Massage a brief overview

Massage is one of the oldest forms of healing modalities know to man. The therapeutic use of touch has been an integral part of every culture at least since ancient Egypt. Until the arrival of pharmaceuticals in the XIX century various forms of massage were used to ease pain and aid healing of muscles, bones and organs. In the modern era manual therapy has been gradually relegated as a go to treatment in favour of  more medicalised approaches, usually involving pill popping and surgical interventions.  Massage however remains a very safe and effective way of stimulating body’s own healing processes and if done well can often abate the need for more serious protocols. 

The most common and best documented benefits of massage include:

  • Pain relief (especially back, neck and shoulders)
  • Chronic tension relief
  • Reduced anxiety
  • Help with depression
  • Reduce blood pressure
  • Increase post injury recovery rate
  • Prevention of fibrosis or scar tissue
  • Increase in lymph flow
  • Improvement in sleep

Why massage works:

The effectiveness of massage is based on it’s ability to help muscle regrowth and remodeling. The pain relief effect that massage can stimulate is to do with it’s ability to block pain pathways. The psychological effects of massage are linked with activation of parasympathetic nervous system which  is involved in release of endorphins and serotonin. 

Different types of massage:

There are many massage modalities, some of them involve use of oil, incense, hot stones and various implements. There are even massages involving use of sound such as gong sound baths. The most common forms of massage in the west are Sports & Remedial Massage and Deep Tissue. Both of these have it’s roots in western traditions such as Swedish Massage and involves manipulation of muscle and soft tissues of the body with specific techniques such as effleurage and petrissage. Additionally modern massage techniques often use methods that are based on passive muscle stretching and muscle activation techniques. These are focused on targeting the nervous system and it’s role in controlling muscle tone and flexibility. Some massage techniques use very light touch whilst others can be rather firm. Sports & Remedial Massage and Deep Tissue are on the latter part of the spectrum. The quality of touch very much depends on individual practitoner’s ability to listen and adapt to their client’s needs.

How does massage session looks like:

I offer 2 types of massage, Sports & Remedial and Deep Tissue. Each session last 60 minutes and is tailored to your specific needs. Before each massage session we will spend some time investigating your current issues and decide what approach would serve your best. The treatment is done on a massage table and requires you to wear sports underwear. Depending on your circumstances I may recommend some stretches and take home exercises to help the recovery process. At the beginning of the process I will make a recommendation on how many treatments would be required to help resolve the issue you came with.

To book your Sports & Remedial Massage or Deep Tissue treatment in St Albans click here.