Massage: Overview

Massage therapy is the systematized manipulation of soft tissues for the purpose of normalizing them. The word massage is derived from the Greek word ‘massier’ which means to knead. If correctly done on a bare body, it can be highly stimulating and invigorating. The term ‘bodywork’ is often used to refer to therapies that are combined or confused with massage, e.g. Shiatsu, Trager, Rolfing, Polarity and Reflexology.

Start The Analyst
Please note that it is extremely important to obtain an accurate diagnosis before trying to find a cure.  Many diseases and conditions share common symptoms: if you treat yourself for the wrong illness or a specific symptom of a complex disease, you may delay legitimate treatment of a serious underlying problem.  In other words, the greatest danger in self-treatment may be self-diagnosis. If you do not know what you really have, you can not treat it! Knowing how difficult it is to weed out misinformation and piece together countless facts in order to see the “big picture”, we now provide simple online access to The Analyst™.  Used by doctors and patients alike, The Analyst™ is a computerized diagnostic tool that sits on a vast accumulation of knowledge and research.  By combining thousands of connections between signs, symptoms, risk factors, conditions and treatments,

The Analyst™ will help to build an accurate picture of your current health status, the risks you are running and courses of action (including appropriate lab testing) that should be considered. Many people find a massage beneficial enough to have one on a regular basis, scheduling them as frequently as needed or as often as finances will allow. History Massage has been used for thousands of years as a treatment for many ailments. Function; Reasons For Use The basic goal of massage therapy is to help the body heal itself and to increase health and well-being. Based on anecdotal data, massage therapists have said for years that massage relaxes people, reduces blood pressure and heart rate, relaxes muscles, increases range of motion, and increases the flow of blood and lymph, thereby cleansing the system. Therapeutic massage can be used to promote general well-being, enhance self-esteem and help restore a sense of body awareness – important for realizing when you are becoming tense and where you tend to hold your tension. Practitioners use a variety of physical methods including stroking, rubbing, kneading, percussion and vibration. Therapists primarily use their hands, but may also use their forearms, elbows or feet. A general body massage may last for 40-90 minutes and local body massages for 10-15 minutes. A little moderate kneading and percussion cause muscles to contract and become stronger. Deep circular kneading and vibration loosens the muscles. Kneading under and round the muscles can help break up adhesions. Practitioners generally treat the whole body, using oil to help their hands move over the patient’s body.

The ten most popular types of Massage Therapy are: Swedish Massage Therapy. The most common type, also known simply as Swedish massage or simply massage therapy. Massage therapists use long, smooth strokes, kneading, and circular movements on superficial layers of muscle using massage lotion or oil. This is a good one to try first, if you have never had a massage before.
  Aromatherapy Massage. This is massage therapy with the addition of one or more scneted plant oils called essential oils, to address specific needs. The oils may be, for example, relaxing, energizing, stress-reducing, balancing. One of the most common oils used is lavender. Aromatherapy massage is most suited to stress-related conditions or conditions with an emotional component.
  Hot Stone Massage. Heated, smooth stones are placed on certain points of the body to warm and loosen tight muscles and balance energy centers in the body. The massage therapist may also hold stones and apply gentle pressure with them. Hot stone massage is good for people who have muscle tension but prefer lighter massage.
  Deep Tissue Massage. This targets the deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue. The massage therapist uses slower strokes or friction techniques across the grain of the muscle. Deep tissue massage is used for chronically tight or painful muscles, repetitive strain, postural problems, or recovery from injury. People often feel sore for one or two days after deep tissue massage.
  Shiatsu. A form of Japanese bodywork that uses localized finger pressure in a rhythmic sequence on acupuncture meridians. Each point is held for 2-8 seconds to improve the flow of energy and help regain balance. There is usually no soreness afterwards.
  Thai Massage. Like Shiatsu, Thai massage aligns the energies of the body by using gentle pressure on specific points. Thai massage also includes compressions and stretches. Instead of just lying on a massage table, the therapist moves and stretches you into a sequence of postures — like Yoga without doing any work! That massage is more energizing than other forms of massage, also reducing stress and improving flexibility and range of motion.
  Pregnancy Massage. Also called prenatal massage, pregnancy massage is becoming increasingly popular with expectant mothers. Certified practitioners know the proper way to position and support the woman’s body, and how to modify techniques. Pregnancy massage is used to reduce stress and swelling, relieve aches and pains, and decrease anxiety and depression. It is customized to a woman’s individual needs.
  Reflexology. Although sometimes called foot massage, it is more than that. Reflexology involves applying pressure to certain points on the foot that correspond to organs and systems in the body. It is very relaxing, especially for people who stand on their feet all day or just have achy, tired feet.
  Sports Massage. This is specifically designed for people who are involved in physical activity, but it is not only for professional athletes. The focus isn’t on relaxation but on preventing and treating injury and enhancing athletic performance. A combination of techniques are used; the strokes are generally faster than in Swedish massage. Facilitated stretching is a common technique to help loosen muscles and increase flexibility.
  Back Massage. Some massage clinics offer specific back massages, but you can also book a general massage and simply ask that the massage therapist focuses on your back. To date, most of the clinical trials of massage have focused on psychological outcomes of treatment. Good evidence from randomized trials indicates that massage reduces anxiety scores in the short term. There is more limited evidence that these anxiety reductions are cumulative over time. Practitioners claim that giving patients a concrete experience of relaxation through massage can facilitate their use of self help relaxation techniques. The evidence that massage can lead to improved sleep and reduce pain remains anecdotal. There are some small studies indicating immune stimulation by increasing white blood cell quantity and natural killer-cell activity. An increasing number of research studies show that massage reduces heart rate, lowers blood pressure, increases blood circulation and lymph flow, relaxes muscles, improves range of motion, and increases endorphins (thus enhancing medical treatment.) Although therapeutic massage does not increase muscle strength, it can stimulate weak, inactive muscles and, thus, partially compensate for the lack of exercise and inactivity resulting from illness or injury. It can also hasten and lead to a more complete recovery from exercise or injury. Massage therapy decreased the effects of anxiety, tension, depression, pain and itching in burn patients. Abdominal surgery patients have been found to recover more quickly after massage. Massage: Overview Massage therapy is the systematized manipulation of soft tissues for the purpose of normalizing them. The word massage is derived from the Greek word ‘massier’ which means to knead. If correctly done on a bare body, it can be highly stimulating and invigorating. The term ‘bodywork’ is often used to refer to therapies that are combined or confused with massage, e.g. Shiatsu, Trager, Rolfing, Polarity and Reflexology. Start The Analyst Please note that it is extremely important to obtain an accurate diagnosis before trying to find a cure.  Many diseases and conditions share common symptoms: if you treat yourself for the wrong illness or a specific symptom of a complex disease, you may delay legitimate treatment of a serious underlying problem.  In other words, the greatest danger in self-treatment may be self-diagnosis. If you do not know what you really have, you can not treat it! Knowing how difficult it is to weed out misinformation and piece together countless facts in order to see the “big picture”, we now provide simple online access to The Analyst™.  Used by doctors and patients alike, The Analyst™ is a computerized diagnostic tool that sits on a vast accumulation of knowledge and research.  By combining thousands of connections between signs, symptoms, risk factors, conditions and treatments, The Analyst™ will help to build an accurate picture of your current health status, the risks you are running and courses of action (including appropriate lab testing) that should be considered. Many people find a massage beneficial enough to have one on a regular basis, scheduling them as frequently as needed or as often as finances will allow. History Massage has been used for thousands of years as a treatment for many ailments. Function; Reasons For Use The basic goal of massage therapy is to help the body heal itself and to increase health and well-being. Based on anecdotal data, massage therapists have said for years that massage relaxes people, reduces blood pressure and heart rate, relaxes muscles, increases range of motion, and increases the flow of blood and lymph, thereby cleansing the system. Therapeutic massage can be used to promote general well-being, enhance self-esteem and help restore a sense of body awareness – important for realizing when you are becoming tense and where you tend to hold your tension. Practitioners use a variety of physical methods including stroking, rubbing, kneading, percussion and vibration. Therapists primarily use their hands, but may also use their forearms, elbows or feet. A general body massage may last for 40-90 minutes and local body massages for 10-15 minutes. A little moderate kneading and percussion cause muscles to contract and become stronger. Deep circular kneading and vibration loosens the muscles. Kneading under and round the muscles can help break up adhesions. Practitioners generally treat the whole body, using oil to help their hands move over the patient’s body. The ten most popular types of Massage Therapy are: Swedish Massage Therapy. The most common type, also known simply as Swedish massage or simply massage therapy. Massage therapists use long, smooth strokes, kneading, and circular movements on superficial layers
of muscle using massage lotion or oil. This is a good one to try first, if you have never had a massage before.
  Aromatherapy Massage. This is massage therapy with the addition of one or more scneted plant oils called essential oils, to address specific needs. The oils may be, for example, relaxing, energizing, stress-reducing, balancing. One of the most common oils used is lavender. Aromatherapy massage is most suited to stress-related conditions or conditions with an emotional component.
  Hot Stone Massage. Heated, smooth stones are placed on certain points of the body to warm and loosen tight muscles and balance energy centers in the body. The massage therapist may also hold stones and apply gentle pressure with them. Hot stone massage is good for people who have muscle tension but prefer lighter massage.
  Deep Tissue Massage. This targets the deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue. The massage therapist uses slower strokes or friction techniques across the grain of the muscle. Deep tissue massage is used for chronically tight or painful muscles, repetitive strain, postural problems, or recovery from injury. People often feel sore for one or two days after deep tissue massage.
  Shiatsu. A form of Japanese bodywork that uses localized finger pressure in a rhythmic sequence on acupuncture meridians. Each point is held for 2-8 seconds to improve the flow of energy and help regain balance. There is usually no soreness afterwards.
  Thai Massage. Like Shiatsu, Thai massage aligns the energies of the body by using gentle pressure on specific points. Thai massage also includes compressions and stretches. Instead of just lying on a massage table, the therapist moves and stretches you into a sequence of postures — like Yoga without doing any work! That massage is more energizing than other forms of massage, also reducing stress and improving flexibility and range of motion.
  Pregnancy Massage. Also called prenatal massage, pregnancy massage is becoming increasingly popular with expectant mothers. Certified practitioners know the proper way to position and support the woman’s body, and how to modify techniques. Pregnancy massage is used to reduce stress and swelling, relieve aches and pains, and decrease anxiety and depression. It is customized to a woman’s individual needs.
  Reflexology. Although sometimes called foot massage, it is more than that. Reflexology involves applying pressure to certain points on the foot that correspond to organs and systems in the body. It is very relaxing, especially for people who stand on their feet all day or just have achy, tired feet.
  Sports Massage. This is specifically designed for people who are involved in physical activity, but it is not only for professional athletes. The focus isn’t on relaxation but on preventing and treating injury and enhancing athletic performance. A combination of techniques are used; the strokes are generally faster than in Swedish massage. Facilitated stretching is a common technique to help loosen muscles and increase flexibility.
  Back Massage. Some massage clinics offer specific back massages, but you can also book a general massage and simply ask that the massage therapist focuses on your back. To date, most of the clinical trials of massage have focused on psychological outcomes of treatment. Good evidence from randomized trials indicates that massage reduces anxiety scores in the short term. There is more limited evidence that these anxiety reductions are cumulative over time. Practitioners claim that giving patients a concrete experience of relaxation through massage can facilitate their use of self help relaxation techniques. The evidence that massage can lead to improved sleep and reduce pain remains anecdotal. There are some small studies indicating immune stimulation by increasing white blood cell quantity and natural killer-cell activity. An increasing number of research studies show that massage reduces heart rate, lowers blood pressure, increases blood circulation and lymph flow, relaxes muscles, improves range of motion, and increases endorphins (thus enhancing medical treatment.) Although therapeutic massage does not increase muscle strength, it can stimulate weak, inactive muscles and, thus, partially compensate for the lack of exercise and inactivity resulting from illness or injury. It can also hasten and lead to a more complete recovery from exercise or injury. Massage therapy decreased the effects of anxiety, tension, depression, pain and itching in burn patients. Abdominal surgery patients have been found to recover more quickly after massage.

With stress being linked to more illness’ and other ailments due to the ever increasing pace of life we at Chutima Therapy, Brighton, can offer various treatments to calm you down and make you day more enjoyable and productive. Book online one of our therapies of alternitively pop into our Brighton shop for a consultation.

Releasing stress with deep tissue massage
The argument about whether we all live in a stressful world or just perceive the world as being stressful is ongoing. The physical effects either way are very real and can contribute to stress in the first place or make the stress that is already present worse. Excessive stress on the body and mind is detrimental to health. Deep tissue massage is a hands-on therapy that can alleviate the build up of stress in the muscles which in turn can prevent stress or lessen its effects on our well-being if already present in the body.
Deep tissue massage unsticks the fibres that make up our muscles. The massage releases tension by applying pressure and friction along the muscle to break down adhesions in the connective tissue and restore range of movement. Deep tissue massage flushes out toxins, breaks up scar tissue and helps the body relax which means treatment can be both therapeutic and corrective. By concentrating on the deep layers of muscles, deep tissue massage releases chronic muscle tension that can be the cause of stress.
Deep tissue massage for stress management
Deep tissue massage can make you feel good physically which is highly beneficial for health and well-being both emotionally and psychologically. When the muscles are stressed, oxygen and nutrients can build up which causes an inflammatory effect and a back-log of toxins within the muscle tissue. Muscles can’t function properly under these circumstances and begin to feel sore and aching. The tension gets to a point where it affects our ability to cope raising stress levels ever higher. Deep tissue massage loosens muscles and helps to increase oxygen and blood circulation. Once normal function is restored, toxins can be flushed from the body which reduces inflammation and tension.
When treating stress, deep tissue massage has proved to be an extremely beneficial part of stress management. Systematic, rhythmical rubbing and manipulation of the muscles is one of the oldest forms of pain relief. Massage can affect the nervous system and calm the body’s natural fight or flight responses by reducing harmful stress hormones. Deep tissue massage also stimulates the lymphatic flow around the body. This flow affects tissue drainage and the immune system.
Tense muscles are also prone to injury which can cause a build up of scar tissue. Scar tissue is the body’s protection against further damage but it can restrict movement and immobilise smaller muscle groups. Scar tissue can also be increased by the toxins present in our environment and lead to irritation and inflammation in the body. The knock on effect to this is that the body produces more lactic acid in the muscles causing them to become sore and painful. Regular deep tissue massage can break down scar tissue and restore circulation enabling the muscles to move freely.

Modern massage methods often combine with other complementary therapies to provide an integrated bodywork treatment for alleviating stress. Alternative therapies such as aromatherapy, reiki and yoga can be combined with deep tissue massage to provide a comprehensive relaxation program. A trained massage therapist can also teach self-help techniques to be used at home or at work when the onset of tension threatens to spiral out of control.
Massage therapy is a well known and popular antidote for stress so consider booking an appointment if you are looking for stress relief.
Article written by 
Daniel Alexander, GoToSee Journalist

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Chutima Therapy
106 Trafalgar Street
Brighton
East Sussex
BN1 4ER

Phone: (01273) 682 129

chutima@chutimatherapy.co.uk