Swedish Massage At Marty’s Santa Fe Massage
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The most widely recognized and commonly used category of massage is the Swedish massage. The Swedish massage techniques vary from light to vigorous. Swedish massage uses five styles of strokes. The five basic strokes are effleurage (sliding or gliding), petrissage (kneading), tapotement (rhythmic tapping), friction (cross fiber or with the fibers) and vibration/shaking. Swedish massage has shown to be helpful in reducing pain, joint stiffness, and improving function in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee over a period of eight weeks.
Massage has been shown to reduce: sub-clinical depression; state anxiety, a transient measure of anxiety in a given situation; blood pressure and heart rate; pain, when combined with education and exercises, massage might help sub-acute, chronic, non-specific low back pain.
Over time, the body builds up unhealthy amounts of stress hormones in response to work deadlines, traffic jams, relationship problems and more. These hormones can cause physical problems, like digestive issues, headaches and sleeplessness. Relaxation massage decreases the amount of stress hormones in the body, leaving clients feeling completely relaxed and rested, even after the session is over. The techniques used during the massage trigger changes in the brain’s chemistry, resulting in reduced stress and an improved mood.
During the session, the guest lays on a massage table in a quiet, comforting environment. Dim lighting and soft music contribute to the peaceful atmosphere, creating the perfect setting for worries and stress to melt away. Using his or her hands, the therapist applies gentle pressure to the body, smoothly manipulating the muscle tissue. The careful rubbing and kneading of the body’s outer tissue layers promotes complete relaxation of both the mind and body.
Stress relief is one of the most significant benefits of relaxation massage and is an important component of a healthier lifestyle. A one-hour massage session can reduce stress by lowering the heart rate and reducing levels of insulin and cortisol.
Massage also improves blood circulation, leading to lower blood pressure and improved body functions. The techniques used during the session facilitate blood flow through congested areas, releasing pressure and allowing new blood to flow through targeted areas. When the muscles are gently pulled and squeezed, lactic acid is flushed from the muscles, which contributes to the improved functioning of the lymphatic system. This system rids the body’s internal organs and muscles of metabolic waste, leading to better functioning and lower blood pressure.
The lowered blood pressure caused by massages can reduce one’s risk for developing anxiety, depression and hostile feelings, control stress hormone levels and lower the risk of having a stroke, heart attack or kidney failure.
Stress can cause muscle soreness, but massage relaxes the muscles and reduces pain. By using special techniques, the therapist can remove tension from the muscles and increase flexibility. The blood flow facilitated by massage also delivers oxygen and nutrients to the muscles, leading to a reduction in pain, inflammation and stiffness.
Following a massage session, most guests report feeling not just relaxed, but completely rejuvenated. This feeling is attributed to the release of dopamine and serotonin during massage. These hormones are responsible for happiness and feelings of overall well-being. Studies show that during massage, activity in the right lobe of the brain, which is more active when people are depressed, is decreased, and activity in the left lobe is increased. The left lobe is most active when people are happy, and massage kicks that area of the brain into high gear.
Boosting the Immune System
Finally, massage can boost the immune system by reducing the amount of cortisol; also known as the stress hormone, released in the body. Elevated levels of cortisol are a culprit of weight gain. The hormone attacks the body’s defensive cells that kill off bacteria and viruses, but massage decreases cortisol and therefore improves the functioning of the immune system.
Massage has been shown to reduce neuromuscular excitability by measuring changes in the Hoffman’s reflex (H-reflex) amplitude. A decrease in peak-to-peak H-reflex amplitude suggests a decrease in motoneuron excitability. Others explain, “H-reflex is considered to be the electrical analogue of the stretch reflex…and the reduction” is due to a decrease in spinal reflex excitability. Field (2007) confirms that the inhibitory effects are due to deep tissue receptors and not superficial cutaneous receptors, as there was no decrease in H-reflex when looking at light fingertip pressure massage. It has been noted that “the receptors activated during massage are specific to the muscle being massaged”, as other muscles did not produce a decrease in H-reflex amplitude.
All Massage Sessions include five minutes for check in & initial consultation as well as time to undress. For example, a 60-minute custom massage session will consist of five minutes for initial consultation and undressing, 50-minutes of a hands-on custom massage and five minutes for redressing and recommendations. LEARN MORE about Therapeutic Massage Sessions at Your First Visit.