How a massage can benefit you

By: Jessica Sturm

Table of contents

Research

Massage therapy has been around for thousands of years. It’s a relaxing sensation people enjoy whether they are hurting, injured, or want to feel relaxed. Having a massage can be the most stress-free relaxing thing for a person and it depends on what type of massage a person want or need in order to feel better. People tend to think that there is only one type of massage, but there are actually different types and each massage has different techniques. There is Swedish which is also a relaxation massage, Deep tissue massage, Sports massage, Aromatherapy massage, Chair massage etc., but people should be aware of what kind of massage to get. Not every massage is right for everyone and people may question it and ask “What are the benefits of massage? What can it do for me?”

A deep tissue massage can benefit people because it improves oxygen circulation and body fluid movement by breaking up and eliminating scar tissue that is found on stressed muscles. This massage can be the best thing for someone whose muscles are really stressed. Stressed muscles can be bad for someone because that can block oxygen circulation and distribution of nutrients in the body. The tensed muscles can be relaxed through the kneading motions using different levels of pressure. It's not only helpful for injured muscle tissues to heal, it also helps to remove toxins such as lactic acid and cellular wastes from the system. This type of massage is even used for more serious conditions and chronic disease such as osteoporosis, fibromyalgia and carpal tunnel syndrome.

Similar to a deep tissue massage is a sports massage. These two massages happen to be the most common massages people want to have. A sports massage therapist may identify areas in a body that some experienced muscle tightness or muscle abnormalities. While deep tissue massage therapist can treat some injuries such as whiplash or back strain. Both uses similar stoke that include kneading, circular movements, tapping and vibrations but sports massage focuses more on sports-related areas of pain. This type of massage is most beneficial to serious athletes such as professional, collegiate or high-school level sport who train most days of the week. The clients use this massage as a part of pre- or post- game warm-ups to reduce the likelihood of muscle cramping while clients for deep tissue tend to be more varied, ranging from business people to students.

Another common helpful massage is an Aromatherapy massage. It is helpful for people who are sick and injured and it is considered one of the first known medicines. It promotes blood flow and circulation of lymphatic fluid. Aromatherapy is used in many cosmetics to improve skin tone. It can also reduce anxiety, depression, stress, tension, and promote better sleep. This type of massage is known for using oils. Although many massages uses oils its mostly used for an Aromatherapy massage because the use of essential oils seek to influence, change or modify mind, body or spirit, physiology or mood. The smell of oils help any condition a person has but a massage therapist has to be aware of what oil to use because it depends on the client.

A different type of massage that people get is a chair massage. A chair massage is used at many locations and at events. A massage is 60 minutes long but for a chair massage its usually about 15 to 30 minutes long and its charged $1 per minute. That treatment is focused more on the upper back and shoulders, mostly areas that become tense and sore with people who work at desks all day. It's beneficial to people who work at desks all day because blood and lymphatic fluid flow impeded after sitting at a desk or a computer. It's been known that a chair massage can help increase upper body circulation that provides relief to office workers. Desk bound workers getting a massage during the day feel renewed energy and mental alertness. The clients are also less likely to incur other desk related injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome

A massage is not just about rubbing lotion or oil on someone it is used to reduce stress and relieve pain. Although people get a massage just to feel relaxed it does have a purpose to why people get it. A single massage therapy session can significantly reduce tension and eliminate anxiety. Different types of massage have its own benefits for a person and it's just like a medicine. It can heal people and make them better in different ways. Massage therapy can be the most beneficial feeling.

Field Experience

For one week I spent most of my time at Alexandar School of Natural Therapeutics. I was able to sit in many classes and watch many massages performed. Before I went there I had no knowledge of what a massage therapist does or what it takes to be a massage therapist. But by the time I was done observing I had a taste of what it takes.

Saturday and Sunday I sat in an “Aromatherapy class”. This class taught the students about many different oils. I sat in the class as if I was one of the students. I took notes and did the homework that was assigned. I learned that oils help people whether they are depressed, sick, tired, have an infection or burn, if they have a headache, etc. I thought oils was just for people who wanted to make the room smell good or just to have a scent I didn’t think it had a significance to it. Throughout the class I also learned the history of oils and what kind of oils to use and what not to use when massaging a client. At the end of the class I got to use the knowledge I learned in the class to make my own type of oil and use it on my partner. My partner did the same and she used the oil on me which gave me a relaxation massage. I was able to do the same and the teacher Christine Uhl stood by me the whole time and took me step by step helping me perform a relaxation massage.

The next day I sat in another class that taught students how to perform “Trigger Point” on their client. The teacher Bill Thompson was showing students breathing exercises and where on the body to use trigger point. In the class the students were with partners and one partner would lie on the massage table while the other partner would tell them to breathe in and as they breathed out they would press on their pressure point to help make them breathe better.

That same day I also went to observe the clinic. This school is very small and only has 3 small buildings. One building is a spa clinic, the next building is a class room, and the other building is the office. The spa clinic is a small, quiet type house with many rooms where massages are being performed. The downstairs part has a sauna and a steam room. The second floor has a massage room, bathroom, kitchen, and waiting section. On the third floor is more rooms where treatments are performed.

Wednesday and Friday was another class I sat in which was “Swedish 1”. This is a class that students need to take in order to practice massaging on the public. The class teaches all the basics of massage and the body. On Wednesday the teacher Sandra Rupp reviewed what she taught because the class is almost over. After she did that, the students had to get a partner and practice giving a massage. In their school book there is a list of different techniques and they had to do it all in 60 minutes. It taught students how to time out a massage all in a 60 minute time limit.

Thursday was a different type of class than all the other classes I sat in. This class was called “Business Management” and it taught the students about how to pick the right place if they wanted to own a spa. The students and I sat in a different class which was right underneath the office. The teacher talked about how bad it could be to massage clients at their house. The teacher finds it better to not mix business with pleasure. He also talked about finding the right location to have there own spa and how to categorize their business.

I knew I always wanted to be a massage therapist but by visiting this school I know for sure this is the career I want. I also know that when I graduate from high school I plan on going to Alexandar School of Natural Therapeutics. Just from going to this school for one week and learning all that I have, I’m looking forward to learning more in the field of massage therapy.

Annotated Bibliography

Marie, Jenna. Beneficial Effects of Massage Therapy. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 May 2010.

 

The website is informing because it explains the significance of massage. Massage benefits people because it helps blood flow and tensed muscles. This also explains that a massage therapist can get rid of stress and decrease any pain a person has. It’s a helpful website because it gives me information of what a massage can do for someone and why there is such a thing as massage.

 

 Health Benefits of Massage Therapy. N.p., 25 Apr. 2010. Web.

 

The purpose of this website is that it tells what massage therapy can do for a persons health. People love the feeling of being pampered and feeling relaxed and that is what massage can do for a person but it also has many other tricks. It helps to relieve stress, improve circulation, and helps the immune system. This website explains all about that and it's a good resource to have if anybody has any doubts about massage therapy or if someone thinks it's a waste of money.

"Robin's Massage Blog." 15 May (2012): 6 pars. Web.

This blog can be helpful to people who are trying to find a comfortable place to get a massage. It is always nerve wracking the first time when getting a massage but Robin's Massage Blog helps clam your nerves. She explains how to find the right massage therapist. Asking and looking up massage therapist can be easier to find the right massage therapist. Robin also use the story "Goldilocks and the 3 bears" as an example but instead she calls it "Goldilocks and the 3 MTs". Her blog can be the best thing for someone who is a first time client.

Uhl, Christine. Personal interview. 19 May 2012. 

As my mentor she gave me wonderful and helpful advice. She is also a teacher there at Alexandar School of Natural Therapeutics and i was able to sit in her class the first two days I went. She taught an "Aromatherapy class". I sat in the class as if i was one students and she taught me and the class about essential oils and what and what not to use on a client. She is a L.M.P which means she is a licensed massage therapist and she gives massages at the school to the public and teaches the students. Towards the end of the class she helped me go step by step giving a sixty minute relaxation massage. She taught me most of the techniques.

K, Glenn. Different Kinds of Alternative Massage or Therapy. N.p., 10 May 2010. Web.

        The point of this website is to inform people that there are different massage therapies that can help anybody. Most people aren’t aware that there are many massage treatments out there but not every massage is right for someone. Although this website doesn’t list every kind of massage out there it does list different kinds. These different massages they list explain what each treatment can do for a person. It’s important to know because you don’t want to walk in a spa and ask for a certain type of massage without even knowing what that massage can do for you.