WHAT IS MASSAGE THERAPY?
What are the different types of massage therapy? How is it beneficial? Massage therapy is a very popular and effective therapeutic treatment. There are probably more than 100 types of massage therapy. Swedish massage is one of the most commonly practiced types of massage in the United States.
Massage therapists use several different techniques including long, smooth strokes, kneading and other movements to stimulate. increase circulation, soothe, or relax superficial layers of muscle. Sometimes massage oil or lotion is used.
HOW POPULAR IS MASSAGE THERAPY? According to the most recent American Massage Therapy Association survey, roughly 38 million adult Americans (18 percent) had a therapeutic massage at least once a year. More than half of adult Americans (59 percent) would like to see their insurance cover massage therapy.
The average income for a massage therapist living in the United States is about $21,000 per year. More than 50% of all massage therapists, earn a living doing another job, as well. An average of 31 percent of adult Americans received a massage in the previous five years.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF MASSAGE THERAPY?
So why do people use massage therapy and what are the benefits? Massage therapy can be beneficial in a number of different ways:
- soothe achy joints
- relieve depression
- remove stress
- lower blood pressure
- reduce level of stress hormone cortisol
- boost neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine
- reduce inflammation
- improve sleep
- increase disease-fighting white blood cells
- reduce PMS symptoms, like bloating and mood swings
- increase mental alertness
- increase blood flow to improve complexion and skin
- encourage lymphatic drainage
- bring relief to chronic illness sufferers
WHEN SHOULD YOU NOT USE MASSAGE THERAPY?
Massage therapy is not for everyone. Particular medications can affect the impact of massage therapy manipulations, as outlined above. Massage therapy is not recommended in the following situations
- If you have an infectious skin disease or rash, massage therapy should not be allowed.
- If you have an open wound, do not allow massage therapy near the wound.
- If you have a torn muscle, with swelling and bruising, you should check with your doctor and wait for the area to heal.
- If you are prone to blood clots, check with your doctor.
- If you have heart disease you should check with your doctor before having a massage.
- If you have recently had chemotherapy or radiation, check with your doctor before having a massage.
- If the area is inflamed, do not allow massage to be done directly on top of the area of inflammation.
- If you have tumors, you should not have massage done directly on top of the tumors.
- If you have abdominal hernia, do not massage the hernia.
- If you have fractures or broken bones, do not masssage directly over the area.
- If you are pregnant, massage therapists who are certified in pregnancy massage should be used, after checking with your doctor.
- It’s best not to eat a full meal just prior to massage therapy.
WHAT ARE THE MOST POPULAR TYPES OF MASSAGE THERAPY?
There are probably more than one hundred different types of massage therapy available. Here are a few of the more popular types of massage.
- Swedish Massage Therapy
f. Passive and active
- Thai Massage
- Aromatherapy Massage
- Deep Tissue Massage
- Pregnancy or Prenatal Massage
- Hot Stone Massage
- Sports Massage
- Back Massage
- Trigger Point Therapy
- Cranial Sacral Therapy
- Geriatric Massage
- Chair Massage
- Neuromuscular Therapy Massage
- Active Release Technique Massage
- Bowen Technique
- Hawaiian Lomi Lomi Massage
- Lymphatic Massage
- Ayurvedic Massage
- Raindrop Therapy Massage
- Polarity Therapy Massage
- Breast Massage
- Rolfing Massage
- Feldenkrais Massage
- Aquatic Massage
For more information about massage therapy, visit the following websites.
The American Massage Therapy Association
The National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (NCBTMB)
The National Association of Massage Therapists
The Massage Therapy Foundation
This article is written by Jean Voice Dart, M.S. Special Education from Illinois State University. Jean is a published author and has written hundreds of health articles as well as hosting a local television program, “Making Miracles Happen.” She is a Registered Music Therapist, Sound Therapist, and Master Level Energetic Teacher, and is the Executive Director, founder and Health and Wellness Educator of the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance. The Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance is a registered 501 (c) 3 nonprofit health and wellness education organization. For more information about the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance contact us or visit our website at www.montereybayholistic.com.