In the current climate, self-care is more important than ever. Read about an ancient healing technique aimed at pressing the stress away.
There’s nothing like a massage to soothe away stress and relax aching muscles, but the practice is much more than a day at the spa. Today, massage therapy is used to help manage a multitude of health conditions and to enhance wellness.
Throughout history, Eastern and Western cultures have employed massage for everything from treating chronic pain to preventing illness. The technique involves manipulating the skin, muscles, tendons and ligaments through kneading, pressing, rubbing and stroking movements. There are several different types, including Swedish or therapeutic, deep tissue, sports, trigger point, myotherapy and shiatsu, among others.
“Massage is not just a luxurious spa treatment,” says Amy Stewart, LMT, owner of Massage 4 Natural Healing in Lewes. “Regular treatment has great healing benefits and can help relieve stress, improve circulation and strengthen your immune system. When our bodies are out of balance, it affects our emotional and mental state. Massage can help you relax, get out of your head, release emotional stress and allow your body to heal itself.”
According to the American Massage Therapy Association, the primary reason for receiving a massage in 2018 was for relaxation and stress reduction (66 percent), followed by health or medical reasons (62 percent), pampering and special occasions (60 percent), and health and wellness, including alleviating soreness and stiffness (48 percent). The majority of the individuals surveyed visited a massage therapist’s office or a spa for the treatment. An increasing number of medical professionals,—including chiropractors, physical therapists and primary care physicians— (2021) now recommend massage therapy to their patients as part of complementary and integrative medicine practices.
Article by Mindy Toran