What Is Massage?

January 15, 2013 by  
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Looking for the best Massage in Redwood City?

Massage Fitness, Inc. Owner Explains Massage Therapy:

massage hands 1

Massage is the manipulating of superficial and deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue using various approaches, to enhance function, aid in the healing process, decrease muscle reflex activity, inhibits motor-neuron excitability 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”, cf. Greek verb “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 frictio.

Massage involves acting and working on the body with pressure– structured, unstructured, stationary, or moving– motion, vibration, or tension, done manually or with mechanical aids. Target tissues may include muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia, 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 unclothed or partially clothed.

 Tables and chairs

Specialized massage tables and chairs are used to position clients during massages. A typical commercial massage table has an easily cleaned, heavily padded surface, and a horseshoe-shaped head support that allows the client to breathe easily while lying face down and can be portable or stationary. An orthopedic pillow or bolster can be used to correct body positioning.

Ergonomic chairs serve a similar function as a massage table. Massage chairs are easier for the practitioner to transport than massage tables, and clients do not need to disrobe to receive a chair massage.

Lubricant

Many different types of oils can be used including jojoba oil, fractionated coconut oil, grape seed oil, olive oil, almond oil, macadamia oil, sesame oil, pecan oil, mustard oil and (mineral) baby oil. Each oil has different properties and serves different purposes. Salts are also used in association with oils to remove dry skin.