Massage therapy has existed for over 5,000 years. Touch has long been used in healing, as has massage. Massage arose from our natural inclination to rub areas that hurt. We may even ask other people to rub a sore spot we can’t reach. Eventually, massage developed as a healing art. The name comes from Arabic “mass’h” which means to knead or squeeze.
In the Beginning
Many people believe that all of the other “manual” therapies, such as physical therapy and chiropractic came from the basic massage as a way to help and heal. One of the earliest mentions of this type of therapy was found in an ancient Chinese medical text dating from 1800 B.C.
Other types, or modalities, of massage, are pictured in Egyptian hieroglyphs. There are pictures of what appears to be reflexology, which is hand and foot therapy. One particular hieroglyph was found in the tomb of a physician to a Pharoah. Many ancient medicinal records have not withstood the test of time, so there is much we do not know.
Massage therapy is found in the writings of Hippocrates, who is deemed to be “the father of modern medicine.” He makes mention of various types of “rubbing,” such as to bind and loosen. He says “Hard rubbing binds; soft rubbing loosens.”
Another historical figure, Galen, who lived from 130-201 AD, is created with the creation of sports medicine and developed a specific criterion for the treating and healing of injuries. Massage therapy has a long and prestigious past. During the Dark Ages massage fell out of favor until Pehr Heinrick Ling began working with gymnasts and created an entire regimen. Ling was Swedish, and eventually his method was dubbed “Swedish Massage” as we know it today.
What’s Your Type?
There are over 200 different types and techniques under the umbrella of “massage.” It’s not a bad idea to investigate the various types before you embark on your massage odyssey to get a better idea of what you are looking for. Once you know what you want (or even if you don’t) you are ready for a massage therapist in Orlando.
Swedish Massage Therapy
This technique is the most common in the U.S. and is sometimes called Swedish massage or massage therapy. The basis of Swedish massage is long strokes, kneading and circular motions using lotion or oil. Swedish massage is very relaxing. For a first timer, it is a good choice.
Aromatherapy massage pairs different essential oils with massage. There are many essential oils and essential oils are used for many other things and can even be used to create your own household cleaners. The therapist chooses one or two oils based on your objective. There are oils that relax, energize and reduce stress. Lavender is a very popular choice. This type of massage is used to alleviate stress and emotional distress.
Hot Stone Massage
As the name implies, this type of massage is done with heated stones that are placed on different areas of the body to loosen tight muscles. The stones can also be used by your therapist to gently massage muscles. This is sometimes a lighter touch than hands. This is good if there are areas of tight muscles.
Deep Tissue Massage
Deep Tissue Massage is a more intense rubbing to reach the deeper muscles and connective tissue. This type of massage targets chronic tightness, pain, severe sprain, and recovery from injury. Expect muscles to be sore for one or two days after.
Shiatsu massage is a Japanese based exercise that combines finger pressure with rhythmic movements. This is designed to regain balance throughout the body. First timers are a bit surprised after their first session. Shiatsu is relaxing without any soreness the day after.
In the same way as Shiatsu does, Thai massage aligns the body’s energy using gentle pressure, but unlike Shiatsu, Thai also includes compressions and stretches. The movements are similar to Yoga, but the therapist moves and stretches the limbs. Where some other forms of massage are relaxing, Thai is energizing. This method of massage also reduces stress.
Prenatal massage is coming into vogue. The therapist is specially trained to perform pregnancy massage. Like other forms of massage, it relieves stress. It also can reduce swelling and relieve aches and pains. These sessions are customized for each person.
Reflexology is sometimes called a foot massage; however, it is much more involved. Reflexology is designed to relax organs and body systems through stretching and flexing of certain areas of the foot. And it is a great way to relieve foot pain!
Sports massage is not just for athletes. It’s for those who work out or participate in a lot of physical activity. The focus of sports massage is to prevent and treat injuries and improve performance. This discipline uses a lot of stretching to loosen muscles and avoid sprains and strains.
Some therapists offer back massage alone, due to the fact that many people suffer from back pain. An alternative is to book a 30 or 40-minute session and ask the therapist to concentrate on the back muscles.
There is a lot that goes into learning and practicing the art of massage. Some massages can do more harm than good if the therapist is not properly trained. You want to make sure that your therapist is well trained and capable of performing properly the type of massage you want. At Body Well our therapists are the best in the area. We screen our therapists and we take pride in all of our work. The best part of our service is that we come to you. We offer mobile massages in your home, office, or hotel. You can book corporate chair massages for your employees (nothing increases morale and productivity like a massage) as a well-deserved perk.
We do massage parties for wedding parties, girl’s night in, or any other occasion you can think of that goes with massage (what doesn’t?). We want to be your favorite service provider. Call us and see what we can do for you.