More Than Skin Deep: Why therapeutic massage works

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I don’t know of anything more personal than having a massage. Having you hair done or going to the doctor does not compare to taking off your clothes and having a person you don’t know rub all over you. Because of this, many people have yet to enjoy the experience and reap the benefits of this service.

Massage parlors have been the butt of jokes for years, but today’s therapeutic massage isn’t regarded as just something that feels good. Pain management and stress relief are among the many reasons people are seeking the services of qualified massage professionals.

Therapists with credentials from the American Massage Therapy Association are certified to help ensure your experience will be a good one. A licensed massage therapist must complete an extensive course that requires them to know all kinds of medical stuff that even surprised me when doing my research on this. They must also pass certification testing that is accredited nationwide. These licensed individuals are professionals in every aspect of the word.

For the active individual or for pain the workaholic feels from sitting at a desk or standing on his feet all day, massage has brought new hope of relief.

The stressed-out homemaker is another one who can greatly benefit from the routine massage by helping to get rid of the “Had it up to here!” feeling that can sometimes accompany the job of the stay-at-home mom or dad.

There is a reason the experience makes you feel good and makes you feel happy even after a few days have passed. The process actually releases endorphins in the brain, thereby making a happier person. More endorphins also mean better sleep.

The sedentary individual who seems to hurt all over can also benefit from the production of increased endorphins, but massage has an even more important effect for them. The massage therapist uses techniques that are specifically designed to increase circulation and eliminate toxins from the lymphatic system. The increase in circulation and detoxification can make a huge difference when the body hurts all over.

I have had countless massages from many different therapists and having the right person makes all the difference. Documentation and a through consultation should be done prior to your massage by any professional therapist. Another important thing is to be in an environment that makes you feel content and helps you feel relaxed.

If you have a serious pain issue or just happen to have a hurt spot that won’t go away, massage will help the body heal and bring a smile back to your face.

Dear Scott: What is the difference between a Swedish massage and a deep tissue massage?

Answer: Swedish massage is a gentle-to-firm pressure technique ranging from long, gliding strokes to kneading and tapping. This is a very relaxing massage that drains away tension and evaporates stress.

Deep tissue massage is used to access deeper muscle and connective tissue. It releases adhesions and scar tissue, improving range of motion, and lengthens muscles that have become shortened from tension and overuse. Expect to feel a little discomfort during and after the process, and maybe even the next day but your body will feel great after a day or two.

Hot Stone Massage is also a favorite, using warm stones to relieve stress and align the body’s energy fields.

TIP OF THE WEEK: Try to keep the chatter down during the massage so the therapist can concentrate while you relax and enjoy.

SCOTT TERWILLIGER, AN AIKEN SALON OWNER AND MASTER STYLIST, CAN BE REACHED AT SCOTT.
TERWILLIGER@HOTMAIL.COM.


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