusion

The scenario nowadays is very dynamic. Body Massages are recreationally done for relaxation as well as for rehabilitation of patients dealing with immense amounts of pain. Body Massages are non invasive and thus help the body from the outside. Though there are various types of massages all over the world, only a handful are recognized by international medicine boards; however, the effectiveness and capabilities of body massages have been undoubted throughout history. Even though massages are slow to show affect, they are capable to give relief in the long run. Also, major universities in the US now have courses in this subject matter as they bring a wholesome approach to well-being.

Massage therapy is now the most minimalist way of pain relief. It is trusted by many around the world. It's beneficiary in many ways, and an effective way for skeptic patients who want to refrain from invasive treatment. Anyone who chooses massage therapies over medicines to curb their pain is obviously protecting their body from the side effects that drugs carry along with them. Natural methods of pain control should be embraced by people to lead a healthy life without health complications. In this busy lifestyle, there is nothing better than a massage that can relax and revitalize our body. Body massages will keep you fit and also away from pain, thus it has become an integral part of human lifestyle across the globe.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: October 11, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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