While it might seem like a luxurious indulgence that most of us only pamper ourselves with on those special occasions when someone gifts us a voucher, massage is not only a therapeutic treatment, it is one of the oldest healing traditions. Many ancient cultures used massage to treat a range of disorders, and developed massage
practice or styles to take advantage of its therapeutic qualities.
Massage manipulates the body’s soft tissue to reduce muscle tension, maintain flexibility and improve circulation. One of the most obvious benefits is the reduction of self-sustaining pain postures. For instance, tension headaches can be caused by tight muscles, and the pain increases the tension, creating a self-sustaining pain loop. In these cases neck and shoulder massage provides an obvious benefit, reducing muscle tension and breaking the cycle.
Current research has shown massage can treat a variety of conditions, ranging from soft-tissue injuries, to anxiety, insomnia, and even arthritis. Relaxation is one of the most popular reasons people use massage, and there is a reason that people find a good massage so relaxing. Massage prompts the release of endorphins, the neurotransmitters that produce feelings of wellbeing, while simultaneously reducing the levels of stress hormones, such as adrenalin and cortisol.
But it is important to note that there are different types of massage. These can range from therapeutic massage, which is focussed on relaxation, to more rigorous remedial styles that encourage healing of injured soft-tissue. Myotherapy treats pain and reduced joint movement, and is used for musculoskeletal conditions and occupational injuries. Reflexology, shiatsu and aromatherapy each use wholistic concepts of wellness to promote health and
recovery, and sports massage might use a blend of techniques to enhance performance or to encourage a faster recovery for overworked muscles.
But it’s not just elite athletes who benefit from massage. Desk workers are prone to a range of postural complaints caused by prolonged periods of sitting, with the more advanced forms of postural stress manifesting as pain or weakness in the lower back and gluteals, or tension in the neck and shoulders. Regular massage can help to counteract all that sitting, giving you improved posture, and less physical tension and stress.
In Australia massage practitioners undergo comprehensive training, where they not only learn different practical techniques, but also study physiology so they understand musculoskeletal structure, lymphatic and nervous systems. A qualified masseuse offers more than a relaxing pamper session, they are a trained health professional and can work with you to reduce or eliminate a range of ailments.
Qualified masseuse Leanne Vazzoler is available for appointments in Parkes on Fridays from 9am to 6pm and Saturdays from 9am til 4pm.