What is bodywork? Wikipedia defines bodywork as a term used in alternative medicine to describe any therapeutic or personal development technique that involves working with the human body in a form involving manipulative therapy, breathwork, or energy medicine. In addition bodywork techniques aim to assess or improve posture, promote awareness of the “mind-body connection“, or to manipulate a putative “energy field” surrounding the human body and affecting health.
One form of bodywork is massage therapy. Massage is the manipulation of superficial layers of muscle and connective tissue to enhance the function and promote relaxation and well-being. The word comes from the French massage “friction of kneading”, or from Arabic massa meaning “to touch, feel or handle” or from Latin massa meaning “mass, dough”.In distinction the ancient Greek word for massage was anatripsis, and the Latin was friction.
Massage involves acting on and manipulating the body with pressure – structured, unstructured, stationary, or moving – tension, motion, or vibration, done manually or with mechanical aids. Target tissues may include muscles, tendons, ligaments, skin, joints, or other connective tissue, as well as lymphatic vessels, or organs of the gastrointestinal system. Massage can be applied with the hands, fingers, elbows, knees, forearm, and feet. There are over eighty different recognized massage modalities. The most cited reasons for introducing massage as therapy have been client demand and perceived clinical effectiveness.
In professional settings massage involves the client being treated while lying on a massage table, sitting in a massage chair, or lying on a mat on the floor. The massage subject may be fully or partly unclothed. Parts of the body may be covered with towels or sheets.
Ancient and medieval times
Writings on massage have been found in many ancient civilizations including Rome, Greece, India, Japan, China, Egypt and Mesopotamia. A biblical reference from c.493 BC documents daily massage with olive oil and myrrh as a part of the beauty regimen of the wives of Xerxes (Esther, 2:9-12). Hippocrates wrote in 460 BC that “The physician must be experienced in many things, but assuredly in rubbing”.
The Ancient Chinese book called Huangdi Neijing by the Yellow Emperor recommended “massage of skin and flesh”. The technique of massage abortion, involving the application of pressure to the pregnant abdomen, has been practiced in Southeast Asia for centuries. One of the bas reliefs decorating the temple of Angkor Wat in Cambodia, dated circa 1150, depicts a demon performing such an abortion upon a woman who has been sent to the underworld. This is believed to be the oldest known visual representation of abortion.
China: In modern times, massage in China has developed by absorbing western ideas into the traditional framework. It is widely practiced and taught in hospital and medical schools and is an essential part of primary health care.
United States: Massage started to become popular in the United States in the middle part of the 19th century and was introduced by two New York physicians based on Per Henrik Ling‘s techniques developed in Sweden.
During the 1930s and 1940s massage’s influence decreased as a result of medical advancements of the time, while in the 1970s massage’s influence grew once again with a notable rise among athletes. The massage was used up until the 1960s and 1970s by nurses to help ease patients’ pain and help them sleep.
Because it is illegal to advertise or offer sexual services in much of the United States, such services are sometimes advertised as “massage,” hence the rise of the term “massage therapy” in an attempt to provide a distinction between sexual and non-sexual services.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Standard Massage versus Swedish massage the style is referred to as “classic massage”.
Massage involves working and acting on the body with pressure – structured, unstructured, stationary, or moving – tension, motion, or vibration, done manually or with mechanical aids. Massage can be applied with the hands, fingers, elbows, knees, forearms, feet, or a massage device. Massage can promote relaxation and well-being, can be a recreational activity and can be sexual in nature (see Erotic massage).
The word comes from the French massage “friction of kneading”, or from Arabic massage meaning “to touch, feel” or from Latin massa meaning “mass, dough”, cf. Greek verb μάσσω (massō) “to handle, touch, to work with the hands, to knead dough”. In distinction, the ancient Greek word for massage was anatripsis, and the Latin was friction.
In professional settings massage clients are treated while lying on a massage table, sitting in a massage chair, or lying on a mat on the floor, while in amateur settings a general purpose surface like a bed or floor is more common. Aquatic massage and bodywork is performed with recipients submersed or floating in a warm-water therapy pool. The massage subject may be fully or partially clothed or unclothed.
Swedish massage style is referred to as “classic massage”.
The most widely recognized and commonly used category of massage is the Swedish massage. The Swedish massage techniques vary from light to vigorous. Swedish massage uses five styles of strokes. The five basic strokes are effleurage (sliding or gliding), petrissage (kneading), tapotement (rhythmic tapping), friction (cross fiber or with the fibers), and vibration/shaking. Swedish massage has shown to be helpful in reducing pain, joint stiffness, and improving function in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee over a period of eight weeks. The development of Swedish massage is often inaccurately credited to Per Henrik Ling, though the Dutch practitioner Johann Georg Mezger applied the French terms to name the basic strokes. The term “Swedish” massage is actually only recognized in English and Dutch speaking countries and in Hungary. Elsewhere (including Sweden) the style is referred to as “classic massage”.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Swedish massage techniques are different from other massage techniques in that they are quite specific in the order in which the massage is done. These techniques apply deeper pressure than other kinds of massages and they are also known to increase oxygenation of the blood and release metabolic waste such as lactic and uric acids from the tissues of the muscles.
This can be particularly important for athletes who find that exercise causes the build-up of lactic acids in the muscles, which the massage can dislodge and replace with fresh oxygenated blood.
Swedish massage techniques can help not only relieve physical stress but also emotional stress and can have other medical and therapeutic uses.
Swedish massage is known to help with reducing joint pain and stiffness and has also been known to help those with osteoarthritis.
Those who undergo this kind of massage also report enjoying enhanced flexibility. These particular massage techniques are also thought to help improve blood circulation.
Swedish massage is also known as ‘Classic Massage’ in certain areas of the world.
The 5 main Swedish massage techniques as they were developed by Swedish doctor Per Henrik Ling, a physical therapist, developer and teacher of medical-gymnastics are –
These are the sliding or gliding Swedish massage techniques that cover different areas of the body. They are long sweeping strokes that alternate between the firm and light pressure and can be performed using the palm of the hand or the fingertips. The knots and tension in the muscles tend to get broken with this massage technique.
This is the technique of kneading the muscles of the body to attain deeper massage penetration. The thumbs and the knuckles of the fingers are used to knead the muscles of the body and to squeeze them to prepare them for the other Swedish massage techniques that follow.
3. Tapotement or Rhythmic Tapping
This technique of Swedish massage, as the name suggests consists of rhythmic tapping that uses the fists of the cupped hands. This helps to loosen and relax the muscles being manipulated and also helps to energize them. The sides of the hands are used in this massage technique.
This move seeks to create heat to bring about relaxation of the muscles. The palms of the hand are rubbed together vigorously with each other, or they are rubbed onto the skin of the person being massaged in order to produce heat by friction. This technique can be used as a warm-up for the muscles of the body to be treated for a deeper massage.
5. Vibration or Shaking
This is one of the Swedish massage techniques that helps to loosen up the muscles by using a back and forth action of the fingertips or the heel of the hand over the skin. The muscles of the body are literally shaken up to loosen and relax the muscles. The sides of the hand and any part of the hand such as the tips or heel can be used by the masseuse to shake up the muscles of the person.
*Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider.
Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition.
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