Massage Therapy and Benefits

More and more people are recognizing the health benefits of massage therapy. According to a 2007 American Massage Therapy Association survey, almost 25% of all adult Americans had at least one massage in the previous year. (Excerpt from webmd.com) And, they have a diverse range of reasons for doing so, beyond simple relaxation. At Mind Body and Flow, we want people to select from among many massage styles to obtain relief from symptoms or to heal injuries, to help with certain health conditions, and to promote overall wellness. We offer our clients multiple massage therapy modalities to choose from in order to meet their individual needs.

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Zen Shiatsu

Shiatsu or “finger pressure” massage, sometimes called Zen Shiatsu, is a Japanese form of physiotherapy. Like acupressure, this technique incorporates applying pressure to certain points of the body to relieve the symptoms of various complaints. However, it also combines stretching, breathing and rotating the body for a more complete approach to restoring energy balance. Generally considered to be safe, its roots are thousands of years old. Today, the technique is growing in popularity around the world.

The main concept behind shiatsu massage is that energy, or chi, circulates along channels or meridians in the body. There are two major differences between this type of massage and other forms: clients don’t need to undress for a session and it does not involve the use of oil or lotions.

Before a session, the shiatsu practitioner asks some basic questions to find out about the client’s current health conditions or treatments. He/she may also use very light massaging and physical observation to figure out where to adjust chi. Once confident in the assessment, the therapist gently but firmly applies pressure using his/her hands and arms and incorporates stretching and rotating the client’s body and guiding deep breathing to promote energy release.

Most people who go through this process describe the manipulation of pressure points as feeling slightly tender. Some individuals also say they are a little sore, although not as much as with muscular tissue massage. Reports of elation, emotional release and extreme relaxation are all common as well.

Advocates of this technique claim that, because energy connects to the entire body, adjusting chi can open the door for the body to heal itself from a variety of conditions, including headaches, depression, tiredness, premenstrual syndrome and digestive problems. (Excerpt from wisegeek.com)

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Lymphatic Massage

At Mind Body and Flow in Chandler, AZ we strive to bring our clients the BEST POSSIBLE choices for healing the mind and body. This is why we added a remarkable new service known as lymphatic massage, or lymphatic drainage therapy. This non-invasive, gentle therapy enhances your metabolism while promoting the removal of bodily toxins and waste. It encourages the circulation of your lymphatic system, improves vitality and calms your nervous system.

Most people are familiar with the body’s circulatory system that carries blood to and from the tissues. But few know there is another equally vital system that removes waste, proteins, excess fluid, viruses and bacteria from the spaces between each cell. Your lymphatic system consists of a network of delicate vessels and lymph nodes, which are the primary structure of the immune system. It cleans and filters lymphatic fluids and waste products, then carries the clean fluid back to the blood stream. When the lymph system works well, we are healthy and have a strong defense against illness. When it’s sluggish, swelling occurs, we feel tired, and are more susceptible to colds and infections.

A lymphatic massage session begins with a consultation between the therapist and client to discuss the client’s specific needs. The actual massage consists of soft, rhythmic gliding motions that can benefit just about everyone. It’s a wonderful massage for general health purposes, for those who are looking to detoxify their body, or for those fighting to get back on track after an illness, injury or surgery.

It can also be part of a care program for fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome. Since it is so gentle, it is well tolerated by patients who are often experiencing sore trigger points throughout the body. When tissues or limbs are swollen, lymphatic massage is often the treatment of choice. Lymphatic drainage therapy helps the body remove protein and waste products from the affected area and reduce the swelling. This may assist in reducing pressure on cells and allow tissues to heal faster. (Excerpts from massagetherapy101.com)

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Swedish Massage

While various forms of massage have been practiced for thousands of years, physiologist, Henri Peter Ling, in Stockholm, Sweden in1812, introduced traditional Swedish massage. Its firm characterizes this massage technique, yet calming pressure that improves blood circulation, eases muscle tension, and improves flexibility. Today’s therapeutic style of Swedish massage still employs a series of long, gliding strokes and kneading of the muscle that encourages blood circulation and helps heal injuries like muscle sprain and spasms. (Excerpt from massagetherapy101.com)

During a Swedish massage, the client undresses to his/her level of comfort and a sheet is draped over him/her. The therapist only uncovers a portion of the body when it is being massaged to preserve the client’s modesty. Massage oil or lotion is used to reduce friction and achieve the smooth, long and deep strokes over the client’s body. As millions will attest, a Swedish massage helps relieve the mind and body of the stress and tension of everyday living.

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Pregnancy Massage

Pregnancy can be a tumultuous period for a woman. Not only does a woman experience physical changes, she also experiences mental changes as well. Any woman who has been pregnant can sympathize with the mental and physical fatigue associated with pregnancy. Mind Body and Flow recognizes that massage therapy can be particularly helpful during a time when medication and other medical options may be limited.

Specialized massage techniques have been known to calm many of the aches and pains associated with pregnancy such as sciatica, swelling, back and neck pain, and upset stomach. Prenatal massage has also been shown to improve physical discomforts by encouraging circulation, stretching the muscles and joints to their full range of motion, and improving skin elasticity and body tone. Studies show that pregnant women who receive regular prenatal massages are more at ease – furthermore relaxing the fetus inside their womb. (Excerpt from massagetherapy101.com)

In the postpartum period, massage can help to rebalance the structure of a woman’s body by improving skin elasticity and muscle tone. Massage also has a physiological effect on a new mother; it can help ease any postpartum depression and encourage her to bond with her new baby.

In all cases, a pregnant or post-pregnant woman should always ask their doctor if massage therapy is recommended before seeking a massage therapist. Also, be sure to ask if your massage therapist has specialized, training in prenatal massage.

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