Regardless of the technique being used, massage is a treatment that brings serenity, improves health and vitality, and relieves stress. It is one of the easiest and the quickest ways to achieve relaxation and healing. The word “massage” comes from Arabic word “massa” meaning touch. The history of massage dates back several millennia and has influenced numerous cultures, including that of India, Greece, China, Egypt, and Rome. The first modern technique, Swedish massage, was invented in 18th century and remains one of the most popular physical treatments. It is not only regularly used for body and muscle pain, but also to treat and combat a wide variety of diseases and conditions.
Besides stress reduction, massage also improves circulation and stimulates secretion of our glands, reducing fats massing under our skin, increasing the amount of oxygen in our blood, and making our skin more elastic and beautiful.
As previously mentioned, the oldest massage in Western culture is the Swedish massage. In Europe, this type of therapy is often referred to as classic massage. It includes 5 basic techniques: Tapotement, Effleurage, Petrissage, Vibration, and Friction. The staff of Toronto’s Uptown Spa refers to this form of massage as “The Basic One.”
Sports massage has become an important element of every sports club. In today’s sports, where there is significant money to be made, sport teams rely heavily on their athletes. By investing in professional therapists, they are able to protect and increase their athletes’ longevity while improving their sports results. When it comes to muscles, massage impacts them in various ways. Athletes often use massage before and after training, helping them increase range of motion and prevent potential injuries. In the event of an injury, massage can decrease inflammation, thereby reducing pain. Additionally, massage helps relax athletes, which increases their ability to perform.
Similarly to European massages, Eastern countries also developed their own forms of treatment. In comparison to Europeans and North Americans, Asians have much different approach. In most cases, their methods are closely connected to a specific Eastern philosophy or religion. Massage or similar forms of bodywork are used as a process of realigning the life’s energy and restoring spirituality. However, most Eastern massages are very similar to those found in the West in terms of techniques and results.