Holistic Massage & Sports Massage Therapy
Massage therapy uses a variety of techniques to manipulate your joints and soft tissue to improve your body’s overall health. Massage increases the body’s supply of oxygen and nutrients to your muscles, which help release waste from the muscle tissue. Massage also accelerates your body's own natural ability to heal itself.
Holistic Massage Therapy
Holistic Massage Therapy is suitable for both men and women, and can aid relaxation, reduce stress and tension, and relieve muscle pain and stiffness. Because massage therapy stimulates the circulation of blood and lymph it also detoxifies the body and nourishes and improves the skin.
The massage therapist creates a comfortable environment using cushions to support the body, blankets or soft towels for warmth, and large towels to cover parts of the body not being massaged. Massage oils are used to allow the therapist to slide his hands smoothly on the individual’s body without causing discomfort. The different strokes used include percussive movements, deep tissue strokes such as heel of hand pressure, medium-depth strokes such as kneading, and long or broad circling strokes which glide along the surface of the body.
A good massage therapist will always check that the person receiving the massage is comfortable with the amount of pressure being used. The parts of the body that are massaged include the back, neck, shoulders, arms, hands, legs and feet. A full body massage usually takes at least an hour.
Sports massage therapy
Sports massage therapy uses deep tissue massage techniques to improve the condition of the muscles and other soft tissues, in order to enhance athletic performance and to prevent and treat injuries. Sports massage therapy is not just for serious or professional athletes. Anyone who practices sports or other physical activities, from the occasional athlete to those engaging in physical work can benefit from sports massage.
During the training process and before an event, sports massage therapy can identify areas of weakness and relieve muscle tension and spasm, thus improving flexibility and preventing injury. It can also improve the flow of blood and lymph, thus increasing the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the soft tissues, and removing toxins waste products. This helps to keep the muscles in good condition and prevents muscle fatigue, soreness and inflammation.
After an event, sports massage therapy can be used to reduce stagnation in the soft tissues, thus removing waste products such as lactic acid, speeding up recovery of overworked or damaged muscles, reducing soreness and stiffness, and healing soft tissue injuries. Sports Massage also helps to relieve spasm or ‘knots’ in the muscles, and breaks up adhesions that can develop between the fascia, thus improving muscle flexibility and mobility.
For more information about Holistic Massage or Sports Massage Therapy, or to make an appointment, please telephone Sean Cummins at the Lismore Clinic, Lismore, Co. Waterford, on 087 2311179.
Aromatherapy Massage for Women
Aromatherapy refers to the use of highly concentrated plant oils, called essential oils. Essential oils are a very significant constituent of many medicinal herbs, particularly those made from very aromatic herbs such as lavender, thyme and rosemary.
Aromatic herbs have been used for their healing properties for thousands of years. However, the pure essential oils were initially extracted in the twentieth century for use in perfumes. In the 1920s, the French chemist René-Maurice Gattefossé set his arm on fire during an accident in his perfume laboratory. He plunged his blazing arm into a nearby vat of pure lavender oil to put out the flames, and immediately noticed significant relief from the pain. The burn healed remarkably quickly without causing any scarring. He subsequently devoted his life to researching the healing properties of essential oils, and coined the term ‘aromatherapy’.
The most direct effect of Aromatherapy is on the skin, where various different oils can be used to treat a variety of skin problems. For example, tea tree is a powerful antiseptic for infected wounds and spots; and chamomile is anti-inflammatory and promotes skin healing. Essential oils can also be absorbed through the skin to affect the local tissues such as muscles and joints. For example, wintergreen essential oil has a powerful anti-inflammatory effect on inflamed, arthritic joints. Sweet marjoram oil relaxes muscle spasms, and clove oil has anaesthetic properties which ease joint and muscle pain.
Essential oils are made up of volatile molecules which readily evaporate out of their liquid state. They can be easily inhaled where they exert their therapeutic effects on the mucous membranes of the nose, sinuses, throat and lungs. Oils with antiseptic and decongestant properties such as eucalyptus oil can therefore be used for all sorts of respiratory infections such as sinusitis, laryngitis, and chest infections.
The nostrils are also attached to a part of the brain called the limbic system, which controls emotions and influences the nervous system and hormone balance. When essential oil molecules are inhaled, messages are transmitted to the limbic system which can either stimulate or relax the body and mind. For example, rosemary oil is uplifting and stimulating, while lavender oil is calming and relaxing. Messages from the limbic system also affect many body processes including heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, digestion, stress levels, memory and mood.
Aromatherapy oils can be used in many different ways: They can be blended with creams for skin problems, added to steam inhalations for respiratory problems, or used in an oil burner. Aromatherapy oils are also frequently combined with massage to enhance their effects.
Aromatherapy Massage combines the use of essential oils with massage techniques. The oils are specifically chosen and blended according to the needs of the individual. Using massage helps to relax tense and aching muscles, and stimulates the lymphatic circulation to help eliminate toxins from the body. Massage also improves the circulation to the skin which aids the absorption of the oils. Receiving a massage from an experienced therapist can also have an effect on an emotional level.
Aromatherapy is generally a very safe and gentle treatment, but it is important to consult a qualified practitioner since some of the oils are not appropriate for use with young children, pregnant women or those with certain medical conditions such as epilepsy. The type of problems which respond well to Aromatherapy Massage include muscular tension and pain, stress related disorders, insomnia, headaches and digestive problems. Massage for Pregnancy is also available and can help with many problems such as constipation, sciatica, swollen ankles, and varicose veins.
For more information about Aromatherapy Massage or Massage for Pregnancy please contact Wendy Livingston at the Lismore Clinic, Lismore, Co. Waterford, on 058 53200 or 087 784 7679.