Belfiore Beauty/Health Buzz Column. By Vivian Brown.
Massages have been around for about 5000 years. Ancient cultures used oils and herbs to relieve muscle pain. It not only was an early form of pain relief but produced a sense of well-being. Massages have been a part of Chinese medicine for at least 3000 years, with Physicians being the sole educator and administrator of this therapy.
Around 6 A.D. the Japanese started using massage therapy. They used the same basic body points as the Chinese but believed the points effected the Qi or “Life Force Energy” and stimulation of fluid circulation. The Japanese also incorporated finger pressure which also stimulated the nerves or shiatsu.
Massage therapy began in India over 3000 years ago and became a Hindu tradition. The use of Ayurvedic treatments such as tshanpau or “massage in the bath” could include anointing with perfumes, plus cracking the joints of fingers, toes and neck.
The Greeks as well embraced massage therapy but used it as a compliment to their fitness and gymnastics regimens. They truly believed that a healthy life included nutrition, exercise and massages.
Historians have found writings as far back as 800 A.D. depicting the use of massage therapy as part of the medical practice in treating diseases and improving health.
Through the years many myths and negativities have developed regarding the benefits of massage therapy. In addition, there were many schools using unethical training and recruiting methods. This gave massage therapy a bad reputation. New medical treatment options appeared and massage therapy was no longer a part of a physician’s training.
The 1990’s brought a rise in the awareness of the value of massage therapy as part of our wellness maintenance. More credible schools were established, spas employed accredited Massage Therapists, massage therapy clinics were started and private medical practices offered massage therapy as a wellness option. As a result, boards, regulations, certifications and more have been established to ensure the credibility of the massage professional and the practice thereof.
Massage maintenance is an important part of staying well. Having a routine massage, say once a month, can be a wonderful preventative for injury and illness. This is called a maintenance massage and can help lower your blood pressure, increase circulation, boost your immune system, move toxins that build up in the tissues into the lymph system and help flush them out. All of this takes place during and after your massage. Whether male or female, we all desire a full healthy life and massage therapy can play an important part in that journey.
There are several therapies to choose from, such as Deep Tissue which focuses on the deep layers of the muscle tissue. A Swedish massage uses light pressure for a more comforting and relaxed massage, and the Therapeutic is a medium pressure massage that targets upper layers of tight muscles, helps reduce scar tissue, minimizes adhesions and restores range of motion. Wellness massages incorporate long flowing strokes for relaxation, hot stones, infusing the skin with moisturizing shea butter and designed to heal the skin, revive muscles and restore balance and tranquility to the entire body. Reflexology is the application of pressure to the feet, hands or ears with specific hand, thumb and finger techniques. The feet and hands have zones which reflect different parts of the body. The premise is that working on these zones physically effects that part of the body in accordance with the zone.
I hope this has been educational and enlightening, or at least made you think. Until next week, take care and good health.
All of the aforementioned massages are available at both of our Rockwall locations: 2995 Horizon Rd. (972-771-8411) and The Mansions at 1650 S. John King Blvd. (972-722-8818).