Massage – perhaps you need (knead) it more than you think!

by Patrick Hurley

The course I attended in Cork College of Commerce had an intensive training aspect to it in combining hundreds of hours of learning, practical, theoretical and gaining extensive knowledge in anatomy and physiology in order to achieve my diploma in Holistic massage therapy. I also added a certificate in Indian head massage to my credentials in this time.

Typically a massage therapist will take you through a consultation to determine if you have any contraindications to receiving massage (YES there are a few).This consult will help a dedicated therapist give you sound aftercare advice, and seek continued professional development should they be introduced to an individual anomaly outside their expertise. Massage benefits the whole body both physiologically and psychologically. To soften these large words terms; massage helps you both physically and mentally.

As massage is a hands on therapy you get the immediate feeling that you are in a treatment, which has a calming effect on your body and in turn calms the mind.

Some of the body systems are effected more directly particularly the skin, blood and lymph systems. Muscle and nerves are also effected in primary treatment. The treatment triggers a holistic reaction of ongoing benefits to all your systems, namely your skin, muscular, cardiovascular, lymphatic, nervous, endocrine, digestive ,reproductive, respiratory and urinary systems.

Beginning with your cells, we have approximately 200 different types of cells in our body each requiring the perfect balance (homeostasis). Our endocrine system help with this balance, when we are calm and relaxed this happens much more naturally, activating our parasympathetic system, this is the system we generally have when resting, an effective massage brings on this calmness providing a perfect catalyst to boost our systems natural defenses.

Then our aching, often cramping ,stiff and tired muscles also start to feel the benefit as a therapist will seek out knotting in the fibers of your muscles, your therapist will work on these with increasing pressure to assist in releasing them, bringing fresh oxygen into muscles or muscle fibers that may have had a limited supply due to knotting from injury, strain or cramps.

Our lymphatic system gets welcome encouragement during massage speeding up; the removal of toxins, waste and other unwanted materials. This system contains, as the name employs, lymphocytes which are small white blood cells that make up part of our immune systems defence against pathogens, cancerous cells and foreign matter.

If you opt to receive abdominal massage during treatment in either a full body or specific massage, a therapist will gently massage along your ascending colon across your transverse colon and along your descending colon, s/he will apply particular attention to your hepatic flexure and splenic flexure (the bends in your colon named thus due to their proximity to your liver and spleen, usually a problem spot for trapping of gas and waste) effectively helping peristalsis, this is exceptionally helpful if the client is suffering from constipation, cramps, digestive, or any stomach problems

Right up to your hair and nails, the benefits range from preventing ailments and injuries, help keeping you supple and pain free to improving tone and hue of skin, adding luster to hair (particularly in the case of Indian head massage), greater freedom of movement, better sleep patterns and many more.

Holistic massage therapist.

Patrick J Hurley. ITEC Dip.

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