Massaging involves the manipulation of skin, muscle and joints to relax muscle spasm, relieve tension and pain, improve circulation and accelerate the elimination of waste.
Clearly, a massage is not mere "pampering" but has multiple therapeutic effects and, ideally, should be part of our health and wellness plan. Regular massage therapy stimulates physiological and chemical changes that can do wonders for your overall health. The benefits of massage therapy increase with the frequency of this treatment.
Professional Massages: There is no doubt that professional massage therapy is very effective -- but it can be expensive if undertaken regularly. Furthermore, not everybody feels comfortable with the lack of privacy associated with such personal touch by a stranger and the lack of control over a massage, not to mention the inconvenience of having to drive to their location and the associated expenses.
- Click here for information on common massage types and their benefits.
Personal / At Home Massages: If a cooperative family is available, back massages can easily be learned.
There are plenty of excellent DVDs and books suited both for the beginner as well as the professional ... There are even some DVDs for the person who is alone and is looking for some massage techniques that he or she can do alone; and many of the DVDs and books can be bought quite inexpensively second-hand.
HydroMassage Bed: No doubt about it, a 15-minute session on one of those feels wonderful; and the effect of feeling great lingers on for the rest of the day and maybe even the day thereafter. Spas, some fitness centers and chiropractic offices offer this experience. The cost is around $50 a pop. Some older HydroMassage Beds are on the market and sessions with them may be as low as $15; having never had a massage on them, I wouldn't be able to assess their effectiveness. If you have input, please e-mail us!
Quality massage chairs are as effective as professional, hands-on massage treatments. Even though the initial investment needs to be considered, the fact that this is a one-time investment compared to regularly paying a professional masseur/masseuse for multiple treatments makes it worth our consideration.
Massage chairs allow you to receive the benefits of muscle and stress manipulation in the comfort and privacy of your own home. One of the most well-known massage forms is Shiatsu. It usually uses the parts of the hand such as palms, fingers, thumbs and knuckles to rub, knead, press and pat the body to encourage the natural fluids to aid recovery. This same type of treatment is available in massage chairs as they use a mixture of rollers, probes, heat and vibration in the same manner as the Shiatsu method.
Massage cushions don't offer the same features of fancy massage chairs, but they are economical options that are still very soothing and relaxing; and will also reduce tension in the back thus alleviating any pain and discomfort that one may be experiencing. Most, if not all (which may also depend on the type and quality of massage cushion) still experience a better mood and feeling of calm and contentment for the rest of the day, as they would have felt using a fancy massage chair.
Massage is safe for most people with the exception of recent heart attack patients, any individual who may be pregnant, has a pacemaker, suffers from diabetes, phlebitis, and/or thrombosis, or is at an increased risk of developing blood clots due to recent surgery, or has pins/screws or anything mechanical in their legs, ankles or feet, or is suffering from severe osteoporosis or unhealed fractures should consult with a physician before using a massaging device. Please refer to: Medical & Legal Disclaimer.
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