Massage is the manipulation of the soft body tissues, performed with the hands to produce effects on the vascular, muscular and nervous systems of the body.
Everyone can benefit from the stress-reducing effects of massage it can be used to help postural disorders, physical disorders, physiological illness and general muscular aches and pains.
General Effect of Massage
- Stimulates the blood circulation bringing oxygen and nutrients to the tissues, providing warmth to the muscles and producing erythema.
- Stimulates the lymphatic system removing waste products and excess fluid (oedema).
- Relieves aches and pains in the muscles (caused by tension and fatigue) helps to remove lactic acid.
- Soothes nerve endings inducing relaxation through a feeling of warmth
- Improves the skins appearance
- Texture – by removing dead skin cells.
- Suppleness – by moisturising with oils and stimulating sebum production.
- Colour – by stimulation the blood supply to produce erythema.
- Relieves stiffness in joints and increases mobility by removal of excess fluids and the production of heat (especially good for arthritic bones).
- Softens fatty tissue through manipulating and mobilising the fat. Localised metabolism is increased and excess fluids and waste products are removed.
- Induces relaxation and a sense of well being
The routine of everyday life effects the posture of most people, from sitting at a desk in front of a computer, lifting and carrying whether it is shopping bags, boxes, or children, household tasks and gardening to not being able to sleep at night. Over a period of time aches and pains will develop as the skeleton and muscles try to cope with the abnormal positions and strain. During the early stages massage can prevent these aches and pains developing into a serious issue which could require medical intervention and physiotherapy.
Sports Massage combines the use of Swedish (body) massage with additional more intensive techniques for the prevention and treatment of sports injuries. It can also be used as part of a training programme to help prevent injury, as part of a rehabilitation programme to treat injury, as part of a warm-up for an event and as part of the wind-down after the event.
Sports massage is often used along-side physiotherapy treatments.