Are you craving full-body relaxation, pain relief, and inner peace? Or maybe, you’re looking for relief following an accident or injury or are just looking for a performance hack. Well, if so, look no further than the widespread, ancient practice of massage.
Massage is the practice of rubbing and kneading the body using the hands or a tool for assistance. During a massage, gentle or firm pressure is applied to the body to unite the body and mind for inner and outer serenity, relaxation, and stress relief.
You may be saying, “Sounds great. But will this work for me? Am I a candidate for massage therapy? What are the healing benefits of massages? And how exactly do I get started?”
This guide will teach you about massages' history and health benefits, different techniques, and more.
Ready to dive in? Let’s get started.
The Early History of Massage Therapy for Healing
Dating back to 3000 BCE or earlier, massages are one of the oldest – and most impactful forms of holistic healing and performance hacking. The practice began in India as a part of their Ayurvedic system. Generations passed down the technique to relieve pain, heal injuries, and cure illnesses.
Ayurveda practitioners believed (and still do) that massage restores the body’s natural balance so that it can heal naturally. The same philosophy applies today, which inspires people who have received the benefits of massage to continue to make the practice a part of their daily lives.
Before long, the practice spread to China and Southeast Asia around 2700 BCE. It quickly became a part of a set of ancient China practices, including China medicine, martial arts, and yoga. The philosophy around it was in line with the Indian belief that an imbalance in the body caused pain and discomfort.
The practice moved to ancient Egypt around 2500 BCE as a part of reflexology, which involves applying pressure to points on the hands and feet for healing purposes.
Ancient Greece and Rome soon adapted the practices as well. The Greeks would use massage to condition their bodies and heal ailments. Yes, even the ancient Olympic athletes likely used massages for healing. Notably, the “father of medicine,” Hippocrates, treated patients in the 5th century BCE with friction, a massage technique. Galen would later follow his lead in the 1st century BCE on emperors to treat injuries and illnesses.
The Dark Ages were fairly void of massages (makes sense, right?). Still, popularity spread again in the 17th century and even more notably in the 1800s, when Per Henrik Ling created the Swedish Movement Cure to relieve chronic pain.
Today, massage practices are popular worldwide, with practitioners available worldwide and massage products available for affordable prices.
Massage worked then, and you better believe it works now.
Health & Healing Benefits of Massage
Massage not only unites and body with the mind for more effective healing of the mind, body, and spirit, but it also helps you live your life with more joy, activity, and fun. Mind if we get into a bit of science? Here’s how massage works in the body.
For one, touch therapy helps relieve and prevent pain and inflammation. Massage keeps the soft tissues relaxed and able to withstand damage from long days sitting on a computer or injuries.
Plus, much of the pain people experience from low back and neck pain, headaches, and should pain tends to be from muscular tension and dysfunction, which massage helps to heal.
Studies note that massage also increases blood flow to restricted muscles and improves lymph system circulation, which works to transmit infection-fighting white blood cells to their needed location, making massage invaluable for a fast recovery for athletes and people with chronic pain.
And that blissful relaxation feeling that you get after a massage? It lowers your heart rate and blood pressure.
And if you’re anything like most massage enthusiasts, you likely generally enjoy lowered stress rates since massages lower the cortisol or stress hormone in your body that’s responsible for keeping you in a state of fight or flight. Relaxing the body and the mind allows you to get rid of tension headaches, improve your mood, and generally allow you to feel more relaxed.
Moreover, while lengthening your muscles through massage, serotonin, or the “happy chemical” is released. This reduces depression and anxiety symptoms by carrying signals between your nerves and your brain.
The physical, mental, and emotional relief from this healing method is invaluable for athletes looking to lower tension in their bodies and improve performance, people with chronic pain, veterans, and truly, just about all individuals living in the world today.
Types of Massages & Benefits
If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve experienced a massage in one form or another. Who hasn’t at least tried a massage chair at the mall? Of course, massages can also be done with the help of a licensed massage therapist or through a massage product (like our human touch fascia massage tools).
Let’s start with the most common type of massage – the Swedish massage. This massage involves long, fluid strokes of the muscles and tissues in various strengths, depending on your body and preferences.
Nearly as popular, the deep tissue massage is helpful for people with chronic pain or injuries. This technique targets areas of tension by applying concerted pressure to the sub-layer of muscles and facia, the connective tissue surrounding the muscles.
There are countless additional types of massages, such as –
- The sports massage to increase flexibility and prevent injuries
- The hot stone massage that promotes relaxation and relieves muscle tension
- The Japanese shiatsu massage that involves applying pressure to specific points in the body to relieve tension and promote relaxation
- The pregnancy massage to relieve back pain and swollen feet in pregnant women
And quite frankly, we can likely keep going indefinitely.
Let’s we touch on fascia massage tools briefly, specifically ours. Our fascial tools and techniques allow you to target your pressure points and balance your “chi,” or natural energy flow, to increase flexibility and range of motion and manage pain effectively.
The best part? You can use it at any time. No appointment is required.
By now, you’re likely sold on the healing and health benefits of massages, and you’re likely asking yourself how you can make getting massages a part of your day-to-day routine.
Unless you’re living with a licensed massage therapist (lucky) or are somehow part of the ancient Roman royalty community, your best bet is likely to invest in your health through one of our patented solutions, designed to mimic human elbows, knuckles, and fingers to effectively massage sore tissues at a customized pace, pressure, and depth you control. The best part?
We offer a 30-day, money-back guarantee. What do you have to lose? Shop now.