When you accept that massage can heal the body, it helps of understand how healing take, place. Massage can have immediate benefits for the healthy individuals but if a person is ill, recovery takes time. Massage therapists have identified four stages in the healing process.
Relief : The first few treatment sessions relieve pain, reduce tension and sedate stressed nerves. They do not necessarily solve the problems, but ease the symptoms so that you feel better.
Correction : When the pain has been relieved the therapist can work on the underlying cause to prevent the problem’s return. Correctional work involves returning muscles, decongesting a sluggish lymph system, or freeing knotted or scarred fibres.
Strengthening : This is important in a badly damaged area. Weaknesses at injury site can mean recurring problems in the future. For example, spoils injuries can cause problems long after they have healed if the tissues around them have been weakened by the injury and a long period of recuperation. Massage can strengthen the surrounding tissues enabling them to provide adequate support when the injury has healed.
Maintenance : This is both the final stage of healing and the first step in preventative care. Therapists recommend occasional massaging treatments to keep problems at bay and prevent any annoying health problems from becoming major health issues.
Certain medical conditions require the exercise of caution concerning the advisability of giving or receiving massage. If you are in any doubt, or if you or your partner are under medical supervision, check with your doctor or other qualified medical practitioner before embarking on massage therapy. This advice applies particularly in the case of cardiovascular conditions and heart disease, especially in cases of thrombosis, phlebitis, and oedema.
• Never apply pressure under or over varicose veins.
• Never massage directly over infected skin, for example where there are warts, herpes, or boils, or where there is inflammation, unexplained lumps, bruises and open cuts.
• While giving a massage, cover up any open cuts or scratches on your hands with a plaster or other dressing.
• A physician should first diagnose the causes of acute back pain, before receiving massage treatment.
• Consult a qualified medical practitioner in cases of raised temperature, infections, or contagious disease.
• Seek medical advice before having a massage if you suffer from phlebitis, thrombosis, varicose veins, severe acute back pain, or fever.
• Swellings, fractures, skin infections, or bruises should not be massaged. Your doctor should check lumps and swellings before you begin massage.
• Massage of the abdomen, legs, and feet should not be given during the first three months of pregnancy.
• Cancer patients are best treated by specially trained practitioners who know which areas to avoid and which kind of massage is appropriate.