What will you do when your baby cries? You’ll take them in your hands, hop them on your knee, hush them, pat them on the back. And in all likelihood, as soon as they feel your touch, if you aren’t tense, they will calm down. What will you do when your little one doesn’t want to go to bed? There are great chances that you will come along with them and hold them by the hand, also unconsciously use circular movements or gentle pressure of your palm to calm them. Or you will sit next to them and tell a goodnight story. As you massage them gently on the back to relax, for a moment, here comes sleep. Massage and health are linked from the first day for each of us on this planet, although we do not think about it, we are spontaneously reacting to massage.
Massage and health through centuries
From memory, man has known the beneficial effect on the health of having a message. The earliest evidence is the Egyptian fresco of the third millennium BC, showing treatments of the hands and feet. All old civilizations of the East, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Mesopotamia also leave unambiguous archaeological evidence. They say that the message was one of the important processes in healing and beautifying centuries before Christ. In Europe, of course, the ancient Greeks and Romans have an abundance of practice in this field. Information about this continues on to modern Europeans, however, bypassing the Arab route. Europeans in the early Middle Ages rejected the rich sources of their cradle and accepted them only later, after gaining a certain width in views. Therefore, we can conclude that massage and health are two words that are more often mentioned together.
What is the practice today?
Diverse. That’s the least we can say. Massage is now defined as a treatment of the human body by pressure, for the purpose of relaxing the body and eliminating pain. This definition of massage has a beneficial effect on health. Even when talking about cosmetics, the massage actually treats the health problem primarily. Sometimes it is stress, cellulite or lymphatic pathways that is the problem. And, only after relaxing, or starting the process, comes a more beautiful look. The techniques in use are usually called manual massage, but the pressure is not only done with fists and fingers. Depending on the method, elbows, forearms, knees or feet are also used.
In addition to the manual, there are techniques that use different objects. Of course, the whole industry that produces massage machines and machines, but we will not delve into that area. Today, massage is practiced by trained professionals. Most are trained regularly within their medical profession. Some go to courses. And some are going abroad to master the practices of other schools and nations. Massage is most often performed on special tables or chairs manufactured for this purpose or on the floor.
Massage and health – Serbian tradition
If you have been at the physiotherapist, because of problems with your spine or joint swelling, we guarantee that at least one person has stopped you in the waiting room or the surroundings of the health center. They offered you a contact number of a man. And I explained how they “got to their feet”. This is the Serbian tradition when it comes to massage and health. Nearly every village has at least one person who fixes sprains, repairs stiff spins, eases pains, doing all of this with their hands. Their magic hands and job are inherited from a grandmother, grandfather or someone else from the family or the neighborhood.
It’s not uncommon to have people who can’t see themselves doing this kind of massage. Although it can scare you at first when you think for a moment, their sense of touch is much more fine-tuned so that they can easily and quickly “find” the problem. In terms of cosmetics, we should not neglect the Turkish influence on our tradition. For example, going to the hammam, which was a necessary part of women’s relaxation, meant a message.
Different types of massage in the modern world
The most popular is the relaxation massage, but besides it, there is a sport and medical massage, as well. There is a difference between the countries from which they originate, and they are applied throughout the world. Massages are divided into Burmese, Traditional Chinese, Ayurvedic, Thai, and Swedish. Of course, the list does not end there, there is a message of deep tissue, then feet, acupressure, shiatsu, craniosacral, lymphatic drainage, reflexology, anticellulite … Depending on the resources used, we can talk about massage with essential oils, different creams, gels, volcanic stones, chocolate, water and so on.
How Does Massage Affect Health?
To begin with, it should be emphasized that massage can be contraindicating and can aggravate the health condition. In case of serious problems with veins, thrombosis, damaged blood vessels, bleeding and therapy with blood thinners such as heparin. Also, if people have weakened bones such as osteoporosis, as a consequence of cancer or fractures, can suffer from bruises or fever.
And lastly, research has shown the beneficial effects of various types of massage for the health of the organism in many areas. First of all, better blood circulation and nutrition of organs and tissue. Then, reduction of pain, anxiety or depression. And also an improvement in the duration and quality of sleep. Massage has a positive effect on regulation of heart and blood pressure, then regulation of parasympathetic nervous system and lymphatic system operation. It is especially recommended as a means of relaxing tension in the muscles and recovery of muscular function.