Massage therapy promotes health and well-being on a physical level as well as an emotional level. It is used in hospitals, nursing homes and sports establishments. Popular types of massage include Swedish massage, which is used to invigorate, detoxify and promote relaxation; deep tissue massage, which is used to eliminate impurities within the muscles; and trigger point massage, which applies pressure to release painful spots in the muscles.
Massage is most likely the most ancient form of treatment of health problems. It has been used over the years by people from parts of the world such as Asia, India, Egypt, Greece and Rome. Massage became a much sought after therapy in the United States during the mid-1800s, but lost its popularity between 1930 and 1940. Massage became popular once again in the 1970s.
Massage Therapy Cleanses the Body
Massage therapy is healthy because it can be used to aid in the elimination of impurities. According to "The Complete Book of Massage" by Clare Maxwell-Hudson, when massage is performed with a pumping motion, lymphatic drainage is accelerated. When lymph flow is enhanced, immunity is enhanced as well. If the body is retaining any fluid, massage therapy can alleviate the problem.
Massage Therapy Relieves Stress and Promotes Relaxation
If stress is not released, it can lead to health conditions such as hypertension, heart disease, cancer, rheumatism, aches and pains, infertility and infectious diseases. Massage therapy can aid in stress reduction by kneading and rubbing tight muscles so they can relax. Relaxation on a mental and physical level is one of the benefits of massage therapy. According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, massage risks are minor and small in number when a competent massage therapist gives the massage.
Massage Therapy Improves Blood Circulation
Since the blood delivers oxygen and nutrients to all the cells in the body, massage therapy is healthy because it enhances the circulation of blood. Massage encourages delivery of more oxygen and nutrients to areas of the body being massaged. This helps the muscles, skin and organs regenerate and function better.
Massage Therapy is Comforting
Massage therapy is comforting because it involves human touch. When massage is administered to someone who has just gone through an emotional upset, such as the loss of a loved one, massage can trigger a release of emotions and, thus, promote healing.
Massage Therapy Relieves Pain
Massage therapy relieves pain by removing tension from the muscles. It encourages tight muscles to relax. Pain relief is achieved when steady pressure is applied to tender spots on the body with the fingers or elbows and held for about five seconds. According to "Linda Page's Healthy Healing," massage encourages the body to produce endorphins that alleviate pain.