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of movement. Refexology is also known
as foot massage and is again similar to
the concept of acupuncture, where in
pressure is applied to certain areas of the
feet which correspond to certain organs
of the body. For those who are always
on their feet, refexology massage and
pain relief holds true for sore spots in
their feet and legs. Lastly, Aromatherapy
is similar to Swedish massage therapy
with an added essential oil which is
usually mixed with water and burned
in an oil burner in order for the scent to
evaporate. A few examples of these oils
are lavender, peppermint, lemon, orange,
and rosemary. The scent of the essential
oil helps in calming, relaxing, and even
decongesting the system.
Experts liken massage to a sponge that
has already absorbed liquid. They say
that when a muscle is tight, it does
not allow much blood to fow through
it. When the muscle is massaged, it
is kneaded, just like squeezing the
sponge, in order to allow more blood to
fow through it. The increase in blood
fow allows for lower blood pressure
and a more stable heart rate. This also
results to a healthier immune system
since allowing more blood through the
body and its parts means allowing more
vitamins and nutrients to be carried
throughout the entire body. Pain relief
is also achieved when more blood is
allowed to fow through the muscles,
hence allowing the release of muscle
Aside from more blood fow, massage
helps in relieving pain and lessening
anxiety levels due to the release of
oxytocin. This is a hormone that
brings about feelings that promote
contentment, calmness, and relaxation,
throughout our being and our muscles.
A massage also helps in lessening a
depressive mood and stress since the
experience itself is distressing as well
as the release of oxytocin and other
hormones that uplift our mood.
A few of the famous types of massage
are Shiatsu, Swedish, Refexology and
Aromatherapy. Shiatsu is a Japanese dry
massage where in you are fully clothed.
This makes use of applying pressure
for a few seconds to specifc points
and parts of the body and is similar
to the Chinese acupuncture. Swedish
massage makes use of long stroking,
rubbing, and kneading movements,
using oil to help in lubrication and ease
Massage and pain relief
go together very well,
not only to fght pain
and soreness but also
to achieve less anxiety
levels, less depression
and stress, lower blood
pressure, more stable
heart rate, better blood
fow, and a healthier
immune system. These
are only a few highlights
of the many benefts of
getting a massage. A
healthier life style and a
more relaxed state is only
the beginning of what a
massage can do for you.
Jan/Feb 2012 61