Guide to massage
Introduction to massage and its benefits
Massage is a great way of treating your muscles, relaxing aches and soothing pains. Here’s a guide to the different types of massage and how they can benefit you.
Deep tissue massage
Deep tissue massage is a massage technique that focuses on the deeper layers of muscle tissue. It aims to release the chronic patterns of tension in the body through slow strokes and deep finger pressure on the contracted areas, either following or going across the fibre's of the muscles, tendons and fascia. The massage helps to break up and eliminate scar tissue. The purpose is to "unstick" the fibres of a muscle while releasing deeply-held patterns of tension, removing toxins, while relaxing and soothing the muscle. It is both corrective and therapeutic.
Aromatherapy is usually used in conjunction with massage. The aromas of essential oils are used to relax or stimulate particular feelings. Aromatherapy could be useful for the athlete as a relaxant after stress or as a facilitator for mental focus and clarity. Oils can stimulate energy and vitality within the person. They can also enhance lymphatic drainage, restore the immune system and reduce congestion.
Sports massage is a special form of massage and is typically used before, during, and after athletic events. The purpose of the massage is to prepare the athlete for peak performance, to drain away fatigue, to relieve swelling, to reduce muscle tension, to promote flexibility and to prevent injuries. The technique often involves a blend of traditional Swedish massage and shiatsu specifically designed to treat professional athletes and varies on the specific sport concerned.
Where minor injuries and lesions occur, due to overexertion and/or overuse, massage can break them down quickly and effectively. Sports massage can help prevent those niggling injuries that so often get in the way of performance and achievement, whether a person is an athlete or a once-a-week jogger.
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