Massage is a manual practice that uses sliding, friction and kneading techniques of body parts with the aim of stimulating the circulatory, lymphatic, nervous and energetic systems, providing relaxation of the body and mind, fighting physical and mental fatigue. .
The benefits of massage can be observed during its performance, however they are usually more evident when the practice becomes frequent, that is, when the person massages at least once a week.
The massage can be performed by a trained professional, who can indicate the best type of massage and the most suitable technique for the purpose, however it is also possible to perform a self-massage to relieve tension points and promote relaxation, being mainly indicated for people who sit for a long time, for example.
The benefits of massage, in addition to body relaxation and a sense of well-being, include:
- Stress management;
- Decreased anxiety;
- Relief of muscle tension and pain;
- Improved blood circulation, skin elasticity and immune system;
- Decreased blood pressure in the case of hypertensive patients;
- Relief from headaches;
- Decreased tiredness;
- Stimulation and balance of the intestinal system;
- Elimination of toxins and metabolic waste;
- Decreased insomnia.
To obtain all the benefits provided by the massage, it is interesting that it is performed by a trained professional, as the most appropriate technique for the purpose can be applied.
types of massages
There are different types of massage that focus on different parts of the body and that are used depending on the person’s goal. Massages can be classified into four main types:
- Therapeutic massagewhich is indicated in the treatment of pain and dysfunctions;
- preventive massagewhich is aimed at relaxation, maintenance of well-being and injury prevention;
- sports massagewhich aims to promote warm-up and muscle recovery;
- aesthetic massagewhich has a modeling and draining function.
Within these groups, there are several different techniques, in which appliances, oils or hot stones can be used, for example, that enhance the properties of massage.
See the benefits of essential oils for massage.
How to do a self massage
Self-massage is great to help relieve everyday tension and avoid neck pain, for example, it can be done in any environment and lasts about 5 minutes. Self-massage can be done by following the steps below:
- Sitting in a chair, close your eyes, support your entire spine well on the back of the chair and leave your arms extended by your sides;
- Breathe deeply 3 times in a row and place your right hand on your left shoulder and squeeze the entire region, from the back of your neck to your shoulder, trying to relax. Repeat the same procedure on the other side;
- Support both hands on the back of the neck and, with the fingertips, make a small massage, as if you were typing on the back of the neck, and massage again from the neck to the shoulders;
- Place both hands on the head and with the fingertips make a gentle massage on the entire scalp.
This massage must last at least 5 minutes for it to have the expected effect, and it can be done at home, at school or at work, being mainly indicated for people who spend the day sitting or who are constantly in stressful situations.
In addition to relaxing self-massage, it is important to adopt other attitudes that help you relax, such as the practice of meditation, massage with essential oils and the practice of physical activity, for example. Thus, it is possible to reduce stress and relieve the tension of everyday life, helping to relax.
who is not recommended
Although massage has several health benefits, its performance is not indicated in some situations, especially when the person has a broken bone, in case of osteoporosis, bleeding disorders, open wounds, cancer or other medical conditions that can be aggravated with the massage.
Also, pregnant women should avoid getting massages during the first trimester, unless recommended by their doctor.