What is Massage?
Massage is a form of treatment that uses manual hands-on techniques that aims to relax, invigorate and heal the body by manipulating the body’s muscles and soft tissues resulting in relieved tension, reduced stress and anxiety, increased circulation and improved sleep simultaneously aiding and encouraging relaxation throughout the body. Generally, massage therapy is considered a holistic alternative approach to medicine which promotes healing by enhancing a person’s overall wellbeing.
History of massage
The actual start date of massage is inconclusive however ancient literature, artwork and archaeological evidence suggest that massage practices did exist and was used for medicinal benefits in many ancient cultures such as India, China, Egypt, Greece, the Roman Empire, Japan, Thailand and Korea. Prehistoric cave paintings dating back to 15,000BC depict some form of therapeutic touch; it seems to be ubiquitously accepted nowadays that an instinctive response to pain or soreness is to rub that area of the body thus suggestive evidence of correlation with these ancient ancestors.
Early origins of the word “massage” means to press softly and derived from the Arabic word “massa” meaning “to touch, feel”. Nevertheless, the ancient Greeks used the word “anatripsis” (“rubbing up”), and massage in Latin is “frictio” (“rub”).
Historically considered an ‘alternative treatment’, massage therapy is much more mainstream now with evidence-based research to back-up the significant number of benefits hence its rise in popularity and incorporation into mainstream western medicine.
This therapy utilises deep tissue techniques to reduce pain in areas of muscular tension. Treatments comprise of faster-paced strokes than a ‘traditional’ massage and also incorporates stretching and compression techniques. During compression techniques, I may use forearms, elbows, knuckles, fingertips or instruments to assist in applying compressions.
Stretching involves passive techniques where I mobilise the client’s joints with the muscles relaxed but I also use active and resistive methods which involves participation from the client. Contrary to popular belief, this method of massage isn’t restricted to only those who are ‘sporty’ but is effective to a huge variety of conditions both remedially and generally.
Deep Tissue Massage
Deep tissue massage is often used to treat musculoskeletal issues and employs techniques such as slow deep strokes to target the muscles and connective tissues. The pressures used in deep tissue are stronger and concentrated on problem areas. The practitioner may use their forearms, elbows, fingertips and knuckles to target areas. The purpose of the deep strokes is to breakdown adhesions in the tissue which are causing pain and/or restriction in movement.
Swedish massage is one of the most commonly used and popular types of massage also known as ‘classic massage’. This involves long soft strokes and kneading and targets the topmost layers of muscles in the body. This type of massage is relaxing, can reduce stress and improve your blood circulation.
Pregnancy massage, also known as prenatal massage, is specifically for clients who are pregnant. The aim of this type of massage is to reduce swelling and relieve joint and muscular pain, the techniques used are gentle.
Clients need to be past their first trimester of pregnancy to be able to have this massage. Depending on the stage of pregnancy, the client will be supported by specialist pillows to ensure Mum-to-be and baby's comfort.
Most people come to Diamond Press Massage for treatment because they have pain, discomfort, ‘knot(s)’ or tightness in their muscles. Massage treats these issues by targeting the source of the pain (thus reducing and masking it temporarily with painkillers) and helps eliminate the muscles tension by increasing the circulation to the muscles.
Increased circulation and blood flow results in an increased supply of nutrients and oxygen to the body’s tissues as well as stimulation of the lymphatic system which flushes out the irritants and toxins that cause pain leading to an overall reduction in stiffness and swelling and simultaneous increases in range-of-motion, flexibility and general well-being.
Chronic physical pain can increase stress levels which can exacerbate the cause of the pain but also cause fatigue and lower moods. Studies show that massage can decrease cortisol (stress hormone) levels by up to 31% and increase serotonin and dopamine (‘happy’ hormone) levels by 28% and 31% respectively. This indicates that massage can be effective at not only reducing stress levels but also in reducing chronic pain, promoting healing and improving mood.
Massage is for everyone; I don’t offer a ‘one size fits all’ approach to treatment. Each session is tailored to your individual needs and preferences. I treat people of all ages, sizes and abilities both general and remedial. I am more than happy to make any necessary adaptions to ensure you get the best out of your treatments and rehabilitation programmes.
With its considerable list of positive effects, massage therapy is an easy and enjoyable way to quickly improve your wellbeing and mobility.