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Why Should I Receive a Massage?


A Brief History Of Massage Did you know massage is considered to be among the oldest of all treatments used by man? Chinese records dating back three thousand years documented its use. The ancient Hindus, Persians, and Egyptians used forms of massage for some ailments, and Hippocrates wrote papers recommending the use of "rubbing and friction" for joint and circulatory problems. Today, massage is an accepted part of many physical rehabilitation programs and has proven beneficial to many chronic conditions such as low-back pain, arthritis, and bursitis. Massage helps relieve the stress and tension of everyday living.

Can Massage, Bodywork, Or Somatic Therapies Benefit Me? Massage provides relief to people from all walks of life — the weekend or competitive athlete, the home gardener, and the overstressed executive struggling to keep pace in today’s economy. Administrators, laborers, service industry employees — anyone can feel a need for massage at some point in time. The older population, as well, will benefit from massage, as it enhances flexibility and circulation. The bedridden can also be helped in this regard. There are some conditions where massage is not recommended, however. Your practitioner should ask for information regarding any specific health conditions from which you may be suffering in order to determine if massage, bodywork, or somatic therapies are contraindicated. In some cases, the practitioner may need your doctor’s permission before providing services.

Will My Insurance Cover Massage Or Bodywork Services?

If you are in a car accident or have a job related injury covered by workers’ compensation, insurance may cover massage, bodywork, or somatic therapies when prescribed by a physician. If your insurance covers chiropractic or osteopathic services, the services of a bodywork professional may be covered when prescribed by a chiropractor or osteopath. Therapies provided as part of the prescribed treatment by a physician or registered physical therapist are often covered. The best thing to do is check with your insurance company to see exactly what is covered under what circumstances.

Types Of Massage, Bodywork, And Somatic Therapies

There are more than one hundred fifty variations of massage, bodywork, and somatic therapy techniques. Many practitioners utilize an integration of techniques. Following are brief descriptions of just a few:

Swedish Massage - The most common form of massage, Swedish mainly relaxes the muscles and eases aches and pains.

Deep Tissue Massage - Deeper pressure is used to affect the sublayers of musculature and fascia and break down adhesions - places where the muscle has become chronically contracted. Deep tissue helps with chronic muscular pain and injury rehabilitation, and reduces inflammation related pain.

Sports Massage - For the athlete, sports massage techniques are utilized at all stages: pre-event, post-event, during training, and to expedite rehabilitation after injury.

Trigger Point Therapy - A trigger point is a hyper-irritable area in a tight band of muscle. Trigger point therapy uses focused, sustained pressure to interrupt the neural signals that cause both the trigger point and the pain.

Ashiatsu - In Japanese, "Ahsi" translates into foot and "Atsu" into pressure. Ashiatsu is a barefoot massage technique in which the therapist delivers deep, broad, consistent pressure while utilizing their feet and body weight. Parallel bars are used above the massage table for balance, support, and client safety.

Reflexology - A non-intrusive complementary health therapy, based on the theory that different points on the feet, lower leg, hands, face or ears correspond with different areas of the body.

What the heck is somatic therapy anyway? It is a holistic therapy that studies the relationship between the mind and body in regard to psychological past. The theory behind somatic therapy is that trauma symptoms are the effects of instability of the Autonomic Nervous System.

Finding A Qualified Practitioner

Your massage, bodywork, or somatic therapy services should be provided by a professional who has received proper training. Don’t hesitate to ask practitioners about their background, training, and experience. Referrals from friends can usually be relied upon. Members of Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals have met stringent requirements regarding training and must adhere to a strict code of ethics in order to remain members. ABMP offers a referral service to the public and will provide you with a list of practitioners in your area. For information, call 800-458-2267, or visit their website at www.massagetherapy.com.

Taking Care Of Yourself

Care of your body should be at the top of your priority list. You will feel and look better if you take the necessary steps regarding health and nutrition in this age of increased longevity. Stress relief alone can improve your vitality and state of mind. Massage, bodywork, and somatic therapies could play an important role in your life.

Massage For Pain And Emotional Problems

With many chronic ailments, massage can relieve the pain and help heal. As with physical problems, emotional problems may also be stimulated into self-healing with massage. In many cases, this helps eliminate the need to take harmful chemical drugs, which will unnecessarily burden the liver, kidneys, and other vital organs.


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