Why You Will Love Massage Therapy
Massage Therapy 101 And Every Possible Reason You Will Love It
Like falling in love, gently stroking a cat or staring into the embers of a fire, massage is one of those timeless things that we have in common with the billions of people who called this planet ‘home’ long before we did.
When you lie on the massage table, ready for your body to sink into that soft and velvety state of bliss, an imaginary thread joins you to all those who over the centuries loved and enjoyed massage just as much as you do today.
You can imagine the hushed voices and echoes of an ancient Roman bath house where attendants would massage with sweet almond oils. Or you picture those who – in the heat of an Egyptian summer were slowly massaged with scented oil of myrrh while fan bearers languidly looked on.
Whereas in ancient times massage was based mainly on instinct – the massage therapy of today delivers deeply relaxing therapeutic treatments based not only on intuition, but on a therapist’s training too and their wide knowledge of anatomy and physiology.
Because of this, we believe that massage today is better than it has ever been.
It retains its primordial base of bestowing healing and relaxation through intuition and human touch, while also considering the very complex structures that our wonderful bodies are.
Massage Therapy – There Is No App For This
Sure, massage can help you to relax and feel pampered but massage therapy does more than that. Much more…
When it comes to your physical health, massage therapy is known to:
- Relieve or diminish pain (including chronic pain)
- Rehabilitate sporting or other injuries
- Loosen tight muscles and knots
- Increase flexibility and ease of motion
- Lower blood pressure and heart rate
- Improve stimulation
- Stimulate the release of chemicals in the body
- Release nerve compression
- Enhance skin tone
- Mend scar tissue
- Better posture
- Strengthen the immune system
- Stimulate the lymphatic system
- Reduce tension headaches
- Relieve constipation
- Increase energy and vitality
- Provide relief from arthritis
In addition, there are countless benefits that massage therapy can have on your mental health, which include:
- Reduced stress
- Increased relaxation and calmness
- Reduced anxiety (a single session can reduce “state anxiety” whereas multiple sessions can reduce “trait anxiety”)
- Relief from symptoms of depression
- Improved concentration and alertness
- Improved sleep patterns
- Aiding in general wellness and enhanced mood
There also appears to be very few risks associated with using massage therapy for healing. The techniques used benefit the musculoskeletal, circulatory-lymphatic and nervous systems, as well as other bodily functions and of course mental health as well.
How Is It Done?
If you’re new to massage therapy, its fundamental medium is touch. How that touch is applied varies of course from country to country and from therapist to therapist. In Australia we are rather conventional – we say this because there are corners of the globe where meat cleavers, live pythons, slugs and cloth that is set on fire on your body all form part of the practice of massage therapy.
In Australia we dispense with the meat cleavers, the wildlife and the pyromania. Phew!
Here therapists typically use their hands, fingers and forearms, but there are also other ways that the muscles and other body tissues can be manipulated. In some cases ‘tools’ help us such as the seashells we use in our Seashell Massages and the hot stones that help us deliver the bliss of a Hot Stone Massage for example.
Massages are – typically – full-body massages. During the hour or two of your massage treatment your Ripple therapist will massage your whole body but can, of course, focus on any area in particular that you feel needs attention. The neck and shoulders being the most requested areas of focus given how many ‘hold their stress’ there.
During a massage therapy session, you will lay on a massage table either in loose clothing or undressed. However, towels will always cover the areas not being massaged. To reduce friction on the skin, oils or lotions are used so the therapists’ hands can easily glide over your body and deliver a relaxing and effective treatment.
Massage therapy is one of the oldest health care practices in the history of our planet. Over the millennia massage has taken many forms and more than eighty different styles of massage have developed in the last thirty years alone.
Despite the many choices that spoil us today – the most requested styles of massage are the traditional Swedish Relaxation Massage and the Deep Tissue Massage.
Swedish massage was not invented by a matron-like Swedish therapist called Helga as you might imagine, but by a Swedish fencing master called Per Henrick Ling. Per was into fencing – of the sword kind – not the white picket type – and unfortunately he suffered from a form of rheumatism that affected his fencing arm.
Not wanting his fencing performance to be affected, he began to study anatomical and physiological principles in order to develop a systematic method of massage that could help relieve his condition. The rest as they so often say – is history.
Swedish massage is based on five key strokes and is great for soothing muscles and boosting circulation. It also stretches ligaments and stimulates the skin. As its name implies, the purpose of this massage is to relax the body, both physically and mentally.
Deep tissue massage on the other hand originates from Russia where it has been in use for over a century. This style uses very slow strokes and firm pressure to make contact with deeper layers of muscle and fascia (the connective tissue around your muscles).
The philosophy behind deep tissue massage is that the body can learn to relax, heal and repair itself when massaged. This method is ideal when used to address issues such as chronic aches and pain and is very effective to relieve problems with stiff necks and upper backs, lower back pain, muscle tightness in the legs and painful shoulders.
With massage it is truly a case of what’s there not to love? We adore it for many reasons; for its ancient roots and the work of our predecessors, for its ability to calm and heal you and ultimately for its capacity to promote and maintain your good health.
Click here to see the full menu of Ripple’s massage and beauty treatments or download a pdf massage and beauty price list. Call us on 0438 567 906 when you are ready to book, we’ll be at your home, office or holiday accommodation in o time at all.