THE HAND AND ARM MASSAGE
From the moment we wake up until the moment we fall asleep, we all work with our hands, as they are our anatomical tools with which we perform the day-to-day tasks of living; the simple as well as the complex. Some of us use our hands to a greater extent than others in which case they may become painful, tense and stiff. And since the hands are connected to the arms, chances are that the same hard work which applies to the hands also applies to the arms. As a consequence, the arms may suffer similar pains, tenseness, and stiffness. A mere five to ten minute Hand and Arm massage can literally work miracles in relieving all these unpleasant indications. However, a good Hand and Arm massage also bring with it a whole battery of other health benefits.
As a matter of fact, our hands and arms have scores of acupressure and reflexology points which are correlated and linked to a number of vital internal organs (appendix, pancreas, gall bladder, kidneys, stomach, brain, spleen, heart, bladder, colon, intestines, lungs) and to other remote parts of the body (sinuses, thyroid and parathyroid, hips, ovaries, testes, uterus, penis, prostate, spine, solar plexus, thymus, shoulders, knees, neck). A Hand and Arm massage, therefore, does not only result in healing the hands and arms but it also provides curative effects for such cases as poor blood circulation, arthritis, headaches, neck and shoulder pains, backache, digestive and reproductive problems, and so on and on.
Hand and Arm massages are one of the easiest massages to perform on oneself and on others, and they can be safely applied anywhere and to persons of all ages and genders; infants, young children, teens, adults, and senior citizens. Furthermore, Hand and Arm massages are harmless to people who are dealing with most health issues, whether they are slight, moderate or severe. Hand and Arm massages provide instant relief from stress, anxiety, and nervousness as it relaxes the entire body. However, Hand and Arm massages should never be performed on hands or arms that are affected by any kind of skin disease, infection, inflammation, swelling, bruises, cuts or recently broken bones, torn ligaments, ripped tendons or surgeries. If and when oils or lotions are to be used during the Hand and Arm massage therapy, an earnest verification regarding allergies should be made and any pressure applied must be tailored to the client’s tolerance level to pain or discomfort.
A full Hand and Arm massage should ideally begin with the biceps, the muscles in front of the upper arms and those should be pressed and stroked upwards along the biceps from the elbows toward the shoulders and then back and forth across the tendons. When the biceps have had their thorough workout the triceps, the muscles in the back of the upper arms should be approached with similarly gentle pressing and stroking movement but this time moving downwards from the armpits down to the elbows. Moving on down the arms by kneading the flesh, pressing the muscles and stroke the tendons; the massage therapist should slowly make his or her way toward the hand that is awaiting its turn for a therapeutic workout. The hand portion of the Hand and Arm massage treatment should begin by gently pulling each finger and thumb away from the palm it attaches to while applying firm pressure to any painful or aching areas and then soothing them with moderate rubbing and rolling. The four fingers and the thumb should then be pushed upwards as far as they will go without causing undue discomfort. The thumbs should be used to massage the palms of the hands by applying firm circular motions through the entire palm while intermittently stopping in various areas, particularly those which are sore, to apply steady and direct pressure for a number of seconds. For a soothing effect on the palms and in the closing of the Hand and Arm massage therapy session, the thumbs should stroke the surface of the palms in an up and down movement.
A therapeutic Hand and Arm massage can display love, appreciation, and devotion more explicitly than any other free gift that anyone can think of. Just ask anyone who has ever been on the receiving or giving end of one.
If you have back pain or neck pain, you guessed it; massage therapy can help you get rid of that as well.
The questions about massage therapy that we all have usually revolved around cost, finding a practitioner and what procedure we need.
THE DEEP TISSUE MASSAGE
Deep tissue massage is a kind of massage therapy that centers its attention primarily on the ailing, the sore, the painful and the distressed deeper layers of muscles and connective tissues. Its therapeutic benefits are particularly beneficial for chronically tight and constricted areas such as in cases of stiff necks, tightness of lower backs and aching shoulders. The strokes of the Deep Tissue massage are not very different from those of any other types of massage therapies but they are slower and with more pressure applied to reach deeper while focusing on troubled areas.
The Deep Tissue massage is so important in certain painful contractions and spasms due to stress, strain or injury because that is the only way to get to the root of the problem as it is embedded deep under the surface where adhesions which are the causes of the pain and rigidity in muscles, tendons, and ligaments are found. Left to their own wills, adhesions obstruct circulation in the affected areas to limit the blood flow which leads to the pain, the restricted movement and, ultimately, to the inflammation. By applying firm pressure and direct friction across the grain and fabric of the muscles, the Deep Tissue massage aims to break down those troublesome adhesions to restore proper blood circulation, reinstate full movement and heal the inflamed tissues. The therapists performing the Deep Tissue massage may use fingertips, knuckles, hands, elbows, and forearms during the therapy session and alternate them during the various stages. Clients are frequently asked to take in deep breaths as the therapists dig deeply into a particularly tense area.
Because the Deep Tissue massage is somewhat intense, it should not be applied under the following conditions:
* Infectious skin disease, rashes, bruises, inflamed skin, tumors or open and unhealed wounds.
* Immediately or soon after surgery or recent fractures.
* Immediately or soon after chemotherapy or radiation treatments, unless approved by the client’s physician.
* Osteoporosis patients, unless approved by the treating doctor.
* Clients who are prone to blood clots.
* Heart disease patients, unless recommended by their cardiologists.
* Pregnant women should get their massage treatments from professionals who are certified in pregnancy massage.
* Abdominal hernia.
The good news is that Deep Tissue massage really works and it usually works very fast. Often, clients will walk into a session with excruciating pain and walk out a couple of hours later with smiles of relief on their faces. The bad news is that, depending on their tolerance level to pain, most clients experience it to one degree or another at a certain point during the session. In addition, there is usually some measure of soreness immediately after the treatment which can last up to an entire day. However, the pain of the Deep Tissue massage therapy and the lingering soreness afterward is nothing compared to the pain before the treatment and it comes with the knowledge that it will all be over very shortly. The massage therapist may suggest applying an icepack to the sore area but it is rarely severe enough to warrant it.
When most massage therapies are aimed at relaxation of the body and mind and the massage is generally applied to the entire body, the Deep Tissue massage sets its sights on precise problematic areas such as those afflicted with:
* Chronic or acute pains
* Diminished mobility or limited range of motion.
* Healing areas after traumas or injuries caused by falls, sports injuries, whiplashes from car accidents and so on.
* Strains from repetitive motion such as carpal tunnel syndrome.
* Pains due to incorrect posturing of the body.
* Pains from osteoarthritis. According to a study conducted and reported by the Consumer Reports magazine, over 34,000 people classified Deep Tissue massage therapy as being more effective in alleviating osteoarthritis pain than physical therapy, exercise, prescribed or over-the-counter drugs, glucosamine, diets, acupuncture or chiropractic treatments.
* Fibromyalgia. Statistics have shown that Deep Tissue massage is more successful in easing symptoms of Fibromyalgia than any other available curative remedy.
* Muscle tension, contractions or spasms.
To flush out metabolic waste from the massaged tissues, clients should drink plenty of water after the Deep Tissue massage therapy and enjoy the fact that they are as good as new again.
Chances are, you’ve probably been held back by worry and just plain not knowing all the details about massage.
You can literally be in excruciating pain and the same day be completely pain free after a simple 20-30 minute massage therapy session.
THE FOOT MASSAGE
Some 2,500 ago and during Lord Buddha’s time in ancient India, a physician named Jivaka Komarabhacca developed a complex message system which somehow ended up in Thailand where it was passed on by word of mouth from one generation to the next and is still practiced today in much the same way as it was so many centuries ago. When the Thai alphabet was developed under King Ramkamhaeng the Great, scholars began recording all aspects of Thai society, culture and healing practices which, of course, included massage therapy. Unfortunately, a future generation had little left as almost all were destroyed when Thailand’s capital of Ayuthaya was captured by the Burmese invaders in 1776. All that remained of the recorded ancient traditions was that which, under the directives of King Rama III who wanted to preserve as much as possible, was engraved on the walls of Wat Poh, one of the most famous temples in Bangkok.
Based on the ancient teachings regarding massage therapies, many different kinds are practiced in modern-day Thailand. The Foot massage is one of the most interesting of them all due to the fact that its principles are simple while its practice is quite a bit more complicated as the force which is applied to the foot by the massaging hands must be exceedingly accurate as it is directed toward particular nerves of the foot. The Thai believe that each part of the foot has a direct link to another remotely located part of the body such as a vital organ or a system. Therefore, applying pressure and massaging a certain area of the foot influences the soft tissues of that particular area of the foot as well as the other.
As a general rule, the Foot massage is much more effective when the foot is bare as opposed to being clad with socks or stockings. There are several basic techniques that are used by just about every Foot massage therapist and they are:
* Sweeping and Rubbing. Most Foot massages begin with bringing an increased supply of blood into the foot by rubbing its surface lightly but long enough to create the desired warmth and the rhythm of movement.
* Thumb Walking. The thumbs are used to apply more direct and firm pressure to various parts of the foot as well as to loosen the tense tendons which run along its outside edge.
* Toe Rotation. The toes are very sensitive and care should be taken when manipulating them by either rotating each toe individually or by gently pulling them upwards and outwards while squeezing gently.
* Kneading. Kneading is accomplished by firmly but not harshly pressing and rotating the knuckles of a fisted hand back and forth across the sole of the foot, from its heel to its toes.
* Cupping. This is a simple squeezing of the entire foot with an up and down motion of one hand while cupping it with the other.
The benefits of a good Foot massage are many:
* Firmly pressing and massaging the base of the fourth toe heals an ailing heart.
* Pressing and massaging the base of the second toe stimulates the lungs and the bronchial system for improved breathing.
* Pressing and rolling the area between the first and second thumb relieves headaches.
* Massaging between the third and fourth toe relaxes tired eyes and improves vision.
* Stretching and pulling the big toe alleviates pain caused by sinusitis.
* Rotating pressure at the ball of the foot will ease stomachaches and heal the kidneys, the bladder, and the entire excretory system.
* Applying pressure to the front of the heel delivers remedial effects to the male and female genital glands.
* Stretching the skin backward and forwards under both sides of the anklebone is therapeutic to the reproductive tracts of men and women.
* Pulling the knuckle of any toe backward along the instep eases spinal pain and improves posture.
* Holding the foot between two hands and rubbing the top of the foot between the first and second toe with one thumb which rubbing the top of the foot between the fourth and the fifth toe with the other, relieves the pain of the inner ear and the chest.
* Massaging the inner and outer edges of the foot is beneficial to the diaphragm.
* Pushing and massaging the soft spot beneath the anklebone reduces the pain from the sciatic nerve and stimulates the lymphatic system to cleanse the body of bacteria and toxins.
* Enfolding and rotating the toes achieves overall relaxation and a sense of well-being.
* With so much pressing, massaging, rolling, gyrating, pulling, stretching and stroking; all the soft tissues of the foot itself become relaxed and invigorated.
That all changes right now with the release of the Massage Therapy eBook which tells you everything you need to know about massage!
The answer to these problems is Massage Therapy, which has been around for thousands of years to relive pain.