Other Types Of Massages - part 3

In the second part of this article we have discussed different forms of massages - anti-stress massage, face massage, chest massage, etc. Brief discussions on a number of other massages - back massage, leg massage and arm massage are discussed in this part of the article.

Back massage

It is interesting to note that the back of the body is the region that mostly experiences the favorable impact of massage. This area needs massage only when the recipient is enduring stiff neck, cervical arthrosis (also called cervical spondylosis), tenderness occurring from stress or whiplash (the repercussions of any traumatic experience like lesions or strain to the soft tissues of the neck after a car accident) and spasms. It is not advisable to perform back massage when the recipient/ patient has arthrosis (inflammation of a joint), neuritis (inflammation of peripheral nerves), bone cancer, osteoporosis, any contagious or inflammatory ailment, or any skin disorders that pose the risk of infection by means of contact.

While massaging the back, the therapist/ practitioner is allowed to make use of all techniques. In fact, this is advisable too. While performing a back massage, all actions ought to be made with the palm of the hand, making use of extensive circular movements on the large muscles, such as the lumbar, dorsal and trapezius. When the therapist is performing the massage in the region of the vertebral joints, on the neck and the shoulders, he/ she ought to make use of their fingertips and the pinch shaped by the tenar and hypotenar prominences as well as the fingers.

Begin the back massage using slow and soft strokes, making use of extensive circular motions with a view to prevail over the natural defensive reaction of the recipient. Subsequently, increase the pressure to friction using slow, cadenced motions that will generate a superficial hyperemia (presence of excessive amount of blood in a body part). It may be noted that stroking as well as friction make up the fundamental elements of back massage and work as an introduction to additional techniques. Remember to keep away from jarring movements and abrupt changes in rhythm and maintain a continuous contact with the skin of the recipient.

Back massage is also considered to be beneficial for easing physical exhaustion, stress as well as depression. By the way, if the recipient so desires, it is supportive if the therapist allows him/ her to talk freely, since this will help to be liberated from all kinds of mental or emotional burdens. Thus, massage actually turns out to be a multifaceted therapy that is able to free all latent psychosomatic (physical maladies caused or swayed by emotional aspects) energies. Occasionally, this is manifested in theatrical behaviours, for instance, outbursts of laughter, bursts of tears or forceful general trembling. Back massage should always be concluded with gentle, decreasing motions, stroking mildly and deftly. And, whenever it is possible, the recipient should be allowed to take rest for as long period as may be essential.

It is advisable that the recipient should be seated in a backless chair, while leaning the head and arms of a table, when his/ her shoulders and the neck are being massaged. When the recipient is in this position, it is possible to treat the entire upper back area appropriately. In addition, it is also apt for patients suffering from a stiff neck, people enduring cervical arthrosis and also for the precise healing of headaches caused by arthrosis.

Leg massage

Leg massage may prove to be effective in two different ways. First, massaging the legs helps to decrease the general strain in the lower part of the body by means of generating an overall stress-free effect. Second, leg massage is considered to be of artistic temperament and is performed to get rid of the indications of cellulite (lumpy deposits of fat on the thighs and buttocks) as well as to activate areas having venous stasis (a condition wherein blood flows very slowly in the veins, especially in the legs), thereby diminishing the swelling as well as edema (accumulation of serous fluids in the cavities between tissues) in the lower limbs. In fact, leg massage is especially important for all athletes and sportspersons and is advisable to be performed following any traumatic event, for instance muscle strains, fractures and/ or ripped ligament at the knees or ankles. Such conditions compel the patients to become inactive and this may even continue for several months resulting in the shrinkage of the muscles and loss of tone. These, in turn, result in the joints becoming rigid.

It may be noted that leg massage should not be carried out if the recipient is suffering from severe inflammation, instantaneously following a trauma as well as in the instances of varicose veins, thrombophlebitis (the existence of fibrous clots, obstructing circulation, in a vein together with inflammation of the vessel wall) or fragile capillaries. The techniques employed in leg massage are akin to those used in back massage, with the difference being that the position of the therapist/ practitioner's hand ought to become accustomed to these shapes, which are comparatively smaller and have smoothed surfaces. Hence, while performing a leg massage, the therapist ought to use the fingertips as well as the arch created by the gap between the thumb and the index finger more often.

In addition, the therapist should be careful to keep off from massaging the inner thighs, back of the knees and the groin when performing a leg massage. While carrying out the massage on the back of the legs, the therapist should place an inflexible cushion below the ankles and when performing the massage on the front, the cushion should be placed under the knees. Most frequently and especially while performing aesthetic massage, the patient/ recipient is made to lie on his/ her side in order to treat the entire horizontal or sideways part of the thigh as well as the flank more suitably. In this instance, putting a reasonably large cushion below the folded leg may prove to be helpful. Prior to performing the leg massage, it is important to massage the foot, which is considered to be the actual secondary pump and, hence, it is extremely vital for proper circulation of blood.

Arm massage

Arm massage is an excellent therapy for explicit problems, including tennis elbow, arthrosis, writer's cramp as well as rheumatism. This form of massage is also suggested for total healing of cervical arthrosis when the condition results in the blocking of the brachial plexus (an arrangement of nerves in the armpits and neck, stimulating the arms, shoulders and hands) and is accompanied by excruciating responses in the hands and arms. Occasionally, this condition may be apparent as carpal tunnel syndrome (an ordinary problem of the wrist and hand marked by pain, stinging as well as muscular debility). Besides the cases mentioned here, it is normally not advisable to massage or treat the arm when the recipient is suffering from severe, inflammatory phase of frozen shoulder or soon after any event that has caused him/ her trauma. While performing the arm massage, the therapist or practitioner should keep away from the armpits as well as the front of the elbow. The modus operandi of arm massage is akin to that used for massaging legs with the sole disparity being that the surface of the arm is smaller compared to the leg and, hence, the motions ought to be further selective and refined.

As in the case of the legs, arm massage should be practiced very often. While performing the arm massage, the recipient may be in any position for it does not make much difference whether he/ she is lying on the face, lying on the back or is sitting. It is advisable that the therapist ought to test all these different positions, each many times, till the time he/ she has mastered the methods in dissimilar positions. While carrying out the arm massage, it is important to bear in mind that the hand needs to be massaged deeply.



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