If the history of massage is traced back in the time, it goes more than a thousand years behind. The practice of massaging was well realized and understood while the civilizations were developing in different parts of the world. In various countries, massage existed in various forms. A few countries took it as a relaxing workout to relieve the stressed muscles, while a few advanced farther to treat serious diseases with the highly professional massaging tricks.
While the entire world today accepts the fact that the massage is a good way of relieving the stress in the body, not much scientific explanation has been recorded till date about how this happens. There are a certain number of changes associated with each massaging exercise, which brings about this calming effect under discussion. What are those changes exactly, and to what extent those impact the human body working needs some more experiments and a deeper insight.
The Theories To Explain Massaging Effects
There are numerous theories to explain the massaging benefits. It is difficult to suggest which one works the best, and is preferred over the others. While a few of these have gained a strong ground and are claimed to be more explanatory compared to the rest, there are two widely accepted theories worldwide:
Gate Control Theory
It associates the massaging exercise to the brain, and accounts this as the behavioral and mood related changes which are influenced. According to this theory, the massage blocks the pain signals, which otherwise reach the brain and are responsible for the person experiencing stress and strain. This theory is based on certain experiments, but cannot be taken as the complete explanation for the massage related benefits. It is however required to be aware of this theory, as it stands out amongst the rest, which do not take the role of brain in the complete process.
The Theory Of Chemicals
This is suggested by a number of experts into the field. According to them, the massage stimulates certain chemicals like serotonin and endorphin, which bring the mood relieving changes to the body. These also cause some beneficial mechanical changes to the stressed tissues, and prove to be the natural painkillers produced within the body.
Massage May Be Risky!!
This reads as a surprise to many, because the massage therapy is generally accepted to be a soothing and calming down treatment for the tired body. Along with the lot of advantages this miraculous therapy offers, there are a few areas where the caution is necessary:
- Massage is directly related to the blood circulation, and hence the patients with the blood disorder are not recommended for the rigorous massaging workouts. Along with this, there are many patients who are the regular consumers of the blood thinning medicines. Such patients cannot risk the lengthy periods of massage if it involves the hard strokes.
- The second risk concerns a wider category of the sufferers, and address a number of ailments including:
- Blood clots
- Open wounds
- Skin infections
- Weakened bones (as in Osteoporosis and Cancer)
- A recently operated area
One needs to be cautious while dealing with such areas on the body. Massage may worsen the condition if not enough care is taken.
The Swedish massage is proved to be a healing treatment for the cancer patients. However, it may be dangerous if the infected areas with the tumors are under hard pressure during massaging exercise. The Oncologist can suggest the safer way to deal with the problem. If worked out properly, this therapy can be very beneficial in relieving cancer related pains.
Evans is a physical trainer and he is currently promoting Kelly Leis Massage Therapy.