Massage can relieve many types of muscle tightness, from a short-term muscle cramp to a chronically spastic muscle such as the shoulder region. Massage acts directly on your muscles with stretching and kneading motions, which in turn stimulates the nervous system to instruct muscles to relax even more.
POSTURE: Massage releases restrictions in muscles, joints, and connective tissue coverings, freeing your body to return to a more natural posture. Massage can also relieve the contracted muscles caused by abnormal spinal curvatures such as scoliosis.
Massage increases your circulation, which in turn drains tissues of excess fluid caused by recent injury, surgery, or pregnancy.
Massage can help heal injuries such as tendinitis that develop over time, as well as ligament sprains or muscle strains caused by a traumatic event. Massage reduces inflammation by increasing circulation, which removes cellular waste products that are produced from your body in an attempt to heal itself. Certain massage techniques can help limit scar tissue formation in new injuries and can reduce, or make more pliable, scar tissue around old injuries.
Cupping involves placing jars on the skin and creating a vacuum by suctioning out the air. The underlying tissue is raised, or sucked, partway into the cup. The purpose of cupping is to enhance circulation, help relieve pain, remove "heat" and pull out the toxins that linger in your body's tissues.
You usually will feel a tight sensation in the area of the cup. Often, this sensation is relaxing and soothing. Depending on your comfort and your practitioner's assessment of the problem, cups may be moved around or left in place. They may remain on your body briefly or for longer amounts of time. Each treatment is unique to you on that particular day. One very common area to be cupped is the back, although cups work well on other areas, too — particularly on fleshy sections of the body.
Hot Stone Massage
Hot stone massage is an age-old healing therapy with history reaching back to ancient Egyptians. The Native American culture has long used hot stones during "sweat lodge" ceremonies as a way to facilitate cleansing both the physical body and spirit. In Hawaii, hot molten lava rocks called pohaku are used. A type of hot stone massage is also used in the traditional Ayurveda, a natural alternative healing medicine practiced in India.
Hot stone massage performed by a certified therapist can help relax the body's muscles and soft tissues, alleviate pain, improve circulation and help rid the body of toxins. This type of massage treatment can also reduce stress, promote calmness and increase relaxation. Many hot stone massage enthusiasts even claim they experience a sense of enlightenment, inner peace and renewed spirituality after a hot stone massage session.
We recommend hot stone massage therapy, in particular, for individuals suffering from fibromyalgia because the penetrating effects of the heated stones allows the therapist to deliver massage without the need for excessive pressure. Hot stone massage is also helpful in relieving muscle restrictions after orthopedic surgery. Hot and cold stones are particularly effective with sports injury or over-use injury. Hot stone placement is also used to relieve menstrual cramps.