Today, it is common knowledge that stress is the cause
of much harm to our bodies and accelerates aging. Massage relieves stress, but
that’s not all it does. And although one-third of the population still believe
having a massage is strictly for pampering, science as well as consumer
activity indicate otherwise.
the American Massage Therapy Association, 63 percent of massage consumers have
used massage for a health or medical reason at the end of a 12-month period
ending June 2020. In that same period, 29 percent of consumers had a massage
for pain relief or pain management. Eighty-three percent of consumers agree
massage therapy should be considered a form of health care. But these aren’t
The origins of
massage therapy date back to more than 5,000 years ago where it was first used
in India. Within 300 years, the Chinese adapted and wrote about the healing
benefits of massage. By 2,500 B.C., it had caught on in Egypt, as depicted by
hieroglyphs in tombs. By 1,000 B.C., traveling monks brought massage to Japan.
Over time, each culture tweaked and adapted the science and art of massage. The
20th century saw the birth of many different modalities and specialties of
massage, and they continue to evolve and become more specialized now in the
are multitudes of therapies available. Each modality has its unique benefits.
One should find the approach that gives one the best results based on one’s
goals and objectives. To list them all would be impossible here, yet here are
some more common approaches/techniques.
Swedish Massage: Rekindles well-being, is good
for circulation, promotes relaxation, and releases stress. Includes long
stokes, percussion and kneading.
Myofascial Massage: Works with muscles and fascia
to release deeply held tissue. Improves function. Helps in the repair of
Sports Massage: Used before and after
participation. Helps relieve performance-related pains, increases flexibility,
and can prevent injuries.
Reflexology: Works specific areas of the
body without touching that part of the body. Done through a centrally mapped
appendage. These appendages include the foot, hand or ear (auricular
CranioSacral Therapy: Addresses the central nervous
system and the circulation of cerebral spinal fluid. These subtle rhythms are
regarded as fundamental expressions of our health and vitality. They act as a
blueprint for health from our early embryological development and maintain
fundamental balance in the system.
Pregnancy Massage: Can promote relaxation and
specifically addresses the issues surrounding carrying a child. It helps reduce
back and joint pain. Getting a massage during your pregnancy has many benefits,
including reducing swelling, improving sleep and hormone regulation.
Neuromuscular Therapy: A form of manual therapy that
corrects pain and dysfunction by treating trigger points, and muscle tensions
Movement Therapies: These can include the Alexander
technique and the Bowen technique. They roll or even gently rock the body to
release areas of held tension.
Deep Tissue Massage: Reduces stress and tension and
helps the brain release oxytocin, a natural chemical that reduces pain and can
serve as an antidepressant.
Aromatherapy Massage: Using essential oils dates to
ancient Egypt and can promote outcomes ranging from relaxation to energizing or
invigorating, depending on the type of scents the therapist uses.
Hot Stone Massage: Involves the placement of
either heated or cooled stones to the body for relaxation, eased muscle tension
Cupping: Assists in pain management,
muscle tightness and flushing the tissue. Pressure is applied to the area by
suctioning a cup onto the skin.
Structural Integration: This system of bodywork views the
body as an integrated system, with the intention to reshape and restore
postural balance along the gravitational field. Rather than treating symptoms,
structural integration practitioners work to help a person’s body integrate
internally between systems and externally toward one’s life’s challenges.
Shiatsu: A Japanese form of bodywork
based on concepts of Traditional Chinese Medicine to improve the body’s
circulation and restore natural energy flow. It combines assisted-stretching
techniques and acupressure to improve the state of qi (energy flow) in the
Thai Massage Therapy: There are no oils or lotions
used and the recipient is fully clothed. The treatment follows designated lines
in the body and the practitioner uses his or her legs, feet and hands to apply
rhythmic pressing and stretching of the entire body.
Lymphatic Drainage: Drains the lymph, which carries
waste products away from the tissues and back toward the liver. Uses pressure
and rhythmic movements to encourage lymph drainage.
Energy Healing: Physics
states that all is energy. This energy can be influenced through various
modalities, either hands on or at a distance. Energy work can include prayer,
Touch for Health, reiki and other techniques. Regardless of the type of therapy
work done, energy influences it all. One of the most common energy techniques
is reiki, which is used in many hospitals for pain relief and relaxation.
There are an unprecedented number of
bodywork techniques and modalities available to us all today. Exploring and
discovering what avenues and practitioners best suite each individual is an
opportunity that has never been available to the common person in the history
of humanity. We live in exciting yet stressful times. Fortunately, alternative
therapies have come into the world to meet our needs as individuals and as an
expanding society. We need merely to choose.
Moretto is a soft tissue specialist and certified structural integrator who has
a practice in Daytona and Flagler Beach. She has spent more than 30 years
studying and teaching human body structure and function. The expertise
developed over this long timespan has equipped her with a deep, sophisticated
understanding of our physical bodies. Moretto’s practice uniquely integrates
objective methods of working and manipulating the lines of restrictions
throughout the body, from head to toe. For more information, call Moretto at
321-271-1678 or visit LaureeMoretto.com.