Having a massage is a fantastic way to get centred.
A misconception often exists that massage is merely a form of relaxation; An indulgent pampering experience reserved for a holiday resort spa, or if fortunate, a luxurious birthday gift from a friend.
The reality is somewhat different. While a byproduct of massage is certainly relaxation, it also has many proven and potential therapeutic benefits and serves as an ideal way to #getcentred.
According to the Mayo Clinic, a world renowned medical facility and research centre in the USA, scientific studies have proven that massage is an effective treatment for reducing stress, pain, and muscle tension. Recent research has shown that massage might also be beneficial in treating:
- Digestive disorders
- Insomnia related to stress
- Myofascial pain syndrome
- Paresthesias and nerve pain
- Soft tissue strains or injuries
- Sports injuries
- Temporomandibular joint pain
There are many different types of massage therapy, each bestowed in their own ancient or modern traditions and each claiming various benefits for the mind and body.
Four different styles of massage are outlined below:
Probably the most common form of massage in the West, Swedish massage was developed in the 1800’s, and involves soft, long, kneading strokes, as well as light, rhythmic, tapping strokes on the topmost layers of muscles. The strokes are designed to replicate the movements of the circulatory system (by performing the strokes toward the heart), in order to drain metabolic waste from the limbs of the body. It claims to break up muscle adhesions which promotes healthy healing of scar tissue, relax individual muscles, and eliminate mental stress. For more info, check out The Basic Techniques of Swedish Massage Infographic by Paul at Bodywork Massage.
Deep Tissue Massage
This massage technique was established in 1949 and is most resonant of Swedish massage. It differs in the slower nature of the movements and deeper pressure that is applied especially to areas of pain and tension. The focus is on realigning deeper layers of muscles and connective tissue in order to increase oxygen and blood flow to these areas. This then helps to remove toxins and metabolic wastes which subsequently enables the affected muscles to recover more quickly.
Traditional Thai Massage
Believed to be over 2000 years old, Thai massage is unique in that it fuses yoga stretching, meditation, accupressure, exercise movement, and reflexology. Some of the proposed benefits include: detoxification of the body, boosting the immune system, increasing blood circulation, lowering blood pressure, increasing flexibility in the muscles, raising stamina, and improving mental clarity.
Ayurveda literally means ‘Science of Life’, and refers to a unique health care system that originated in India over 5000 years ago. Ayurvedic massage uses warm medicated oil and a variety of strokes often personalised to one’s particular body type. Some of the potential benefits include: improving the lymphatic and circulatory system, reducing mental and physical fatigue, improving skin texture and complexion, and toning the muscles.
So now you can go and book yourself in for a massage, guilt-free! #getcentred