A beginner's guide to massage therapies

Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Good health magazine
A beginner’s guide to massage therapies Image: Thinkstock
Massage, one of the oldest healing therapies, is incorporated into most complementary and alternative systems of health care. Also, it can be used either independently or along with mainstream techniques.

Modern studies show that massage can treat a variety of disorders including pain, anxiety, insomnia and high blood pressure.

Bowen Therapy
A gentle yet dynamic remedial therapy. Exact moves over muscles, tendons and ligaments are applied to disturb the fascia, a system of thin connective tissue. It promotes healing through physical, emotional, mental and energetic levels as well as pain relief.

Foot reflexology
Based on the principle that the feet map out the entire body through a reflex mechanism. By stimulating a certain area, a corresponding organ or body part is simultaneously stimulated. Used for pain relief, relaxation, and improving digestion and circulation.

Lymphatic drainage
A gentle, whole body treatment which involves a range of rhythmic pumping techniques to move skin in the direction of the lymph flow through a network of lymph vessels and lymph nodes. This supports the body to naturally eliminate excess toxins, dead cells, viruses, bacteria and chemicals.

Employs modalities to manage pain for chronic musculoskeletal and postural conditions and injuries. Can include soft tissue treatment, trigger point therapy, myofascial dry needling, thermal therapy, electrical stimulation (TENS) and corrective exercises. Loosens muscles and gets blood and oxygen circulating properly.

Rolfing or structural integration
Based on the belief that memories of trauma stored in muscles and connective tissue and a misalignment of the musculoskeletal system cause physical and psychological problems. Uses massage therapies to loosen and stretch connective tissue to realign the body.

Good Health magazine

For more information on alternative therapies see the 10-page health handbook in the October issue of Good Health magazine or subscribe at magshop.co.nz.

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