Therapeutic massage is among the oldest of the healing arts. It is found in all civilizations from ancient Egyptian and roman times to present day spas, health clubs and wellness centers. Hands-on techniques are used to manipulate the muscular structure and soft tissues of the body. It helps the body’s own mechanisms for healing itself. There are several styles and techniques, and each has its own focus.
The therapeutic effects of massage have been supported by scientific research. The benefits of massage are many. Massage can help release chronic muscular tension and pain, improve circulation, increase joint flexibility, reduce mental and physical fatigue and stress, promote faster healing of injured muscular tissue, improve posture, and reduce blood pressure. Massage and bodywork is also known to promote better sleep, improve concentration, reduce anxiety and create an overall sense of well-being.
Santa Clara Custom Chiropractic in Santa Clara, CA offers several types of massage:
Swedish Massage is the most widely used massage technique today. It includes long gliding strokes, kneading, friction, vibration, and percussion. Strokes are directed towards the heart with emphasis on blood circulation through muscle tissues.
It can be used effectively for reduction of stress and anxiety, and to induce deep relaxation. It can stimulate or sedate the nervous system and enhance cardiovascular functions. It also promotes improved digestive function and assimilation of nutrients. This type of massage is appropriate as a preliminary stretch and warm-up before exercise. It helps prevent soreness and relieve muscle spasms. It can help the body heal itself more readily after muscle injury and has the ability to break down adhesions and bring more flexibility to those areas.
Deep Tissue Massage
Deep tissue focuses on specific areas for deeper relief using slow stroke techniques. It is meant to affect the deeper layers of the muscles and fascia. These techniques require advanced training and a thorough understanding of anatomy and physiology.
It helps with chronic muscular pain and injury rehabilitation and reduces inflammation-related pain caused by arthritis and tendinitis. This technique has the ability to improve range of motion and relieve muscle tension and increase, maintain or improve muscle flexibility. It is generally integrated with other massage techniques.
Developed in Japan, shiatsu is a finger-pressure technique utilizing traditional acupuncture points. Using pressure applied to your body’s meridians to harmonize and balance energy flow, this treatment stimulates the circulatory, lymphatic and hormonal systems.
Similar to acupressure, shiatsu concentrates on unblocking the flow of life energy and restoring balance in the meridians and organs in order to promote self-healing. The benefits of this treatment may include pain relief and a strengthening of the body’s resistance to disease and disorder.
Hot Stones Massage
Hot stone massage is very effective to help relieve muscle pain. This technique allows the therapist to work deeper into the fascia in order to release the tension.
The therapist uses smooth heated lava stones to massage and balance the body. They can either be placed on a sore muscle or used a massage tool. It is both therapeutic and very relaxing.
Massage does not include the diagnosis of a specific pathology, the prescription of drugs, spinal manipulation or those acts of physical therapy that are outside the scope of massage therapy.