We all know instinctively to rub or stretch an injury or to soothe an upset person by touching them in a caring way. We know, too, that relaxed deep breathing helps to calm us down and handle life more easily.
Massage includes aspects of all of these.
History of Massage
Historical records indicate that as far back as 3,000 BC massage has been used for health treatment. Chinese books on acupuncture and massage techniques, Hindu records on Ayurvedic medicine, and Greco-Roman evidence of using hot baths and oil applications for medical purposes are three examples of massage through the ages.
In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, various health spas cropped up in America, although most of these catered only to the very wealthy. Massage had another revival in the late 1960s and early 70s during the back-to-nature and earth-centered movements. Today, massage has become well-accepted in the mainstream of society and has expanded into many different styles and specialties.
How does it help?
Massage helps release tension and stress, both physical and emotional. Even the simple act of taking the time to schedule your massage helps begin the important process of slowing down and becoming aware of your physical and mental states. Habitual ways of holding our bodies in reaction to daily stressors become ingrained and we then adapt ourselves to this new posture. Because our bodies are designed holistically, or, as whole units, an imbalance in one area affects other areas. Massage helps us become more aware of these imbalances and allows us to adjust them back to a more balanced state.
Why does it help?
Massage affects every system in the body. Skin - Musculoskeletal - Nervous - Lymphatic - Digestive - Circulatory - Respiratory - "BodyMind"...
Because of the increased circulation of blood and oxygen due to massage, all of these systems are helped. Massage tends to have a domino effect...positive results on one system will often lead to positive changes in others. The body seeks a balance, so as some areas are brought into that balance, others will often follow.