Massage therapy is recognized as one of the oldest methods of healing, with references in medical texts nearly 4,000 years old. In fact, Hippocrates, known as the “father of medicine,” referenced massage when he wrote, in the 4th century B.C.: “The physician must be acquainted with many things, and assuredly with rubbing.”
Now days, in addition to “rubbing,” massage therapy, often referred to as bodywork or somatic therapy, refers to the application of various techniques to the muscular structure and soft tissues of the body that include applying fixed or movable pressure, holding, vibration, rocking, friction, kneading and compression using primarily the hands, although massage therapists do use other areas of the body, such as the forearms, elbows or feet. All of the techniques are used for the benefit of the musculoskeletal, circulatory-lymphatic, nervous, and other systems of the body. In fact, massage therapy positively influences the overall health and well-being of the client.
Physical and Mental Benefits
- Relaxes the whole body
- Loosens tight muscles
- Relieves tired and aching muscles
- Increases flexibility and range of motion
- Diminishes chronic pain
- Calms the nervous system
- Lowers blood pressure
- Lowers heart rate
- Enhances skin tone
- Assists in recovery from injuries and illness
- Strengthens the immune system
- Reduces tension headaches
- Reduces mental stress
- Improves concentration
- Promotes restful sleep
- Aids in mental relaxation
Types of Massage Therapy
There are numerous forms of massage therapy originating from all corners of the world. Integrated Chiropractic concentrates on healing massage therapy tactics that focus on healing the body’s muscular and central nervous systems.
Deep Tissue Massage
Deep tissue massage pays special attention to painful trouble spots that may have stiffened. Using long, slow strokes that focuses pressure on muscles, tendons and deep tissues under the skin. Strokes are less rhythmic and relaxing than traditional Swedish massage, but best at relieving chronic tension and healing muscles injuries.
Neuromuscular therapy is a medically-oriented form of massage therapy that manipulates the soft tissue to treat underlying causes of chronic muscular and nerve pain. By focusing on trouble points, neuromuscular therapy eases tender muscles, relieves nerve compression and postural issues while increasing circulation.
Sports massage was developed with the muscular system in mind. It can be used before, during and after sporting events to promote peak performance and prevent injury. Using a variety of approaches, sports massage treats strains to aid in rehabilitation.