Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Treat Mother to a Massage- A Look at Deep Tissue Massage and Swedish Massage

Being a mother means that you are busy with many things on the go at once and sometimes finding time for yourself to relax, and unwind those tired muscles is not an easy feat. Keep in mind that in order to be the best mother you can be you need to remain in excellent health. One way to do that is to take care of yourself by treating yourself to a massage every now and again. If you can squeeze in a massage once a month then that is terrific but if not then schedule one whenever you feel you need it most. There are a multitude of types of massages you can indulge in but here we will take a look at two in particular- the deep tissue massage and the Swedish massage.

What is a deep tissue massage exactly?

Besides stretching, a deep tissue massage can help alleviate the bad effects of too much stress and tension being put on the neck, back and shoulders and the legs (calves and thighs). A deep tissue massage is a type of massage technique that focuses particular importance on the deeper layers of muscle tissue. The primary aim of deep tissue massage is to release the pent up patterns of tension in the human body by way of slow, smooth strokes and deep finger pressure on the areas that are contracted, either following or going across the muscle fibers, the fascia or the tendons.

A deep tissue massage is not the exact same as a relaxing, soothing massage as the number one aim is to decrease the amount of stiffness in the body as well as the pain that has built up in the muscles that are already showing signs of being ultra sensitive and irritated. The good news in all of this is that if the deep tissue massage is done correctly by a trained professional then you should begin to feel better than new again within a short period of time, generally a day or two.

What is the reason behind having a deep tissue massage?

The reason behind a deep tissue massage is to loosen, or if you like, unstick the fibers of the muscles of the body while at the very same time, releasing tension and stress that has built up. Deep tissue massage also serves to get rid of harmful toxins from the body and it soothes and relaxes the muscles, bringing them back to their normal state. Basically deep tissue massage has at its root two express purposes- it is corrective and it is extremely therapeutic.

What are the benefits of deep tissue massage?

Deep tissue massage is beneficial for both the health and well being of the receiver. When muscles are stressed, both oxygen and nutrients become blocked or partially blocked and this leads to inflammation, which causes toxins to start to build up in the muscle tissue. A deep tissue massage in turn helps to loosen the tissue of the muscles while at the same time it releases harmful toxins from the muscles and makes sure that the oxygen and blood begins to circulate as freely and as easily as possible. A great deal of pent up harmful toxins are released during a deep tissue massage and for that reason it is strongly recommended that the person receiving the massage drink plenty of water after the session is over. Water is the very best way to eliminate toxins effectively and safely from the human body.

What is a Swedish massage exactly?

Swedish massage is actually a blanket term that makes reference to a multitude of massage techniques that are specifically geared towards relaxing and soothing muscles by applying pressure to them against deeper muscles and bones. Swedish massage involves rubbing in the same direction as the flow of blood that is returning to the heart. Swedish massage got its name from a Swedish doctor named Per Henrik Ling who developed it as far back as the 1700s.

What is the reason or purpose behind Swedish massage?

The number one purpose or reason to have a Swedish massage is that it serves to increase the flow of oxygen in the blood and by so doing also releases toxins from the over worked muscles. Swedish massage reduces the recovery time from muscular strain due to flushing the tissues of lactic acid, uric acid as well as other types of metabolic wastes. A Swedish massage increases circulation without putting a strain on the heart. Having a Swedish massage means that the ligaments and tendons are stretched and this helps to keep them healthy, as well as pliable and supple which is a good thing.

But that is not all. A Swedish massage stimulates both the skin and the nervous system and it soothes the nerves, keeping them calm and stable. A Swedish massage reduces a heavy stress load on the system, both in terms of emotional as well as physical stress and many programs that involve stress management take into account the many therapeutic benefits of Swedish massage. More and more physicians and members of the medical community are incorporating Swedish massage into their practice for a variety of medical reasons.

What specific techniques are utilized when it comes to Swedish massage?

Swedish massage involves a number of techniques and these include effleurage, petrissage, friction, vibration, percussion, and finally, passive and active movements. There is most often a well-orchestrated sequence of techniques involved in Swedish massage. Let us briefly take a look at each of them:

Effleurage- This is gliding strokes with the palms of the hands, the thumbs and/or the fingertips.
Petrissage- This involves kneading movements with the hands, the thumbs and/or the fingers.
Friction- This technique involves circular pressures with the palms of the hands, the thumbs and/or the fingers.
Vibration- This technique involves oscillatory movements that either serve to shake or else vibrate the body.
Percussion- This technique involves a brisk tapping with the fingers, and is sometimes referred to as hacking by masseuses.
Passive and active movements- This technique involves both elements of bending and stretching.

What are the benefits of having a Swedish massage?

A Swedish massage is an all over stress reliever for the body and a delight for the senses. This kind of massage is one you will never regret having mothers and will want to revisit time and time again. A Swedish massage is relaxing, soothing, invigorating and feels extremely good to the body. A Swedish massage affects the glands, as well as the muscles and the nerves. It also helps promote excellent circulation throughout the body. Health and well being is improved ten fold after having a Swedish massage.

Do your part to ensure a successful massage

It is important to make note of the fact that a massage, whether it is deep tissue or otherwise, is not by any means a cure-all for every problem that occurs in a muscle. As a client you must do your part as well to ensure a successful massage and you must help to contribute to your own excellent state of health. You should take the time to learn particular methods for strengthening your back muscles in order to avoid developing premature fatigue of the upholding musculature. Posture plays a paramount role in muscle stress therefore when sitting or standing be aware that a shift in position is a beneficial way to relieve pressure in the spinal column.

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