In a world where we all live terribly stressful, jam-packed lives, any relief from the chaos can be most welcome at any turn. As participants in our own balancing actions, we strive to find those respites that give us Shelter in the storm of our daily lives; exercise, reading, dancing – the choices are endless and very personal. Massage therapy, used in this capacity, can be a wonderful way to relieve tension and stress; it's no wonder that more and more people are turning to massage to enjoy its vast physical and emotional benefits.
Massage therapy can be traced back to ancient Chinese medicine – the first writings of which can be seen as far back as 2,700 BC in Chinese medical reference books. But massage was used throughout ancient cultures for medicinal purposes as it increased circulation, boosted immunity, and promoted speedier healing.
Today, massage therapy continues to be used for healing purposes; its practice can be seen in hospitals and medical offices around the country that use it in tandem with more traditional practices. Intensive care units and infant nurseries use it as part of their daily practice and you will often see massage therapy used in labor and delivery rooms to ease the pain of childbirth.
But today, massage therapy is used more often in spas across the world catering to the relaxation-reduced masses. There are many different varieties of massage therapy – all tailor to meet specific needs and tastes. Swedish massage, the most popular type of massage therapy, utilizes long, slow stroking to reduce tension and sooth muscles; deep tissue massage therapy uses stronger, more focused kneading to work deeper muscles; hot stone massage therapy provides the therapeutic heat through smooth, warm river stones; pregnancy massage works to relax and sooth the tired joints of a mom-to-be; the list of massage is endless.
Deciphering between the different types of massage therapy includes the determination of personal tastes and goals. Work with a licensed massage therapist to help you decide what works best for you.