The history of Massage therapy dates back thousands of years to ancient cultures that believed in its medical benefits. The first written records of massage therapy are found in China and Egypt and a Chinese book from 2,700 B.C., The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine. It was one of the principal method of relieving pain for Greek and Roman physicians.
Benefits of massage
- Ease muscle pain
- Sooth away anxiety and stress
- Improve sleep
- Enhance immunity by stimulating lymph flow - the body's natural defence system.
- Stretch weak, tight, or atrophied muscles.
- Help athletes of any level prepare for, and recover from, strenuous workouts.
- Improve the condition of the body's largest organ - the skin.
- Increase joint flexibility.
- Pump oxygen and nutrients into tissues and vital organs, improving circulation.
- Reduce spasms and cramping.
- Relax and soften injured, tired, and overused muscles.
- Release endorphins that work as the body's natural painkiller.
Different types of massage therapy
This gentle form of massage is probably the most common. A therapist uses long strokes, kneading and circular movements to increase circulation and promote relaxation. Light to medium pressure is used to ease tension and relieve stress.
Hot Stone massage
Heated, smooth basalt stones are placed on areas of the body to warm and loosen tight muscles and balance the energy of the body. Once the muscles are warm the therapist uses them to apply pressure and ease away soreness and tension.
Essential oil blends are selected and used by the therapist to energize de-stress, detoxify and stimulate the emotional state. Technique is similar to Swedish massage.
Deep tissue massage
Deep tissue massage therapy is similar to Swedish massage, however the pressure is deeper. This type of massage is beneficial in releasing chronic muscle tension and focus on the deepest layers of muscle tissue. This is a good choice for people who are regularly active and suffer with muscle tightness or are recovering from sports injury.
Sports massage is specifically developed for people who partake in regular physical activity. You don't have to be a professional athlete to book one, it's also very beneficial for people who are active and work out. The focus isn't on relaxation but on preventing and treating injury and enhancing athletic performance. It can help with mobility and rehabilitation after injury. Combinations of techniques are used. The strokes are generally faster than Swedish massage and usually include stretching as a common technique.