Massage therapy is a systemic rubbing or scientific manipulation of soft tissues intended to facilitate circulation, flexibility, healing process, promote health and well-being. The Swedish massage has a history extending back to several thousand years. Recorded in writing as far back as 2000 B.C, massage was a part of many ancient cultures including that of the Chinese, Egyptians, Greeks, Hindus, Japanese, and Romans, and was often considered to be a medicinal practice.
There are different types of massage which includes
- Swedish massage
- Deep tissue massage
- Thai massage
- Hot stone massage
- Vibro massage
- Reflexology massage
- Underwater massage
- Ayurvedic massage
- Aroma massage
- Dry brush massage
- Powder (herbal) massage
- Massage dilates superficial blood vessels and increases the rate of blood flow in our body. Deep massage promotes venous blood flow and will increase the cardiac stroke volume.
- Thrombosis or blood clotting which results from poor venous return to the heart can be prevented by massage as it increases the venous return.
- Massage reduces muscle spasm by rapidly reducing the concentration of lactate in the muscle cells. The increased blood supply of muscles induced by massage naturally improves its nutrition.
- Massage increases the depth of respiratory movements as well as the intensity of tissue respiration and thus improves overall bodily functions.
- Abdominal massage improves appetite and by its reflex effect upon the glands,it increases the secretion of the digestive fluids. It also improves the peristaltic movements of the intestines which results in better absorption and elimination.
- Massage increases the number of blood cells in our body by bringing into circulation from the blood which got accumulated in the capillaries of the liver and spleen in great numbers.
- Massage helps in elimination by encouraging oxidation, cell exchange and improved venous blood flow and lymph flow.
- Goats GC. Review Massage-the scientific basis of an ancient art: part 2. Physiological and therapeutic effects. Br J Sp Med. 1994;28(3).
- Kellogg JH. The Art of Massage: A Practical Manual for the Nurse, the Student and the Practitioner. 2nd Battle Creek, Mich. Modern medicine publishing co.; 1897. pp. 24, 31, 34, 36, 38.