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In Home Massage

Generally, massage is delivered to improve the flow of blood and lymph (fluid in lymph glands, part of immune system), to reduce muscular tension or flaccidity, to affect the nervous system through stimulation or sedation, and to enhance tissue healing. Therapeutic massage may be recommended for children and adults to deliver benefits such as the following:

  • increasing joint and limb flexibility and range of motion
  • relieving points of tension and overall stress; inducing relaxation
  • improving blood circulation and movement of lymph
  • improving posture by changing tension patterns that affect posture
  • reducing emotional or physical stress and reducing anxiety

Description

Massage therapy is one of the oldest healthcare practices known. References to massage are found in ancient Chinese medical texts written more than 4,000 years ago. While massage therapy is applied primarily with the hands, sometimes the forearms or elbows are used. These techniques affect the muscular, skeletal, circulatory, lymphatic, nervous, and other systems of the body.

Swedish massage is the most commonly used form of massage. It uses a system of long gliding strokes, kneading, and friction techniques on the more superficial layers of muscles, generally in the direction of blood flow toward the heart, and sometimes combined with active and passive movements of the joints. It is used to promote general relaxation, improve circulation and range of motion, and relieve muscle tension.

Deep tissue massage is used to release chronic patterns of muscular tension using slow strokes, direct pressure, or friction directed across the grain of the muscles. It is applied with greater pressure and to deeper layers of muscle than Swedish, which is why it is called deep tissue and is effective for chronic muscular tension.

Acupressure applies finger or thumb pressure to specific points located on the energy pathways or "meridians" in order to release blocked energy along these meridians that may be causing physical discomfort. The rebalance of energy flow releases tension and restores function of organs and muscles in the body. Shiatsu is a Japanese form of acupressure that applies these principles.

The first appointment generally begins with information gathering, such as the reason for getting massage therapy, physical condition and medical history, and other areas. The client is asked to remove clothing to one's level of comfort. Undressing takes place in private, and a sheet or towel is provided for draping. The massage therapist will undrape only the part of the body being massaged. The individual's modesty is respected at all times. The massage therapist may use an oil or cream, which is quickly absorbed into the skin.

Preparation: Going for a massage requires little in the way of preparation. Generally, one should be clean and should not eat just before a massage. Massage therapists generally work by appointment and usually provide information about how to prepare for an appointment.

Risks: Massage therapy does not have notable side effects. Rather than feeling too relaxed or too mentally unfocused after a massage.