Is massage good for you? What type of massages should I get?

Is massage good for you? What type of massages should I get?

Massage therapy has become a common practice in health facilities, spas and fitness centers. Its popularity is due to the health benefits as well as the pleasure and feeling of relaxation it offers.

Massage means pressing, rubbing and manipulating your skin and muscles. Generally it is used for the treatment of body stress or pain.


A brief history of massages. Who invented massages and why?

Massages date back to the ancient China and Egypt 4700 years ago. These were the first countries to discover the healing power of a massage. The knowledge later spread to Greece, the roman Empire, Japan, and later the west and has been in use to date.

The first Chinese book on massage is called ‘The Yellow Emperor’ published in 2700 B.C. It was translated to English and published in 1949.

Egypt developed reflexology in 2500 B.C. Reflexology involves applying pressure to a specific section of the foot to affect a given internal organ positively.

Even though, Egyptians and the Chinese invented traditional massage practices, many people recognize Sweden to be the founder of modern massage. Furthermore, in the 1800s, a Swedish physician called Per Henrik Ling created the Swedish Gymnastic Movement. It used medical physiology and gymnastic approaches, for example stroking and squeezing, to ease physical problems.



Types of massages. How to choose which type of massages to get?

In fact, there are different massages to select depending on what your body needs. They include:

a) Reflexology: it is good for the feet and hands as it targets specific reflex areas to make you feel good, for example, after along day standing.

b) Swedish massage: this type uses different strokes and it is good for muscle relaxation and injuries.

c) Sports massage: this is designed for athletes. It manipulates their bodies to make them more productive in the field, treat injuries, and also increase flexibility.

d) Deep tissue: this uses more pressure on the strokes than the Swedish massage to reach deeper muscle tissues. It can ease chronic pain.

e) Pregnancy massage: it is for expectant mothers to help them feel better, relax and reduce back pain.

f) Shiatsu: it is a Japanese practice that improves energy and balance. Thai massage has the same effect.

g) Aromatherapy: it entails using essential oils alongside Swedish strokes. This type of massages assists with insomnia, back pain, and digestive disorders.

h) Hard-stone massage: it uses hot stones to relieve muscle tension.massage

The type of massages you need, depends on why you want it. Answering the following question may help to choose what type of massages is the best option for you. Do you have a backache? Are you an athlete? Do you have chronic pain? Or do you want a massage just to feel good and relax? Go for what you need.


Are there particular massage oils to use? What are the most beneficial oils?

For aromatherapy massages essential oils that have pleasant smells are used. The scents have a soothing effect. Other types of massages such as shiatsu, for example, also use such oils.

Oftentimes, the list of massage oils includes lavender, rose, olive oil, sesame oil, and kukui nut oil.
However, the most beneficial oils are jojoba oil, sunflower oil, apricot kernel oil, almond oil, and also fractionated coconut oil.

Jojoba is an odorless, moisturizing oil that works well as a carrier oil for aromatherapy. Almond has a nice scent and promotes healthy skin cells but it is not for those with nut allergies. Apricot will be the alternative to almond if you have nut allergy while fractionated coconut oil is great for massage strokes.

If you practice massage therapy at home, you can purchase great massage oils easily online nowadays.
For instance, if you have thin, sensitive skin, you can try Organic Ultimate Relaxation Lavender Massage Oil. This oil is hypoallergenic, and also free from nut oils or other ingredients that can cause irritation.

How often can I get a massage? What time of the day is it better for massages?

For general wellness, consider getting a deep whole body massage once a month. However, if you are getting massages for certain conditions you may need to do it more frequently, perhaps once or twice a week.

The time to get massages depends on your preference. No time is better than the other. If you like to kick-start your day with a nice massage, go for it. Some people who prefer to get it late in the evening after work to help them relax into the night.


Is Female or Male massage therapist better?

Almost every time you book your massage in US, they ask you an awkward question if you prefer a male or female massage therapist.

You can choose a female or male therapist depending on your preferences. Although, if it is a good professional massage therapist, there is no difference if they are male or female.

Statistics show that most women prefer female massage therapist, the same goes for men. However, culture and nationality also plays role here. Furthermore, some countries and religions do not let you pick the gender of your massage therapist.


What to be careful of and what to avoid? Are there any side effects associated with massage therapy?

You should not experience any harsh side effects after your massage. If you feel pain while the massage therapist works on your body, speak up. Perhaps he or she is applying too much pressure, which can make muscles more tensed and cause slight bruises. Make sure you mention any allergies you have before the massage begins especially if oils are used.


Benefits of getting massages. Are massages good for your health or they just feel good?

Massages have proven to provide health benefits and also make you feel good. Get the most out of them a rejuvenated body. Great thing that nowadays places where you can get massages are very popular and so easy to find. They are available in spas, hospitals, different business, airports and also outdoors.

Photo: Louis Hansel

Massage has been linked to health benefits such as relieving physical pain, healing injured muscles, reducing stress, blood pressure, and inflammation, improving digestion and mental health, and boosting blood circulation. Therefore, it does more than make you feel good.


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