I cannot think of a statement more accurate than that which Elizabeth Jane Howard once said: A massage is exactly just like a movie, really very relaxing and a total escape, except in a massage you are the star and you do not miss anything by falling asleep. Surely, massage has already become an essential part of our relaxation and de-stressing routine because deep down inside, we all know that we do not only get the pain relief we are looking for but there is so much more than the ease it provides.
You can find massages that are concentrated only on specific parts of the body such as foot massage (which helps greatly in promoting our physiological health), neck and shoulder massage (best for decreasing the severity of headaches and helps improve blood flow), hand massage (excellent remedy with stiff and sore joints, tendons, ligaments and connective tissues), and a lot more. Nevertheless, the majority of us would still prefer to have full body massage experience for certain personal reasons and preferences. The most typical reason for choosing full body massage over a body part specific one, however, is because we would want overall pain relief.
Benefits of a Full Body Massage
A full body massage is just one out of the 80 types of massage therapy that currently exist. Each session normally lasts for approximately 60 minutes and is performed in a room designed for relaxation – lights are usually dimmed, has an aromatic scent, and soothing music playing in the background. According to various researches, the following benefits can be obtained by having regular (about once or twice a week) massage therapy sessions:
- It can reduce muscular and chronic pains. A full body massage triggers the release of endorphins which are chemicals being produced generally by our nervous system to cope with pain and/or stress. They are also termed feel-good compounds for the reason that they act as a pain reliever and happiness booster at the same time. With this being said, a full body massage can almost instantly relieve muscle pains along with other chronic conditions such as migraine, back pains, and a lot more.
- It can increase flexibility and improve our body’s posture. Getting a regular massage therapy can loosen and relax stiff muscles and soften connective tissues surrounding it, the bones, tendons, and ligaments in our entire body. Apart from those, it can also improve our range of motion/movement, balance, and body posture by softening body tissues that have become stiff and tight over time.
- It can improve the function of our immune system. If you are going to think about it, it seems a bit unlikely that a full body massage would have the ability to affect our immune system. How can kneading of our muscles do that? Certain studies have published that a full body massage can help in increasing the production of our “natural killer” cells and other immune cells that work to avoid HIV and help combat cancer in patients. Additionally, it also improves lymphatic flows that enable our immune system to work better.
- It can reduce anxiety and stress, improve sleeping habits, and lower our blood pressure. Researches have reported that patients who receive regular massage sessions have less stress and anxiety as well as a lower level of cortisol, which is also known as stress hormones. Touch Research Institute has found that children and infants who receive regular massage had better sleep quality and it also improved sleep patterns in infants, not to mention the experience of adults who have also felt better sleep at night. In addition to those, massage also promotes blood circulation which reduces the risk of blood clotting and hypertension.
Full Body Massage Around the World
Because of the benefits a full body massage can offer, people in different parts of the globe have acknowledged it and it is currently being patronized. However, due to the diversity of our culture and society, a lot of variations and techniques have been created. Some of it is even a bit unusual, just like the examples below:
Chinese Fire Therapy
Fire therapy (also called huǒ liáo), is an ancient medicine that aims to manage the balance of the cold and hot temperatures in our body. Although some of the details may be altered, Chinese fire massage generally includes placing a fabric material immersed in alcohol and a special elixir over the patient’s face, back, legs, belly or other problem areas. This cloth will then be inflamed and allowed to burn for up to a few minutes before the therapist extinguishes the fires with a wet towel/cloth which may eventually be used to massage the heated area. This kind of massage therapy is believed to relieve areas suffering from joint and muscular pain, can reduce stress, and may help in losing weight.
Water Massage (Watsu)
In 1980, Harold Dull started applying Shiatsu in warm and waist-deep water and eventually formed Watsu. Normally, a Watsu session is performed in a special type of pool with water that is about 92 to 94 degrees Fahrenheit, while the therapist and the client are wearing bathing suits. A series of soft-rocking movements, stretching, and bending will then be performed by the patient with the guidance of the therapist. This water therapy is best known to reduce muscle tension, promote a deeper state of relaxation, ease stress, and reduce pain.
A full body massage in Metro Manila, Philippines may not be as strange and unusual like the 2 that are mentioned above, however, keep in mind that each type and technique has its own strengths and getting a full body massage regularly is one of the best ways to a healthier body and mind.