THE SPORTS MASSAGE
Describing it in a nutshell, the Sports Massage is a specialty massage technique that was created and developed with athletes in mind. And as such, the Sports Massage prepares the bodies of professional and amateur sportspersons for their best possible performance before participating in a sport and it then helps their bodies to recover afterward. However, just because the Sports Massage was designed for those participating in sports, you do not have to be an athlete to reap the benefits from it. After all, athletes are not the only people who get injured and they by no means hold the monopoly on pain.
The Sports Massage is, in effect, one of several forms of the Swedish massage and it promotes increased circulation of blood and lymph fluids in the body. To break down or dissolve adhesions, which are painful clumps or knots within the muscles, and to widen the range of motion of stiffened joints, trigger point therapy is incorporated as part of the Sports Massage session. There are four different types of Sports Massage therapies and their distinction is made primarily by its time of performance in relation to the athlete’s sport activity. In other words, it is mainly their timing which makes them different from one another. The four types of Sports Massages are designated as follows:
* Pre-Event Sports Massage. The Pre-Event Sports Massage is a vigorous but shortened massage treatment that lasts anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes and is performed right before the sports event. Its main focus is on those specific parts of the athlete’s body which will be most intensively involved in the action.
* Post-Event Sports Massage. The Post-Event Sports Massage is performed within an hour or two of the event and its aim is to return bodies to their normal state by helping them recover from the hard work in the shortest time possible.
* Restorative Sports Massage. The Restorative Sports Massage is applied while the athlete is in training and it helps him or her practice harder while, at the same time, decreasing the chances of incurring injuries.
* Rehabilitative Sports Massage. The Rehabilitative Sports Massage is there to pick up the proverbial pieces by treating the injuries which resulted from the exertion of the sport. The foremost objective of Rehabilitative Sports Massage is to relieve pain and to return the body to its former, pre-injury state.
So, whether you are a professional or an amateur athlete or simply a citizen of the world who happens to have a precise problem such as a sore knee from your morning jog around the block or a frozen should because you slept on the wrong side of the bed or a stiff back because you forgot to use your legs when lifting the grocery back and so on, do yourself a favor and see a Sports Massage therapist. And the best way to find one is by getting referrals from reliable sources or by doing some research. The National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) and the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) suggests that you ask the following questions when interviewing a potential Sports Massage therapist or any other type of massage therapist, for that matter:
* Did you graduate from a program accredited by the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation (COMTA)?
* Are you licensed or registered as a massage therapist in this state?
* Are you certified by the National Certification Board of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB)?
* Do you have training in any specific massage modalities?
Beyond all that, you should just relax and enjoy the process while your body is being directed onto the path of healing.
Gain More Flexibility, Mobility And Ability To Be Active Through The Use Of Simple Massage!
THE SWEDISH MASSAGE
The Swedish Massage, which was conceived by Henri Peter Ling, a Swedish physiologist at the University of Stockholm, was publically introduced in 1812 as a means of improving blood circulation, of relieving muscle stress and pain, of increasing flexibility and of promoting total relaxation of the body and mind. The Swedish Massage was imported into the United States in the 1850s by Charles and George Taylor, two American brothers practicing medicine in New York who opened the first two Swedish clinics in the New World; the first in Boston, Massachusetts and the second in Washington, D. C. where Ulysses. S. Grant, a famed general during the American Civil War and the 18th President of the United States (1869 – 1877), allegedly frequented regularly for Swedish Massage treatments.
Since its inception in the early part of the 19th century, the Swedish Massage had become one of the most widely used massage techniques in the Western world and it is the basis for a number of other Western massage therapies which include the Sports Massage, the Deep Tissue Massage, and the Aromatherapy. To attain its objectives, the Swedish Massage utilizes seven basic therapeutic movements:
* Effleurage. These are long gliding and soothing strokes that are aimed toward the heart while tracing the natural curves of the body. Massage oils are often used to facilitate smooth movement and to warm the muscles.
* Petrissage. These are movements that use strokes that lift, roll or knead soft body tissues. This process draws blood into the area and helps relax tense muscles and fascia as well as the rest of the body.
* Pinpoint Pressure. These movements are directed toward points that are knotted or hardened and painful to the touch. The pressure is directed to these points in order to break them down and release the muscle.
* Deep Friction. These are very small circular movements that press slightly below the surface of the skin and onto the muscle beneath it. These strokes relax muscles that contracted and tensed due to overuse or as a result of emotional stress at their deeper levels.
* Skin Rolling. This movement involves pinching a fold of skin and moving it forward in a rolling motion. This process lifts skin off its connective tissues to promote better blood circulation for the improvement of skin tone.
* Tapotement. This movement requires rhythmical tapping with cupped hands or with hands set in the karate-chop position. This practice awakens the body into vitality and the tingling sensation of energy and health.
* Finger Brushing. This movement is usually performed at the closing of the Swedish Massage treatment session as fingertips are lightly brushing against the surface of the skin to relax the stimulated muscles while calming the nervous system.
The most outstanding health benefits of the Swedish massage are in:
* Relaxing of tired, tense or overused muscles.
* Improving blood circulation without overburdening the heart.
* Increasing flexibility and widening the range of motion by stretching the body’s soft tissues: muscles, tendons, ligaments, skin, joints and connective tissues.
* Stimulating the nervous system while simultaneously relaxing the nerve endings.
* Decreasing the recovery time of strained muscles by cleansing the tissues of lactic acid and uric acid as well as all other toxins and metabolic wastes.
* Bringing the skin to a healthier and more vibrant appearance of wellness.
* Helping the client achieve a feeling of connectedness and body awareness for maintaining a better posture and stance.
* Alleviating pain and any associated discomfort due to muscle tension, fractures, sprains, sciatica, and stiff joints.
* Reducing emotional distress.
The Truth About Massage Therapy!
THE ZEN MASSAGE
There are very many massage techniques in existence today; some of them stemming from the far Eastern World of antiquity while others originated in the more recent years of the Western world. Although they were born out of very different philosophical and cultural persuasions, each of these obtainable massage techniques provides some aspects of relaxation but none does it as thoroughly as does the one which was born in Austin, Texas and christened as the Zen Massage. Zen, by the way, is an ancient Chinese discipline which means “meditation” and it focuses on the meditative portion of the dharma practice and the experiential wisdom which is also called the zazen or the path of enlightenment. It, therefore, steers away from theoretical knowledge and theology.
By reaching into the very heart of hearts of every cell of the body, the Zen Massage epitomizes what utter and unequivocal calm, peace and a relaxed state of being feels. Combining an assortment of highly sophisticated and time tested and proven techniques, the Zen Massage affords its subjects a spontaneous soothing and an energy balanced experience of picture-perfect enormity. The various features which are part and parcel of the entire therapeutic Zen Massage treatment are as follows:
* The Heated Stones. This is a curative procedure that makes use of hot stones which are moved along the subject’s muscles in smooth gliding motions and well-calculated pressure.
* The Hot Towel Pore Cleanse. This purifying treatment involves the use of freshly steamed towels applied to the entire body. The heat of the towels opens the pores to cleanse and revitalize the outer skin (epidermis) while also reaching into the lower layers, the dermis, and the hypodermis.
* The Bio-Mat. The Bio-Mat calms down and relaxes tight and sore muscles while it quiets and soothes irritated nerves. The Bio-Mat transports the subject into the realm of a complete state of wellbeing on the physical as well as on the psychological levels.
* The Aromatherapy. Pure essential oils are used for this aromatherapy treatment to help the subject relax as stress is melted away and complete balance and wellness overcome him or her.
* The Peppermint Bliss Foot Massage. The peppermint bliss foot massage smoothes and softens tired and aching feet for a feeling of harmony and peace which radiates from the tips of the toes to the crown of the head.
The Zen Massage therapy is a noninvasive and natural massage treatment which has been clinically proven to be completely safe while being highly effective in relieving stress which has also been proven to be the leading cause of countless physiological and mental health problems. Some of the most significant benefits that have been attributed to the effectiveness of Zen Massage therapy are:
* The lowering of high blood pressure which in medical terms is referred to as hypertension and has been often spoken about as the “silent killer.”
* The improvement of the REM sleep. The REM stands for rapid eye movement and it is characterized by, you guessed it, rapid eye movements. It also includes rapid low voltage EEG which is commonly spoken of as brain waves. On average, a healthy adult spends approximately 20 to 25 percent of a total night’s sleep in the REM phase and it is essential to good health.
* The decrease of fatigue of the body and the mind which naturally leads to enhanced concentration and improved motor skills.
In conclusion, Zen Massage therapy helps its subjects to release their worries, unwind their bodies, relax their tensions, quiet their minds and ease their senses.
How To Find A Great Therapist!