Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Massage - The Gift of Touch

Massage therapy has been practiced since ancient times. It was thought of as a healing modality, and was an integral part of the healing arts. There are many forms of bodywork available to suit everybody's needs, and more are emerging every day. Every modality has its place, there is not one that is better than the other. Many of the modalities developed out of intuitive knowledge by healers worldwide.

Massage is the gift of touch, it supplies the client a safe place to let go and be. Massage enhances the overall well being of a person on multiple levels. It improves circulation and lymphatic flow, invigorates and rejuvenates your skin, helps in the removal of toxins and lactic acid build up from your muscles and deactivate trigger points in the muscles, realigns the energy pathways, helps with pain management. and activates the parasymphatetic nervous system. Our nervous system is comprised of two parts the parasympatethic and sympathetic division. The sympathetic nervous system is responsible for flight or fight response. It is a state of overdrive, your body and mind are getting ready for battle. Your blood vessels dilate, your heart beats faster, your body starts producing stress hormones like insulin and cortisol. Your whole being is on high alert. This process is helpful for survival, but it is not a healthy constant state of being. It is a state of great energy expansion, and the energy expanded has to be restored in your body. Being in a state of constant alert and high stress is a breeding ground for disease and distress in the body. Many people feel that they are running on empty for that exact reason. They feel that have nothing more to give, and they are looking for ways to recharge their batteries.

There are many people today that suffer from chronic pain, and painkillers can only do so much, plus they are very hard on the liver, besides being toxic. Pain is a sign that something is amiss in the body, and needs to be corrected. Pain also protects us from doing more harm to ourselves. Given this, overriding pain is probably not the best idea, living with pain is not a real good option either. Massage is very helpful for pain management, because it helps the person relax. In cases like Fibromyalgia massage will help remove lactic acid and other toxins from the muscle tissue, while relaxing and stretching the muscle, thus resetting it to its normal resting length.

The greatest gift massage can give you, is touch that will help you relax. We are all living in a stressful environment, and most of us have forgotten, what it really feels like to let go and just be.

We are constantly bombarded with information and demands, and we are operating on overdrive. As a consequence we have lost touch with ourselves, we don't know what is good for us, and we are looking for stimulants to give us energy just to make it through the day. At night we have difficulty winding down and falling asleep, and wake up exhausted and sleep deprived the next day. We are becoming like robots, out of touch with ourselves, our bodies, and our surroundings.

Bodywork is a great way to get back in touch with yourself. There are many different modalities and therapists to choose from. Finding the right modality and practitioner might take some time, but it is well worth the effort. A skilled practitioner can help you facilitate healing and understanding. Understanding your self and your body will open new doors of awareness to you. It will help you make changes and shifts in your life that are beneficial and nurturing. A sound mind will bring you a sound body. Many of us holding stress in the form of tension in our bodies, this will ultimately impede the flow of energy and bring on disease. Stress is one of the main causes of illness, and it is in your best interest to dissipate stress.

Massage is the manipulation of soft tissue (muscle), by relaxing the muscle you will also affect the skeleton. Every muscle (except the tongue) has an insertion and origins that is attached to bone. The joint itself will be affected negatively, if the muscle normal resting length is shortened due to constant contraction. By relaxing the muscle tissue you will also relieve pressure on the joint or vertebra. Muscles main functions are to enable us to move, and to protect and strengthen our joints. In order for us to move most efficiently and effortlessly we need to be in proper alignment, and this is an all encompassing term. Being in proper alignment means that our bones, joints, muscles, tendons, and ligaments can operate in the most energy sufficient way, unhindered by obstructions. This will allow the life for to flow most freely, and will bring about a feeling of wellness and grace. Everything in our bodies is interconnected, and all parts work together to create harmony. One could compare it with an orchestra that plays beautiful music as long as every instrument is tuned perfectly. If instruments start playing out of tune, it will have a negative affect on the symphony.

For instance, every vertebra in your spine is responsible for the enervation of a specific organ. Thoracic vertebra 6 enervates the stomach, if this segment becomes facilitated the person could develop stomach problems, because the nerve conduction is not up to par.

We live in a society nowadays that has become disembodied. Touching people has almost become inappropriate and unacceptable. Many people have difficulties defining proper boundaries for themselves, and other people. Touch is essential for our well being, we would wither and die without being touched. Scientific studies have shown that seniors that have pets do better than the ones that live alone. Infants and children that grow up with limited physical contact from their caregivers, are at a much higher risk of developing developmental and behavioral problems. Giving your kids and loved ones hugs on a regular basis is a great way of showing your love and stay connected with them.

Give yourself the gift of touch. Indulge yourself for an hour in just being and releasing with the help of a massage therapy session. Chances are that you will leave refreshed and rejuvenated, ready to embrace and see the world in a whole new way.

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