Massage has been used since the dawn of time. We see nurturing touch administered by primates while grooming each other. In humans, mothers intuitively use various massage techniques to care for an infant. One example is a mother burping her child.
This technique is called tapotement which can be used for loosening phlem in the lungs, asthma, and to excite the nervous system pre- sporting event. It can also be used after a relaxing total body massage to help the person wake up before going about their day.
Another example can be seen when a mother is rocking (jostling) her baby to sleep. When jostling is performed light and rhythmically, it can help calm the nervous system, promoting deep relaxation and a sense of well being. There are numerous human interactions that rely on nurturing and therapeutic touch. The omission of this can lead to developmental issues in children (institutional autism) and depression in adults.
Massage Therapy has been used in ancient civilizations such as India, Egypt, China, Japan, Greece, and Rome. These civilizations used massage in conjunction with other modalities to promote healing of minor injuries, relieve pain, and prevent illnesses.
In modern times, due to our understanding of human anatomy, physiology and psychology, massage can be used as a form of therapy to aid in minor musculoskeletal injuries, prevent compensation patterns from developing, pain management, increase range of motion, joint mobilization, lymphatic drainage, etc.
Massage is probably best known for its stress reducing benefits. Not only can regular massage help reduce psychological and emotional stress but it can help reduce physical stress from exercise or lack of exercise.
Physical Stress from Exercise
The right dosage of a variety of physical stressors from exercise is highly desirable for optimum health and wellness. But when participating in a competitive sport or focusing too much on one fitness component, one can develop pattern overload.
Some examples of pattern overload are:
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Patelofemoral Syndrome (runners knee)
- Shoulder Impingement Syndrome
- Medial Epicondylitis (Golfer's Elbow)
- Lateral Epicondylitis (Tennis Elbow)
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Physical Stress from Lack of Exercise
Lack of exercise is just as bad as too much exercise of the same type.
Some examples of musculoskeletal dysfunction due to a sedentary life style are:
- Lower Cross Syndrome
- Upper Cross Syndrome
- Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
- Gluteal Abnesia
- Enjoy your workouts
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