The Healthy Benefits of Massage Therapy

Dec 28, 2023

Most of us, by the time we reach our older years, have experienced the pleasures derived from a good massage. But if you haven’t, then it’s high time you did. Massage is not only considered a source of relaxation and rejuvenation but it can also improve your overall health and wellbeing. Some of the main benefits are as follows:

  • Relief from muscular tension and pain
  • Improved quality of sleep
  • Increased energy and vitality
  • Alleviates the effects of stress on the body and mind
  • Strengthens immune system
  • Can reduce the frequency and intensity of migraine headaches

With regular massage sessions, these benefits will become cumulative and after that a monthly massage may be all you need.

Before choosing your massage, it’s important to define what it is you need in terms of, for example, your personal aches, pains (minor and major), stress and tension, sports injuries, arthritic pain, even emotional and mental pain. There are various types of massage which specifically address all these kinds of issues individually or collectively, so it’s important to choose a technique that is suited to you as they all have their own advantages and benefits.

Here Are Some of the Most Popular Types of Massage:

1. Relaxation Massage

If you’re new to massage, perhaps start with a very simple relaxation massage. It’s synonymous with wholeness and gentleness. It provides total relaxation for your body and mind. It’s based on long, soothing, stroking movements and gentle pressure on the superficial muscles of your body. A relaxation massage is a good introduction to massage therapy and will help you decide if you need something more intense, or more all-encompassing. Most spa experiences concentrate on massages that provide a relaxing, holistic and cocooning experience. They encourage a deep sense of well-being, and a ‘time stands still’ sensation where you can really connect with yourself.

2. Swedish or Therapeutic Massage

Swedish massage focuses on the muscles and connective tissues in the body. Usually before a therapeutic massage the client will discuss where they are having specific pain or discomfort that they want relieved. A therapeutic massage will then begin with a relaxation segment and then become more specific and localised. The goal of this type of massage is to try and eliminate muscle and body pain by concentrating on tension points. Techniques include: Deep effleurage, kneading, treading, percussion (tapotement), and similar techniques. Those seeking muscle or joint pain relief will benefit from these manoeuvres. Clients often feel reinvigorated after a Swedish Massage.

3. Hot Stone Massage

A hot stone massage helps to relieve tension and improve energetic harmony through the thermal and therapeutic effects of the volcanic stones. The heated smooth, round stones will be glided over your skin or simply placed on strategic pressure points from head to toe. The aim is to encourage you to relax and experience peace and spiritual well-being.

4. Shiatsu Massage

Shiatsu massage techniques originated in Japan and integrates Japan’s traditional manual therapies such as acupuncture and anma, an old Japanese massage style, with western medical knowledge.”

A Shiatsu therapist will have been trained to utilise their hands, thumbs, or other body parts such as the fingers, feet, knuckles and elbows, to apply direct pressure on various acupressure points or meridians – channels – throughout the body. It’s performed through loose clothing and does not use oils as do most other types of massage.

Pressure applied to the many pressure points on a person’s body helps to promote energy flow: ‘qi’ or ‘chi’, and to address any disharmony throughout the patient’s body. Not only is Shiatsu massage a deeply relaxing experience it also helps relieve stress, treat chronic pain and some illnesses. Shiatsu contributes to overall health and wellbeing and for some devotees, their spiritual wellness too.

Shiatsu is also known to help regulate our autonomic nervous system activity and to stimulate the circulatory, lymphatic and hormonal systems.

Afflictions such as poor posture, joint problems, sprains, arthritis, sciatica, sports injuries, depression, acute and chronic neck and back pain, sinusitis, and bronchitis are treatable with Shiatsu.

Experiment By Trying Them All

In conclusion, massages, whatever type you choose all have specific beneficial results for our bodies and the conditions that ail us. Discovering which kind of therapeutic treatment suits you will probably take some experimenting at first, but you’ll soon find out what and who works best for you.

When I also say who, it’s because I know that finding the right therapist is also important. You need to feel comfortable and connected with them. But once you do, you’ll be in good hands and on your way to better health – physically, spiritually and mentally. Having partaken of Shiatsu massages at the Shiatsu School of Canada in Toronto for five years with the same therapist with a standing appointment every Friday night after work during my pre-retirement years – (80-hour work weeks) – I know this to be true.

And remember—if you have benefits that cover registered massage therapy, book with an RMT and claim the expense!

TOPICS

ABOUT YOU

Researched, resourced and written by experts, Everything Retirement is designed to get you where you want to go and enable you to become who you want to be. With clarity, insight and – above all – honesty, realism and actionable answers.

OUR PARTNERS