MASSAGE IS DEFINED in many different ways. At its most basic, massage is the direct manipulation of the body toward a positive goal. Different styles of massage have different goals. Generally, every variety of massage falls into one of two categories: Western and Eastern. Western massage often has a medical goal: the faster recovery of an injured muscle or soft tissue, an increased amount of oxygen delivery to muscle fibers, or the elimination of pain. Eastern massage often has a more esoteric goal: to relieve stress, to help the client feel balanced and happy, to promote a positive self-image, or to heal sickness in the body not directly associated with the muscles. Western massage focuses on the delivery and movement of lymph, a fluid in the body that delivers oxygen to the cells and transports toxins away from them. Eastern massage concentrates on the energies which exist in the body, and their ability to flow freely and remain balanced.
MASSAGE HAS AMAZING POWERS, which is one reason why it has remained popular in every civilization throughout the centuries. Physiologically, it is beneficial to our muscles and connective tissues. It helps them stay healthy and eliminate waste byproducts that are formed from natural use. Emotionally, it is nourishing. As we grow older, we grow more isolated from touch. Infants and children touch each other, and are touched by grown ups, almost constantly. As an adult, touch becomes less a method of communication than a mode of formality. Scientists have noted a direct increase in brain activity on all levels when we experience touch. It makes our brain come alive even more than music, which we all listen to strictly for pleasure. Massage is a way to recapture the art of touch and enjoy its many benefits.
LIVE WELL – Enjoy massage!
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