It’s one of life’s little joys.
Relaxation doesn’t get much better than when you can feel healing hands rubbing your skin, kneading away stress and strains from the body.
Massage – a word translated as meaning “friction of kneading” or “to touch, feel or handle” depending on what part of the globe you’re from – has been practised around the world for centuries.
The ancient Chinese were amongst the early devotees of the form, the Swedes helped popularised the practice, while Bowen Therapy is based on methods developed by Australian Tom Bowen.
While there are countless numbers of therapeutic massage styles, ranging from shiatsu, hot stone therapy and Indian head massage, to sports therapy, reflexology and lymphatic drainage, they all serve a common purpose – to aid our physical condition.
Massage can be used to treat a wide range of disorders, including insomnia, depression, arthritis, muscular tension, repetitive strain injury and sports injuries.
As well as being used to aid conditions ranging from fibrositis and spondylitis, to frozen shoulder and whiplash, regular massage can also help with eating disorders and digestive dysfunction and pre-natal pregnancy issues.
Doctors even prescribe massage to help patients manage problems such as stress, back aches, headaches and migraines, and it is a service recognised for rebate by health funds.
Studies have found that massage can also reduce blood pressure, boost the immune system, decrease stress hormones and raise mood-elevating brain chemicals, stimulate digestive hormones and promote good nerve conduction.
We all know that regular massage sessions are beneficial to our health but how often should we have a massage?
Like exercise, massage does more for you if carried out on a regular basis.
Keeping in mind that we are individuals looking for an individual treatment plan, Albany Creek practitioner Jeanine Mewburn has several recommendations.
She says people wishing to improve their general health or wellbeing through massage are best served getting treatments monthly, while some people prefer weekly visits or a massage every six weeks.
For those looking to ease aches and pains, such as headaches, back ache, neck and shoulder tension, a weekly session held over a month is recommended, followed by regular monthly massage.
Jeanine says using lymphatic drainage to aid weight loss should occur weekly, with treatments done in conjunction with exercise and diet planning, while lymphatic drainage for lymphoedema sufferers should occur weekly or monthly, depending on other treatments.
Massage therapists can also tailor shorter sessions at smaller intervals depending on the financial situation of their clients.
To find your local massage therapist visit http://www.naturaltherapypages.com.au/massage