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Home > Nature Cure Treatments > Touch Therapy
Touch Therapy: Massage

MassageTouch Therapy: Massage
A natural way of reviving the body is the healing power of touch. We instinctively touch our forehead, temples, eyebrow when we feel tired or pained. Touch gives security and comfort to the young as well as old. It heals mind and body together. The benefits of massage or touch therapy are we documented in ancient medical texts of China, India, Egypt, Persia and Japan. The earliest surviving text mentioning massage as medicine is the Chinese Nei Ching written 3001 years ago.

Ayurveda text from around 1800 BC mentions self-massage with oil as a way of releasing the physical energy Hippocrates, father of modern medicine, was so convinced with the healthy effects of massage that he wanted all doctors to be trained in this skill. Galen, a famous Roman physician (1st century AD), has written 16 books on massage and exercise.

After a phase of neglect, massage therapy returned to Europe in the 19th century in the form of Swedish massage. In 1994 and 1995 two research studies at Middlesex Hospital and Royal Marsden Hospital in England reestablished the therapeutic value of massage as a relaxing, stress-buster and pain reliever.

Fiona Harrold, the popular author of Massage Manual, has scientifically described how massage boosts blood circulation, balances blood pressure, helps digestion, soothes muscles, stimulates the lymphatic system, speeds up disposal of toxins from the body, generates a feeling of well being and triggers the release of endorphins-the pain- relieving hormones in the body.It is considered very effective in stress-related problems such as insomnia, headache, high blood pressure, depression and anxiety. It is also used to banish constipation, boost the immune system and relieve pain in sciatica and arthritis. Massage is also a highly popular, passive exercise.

Practitioners use a variety of techniques. However, the type most suitable for a person depends on the nature o the problem. Broadly there are five basic modes of massage. These are:
1. Stroking; 
2. Rubbing; 
3. Kneading;
4. Percussion or tapping, and
5. Vibrating or shaking.

Stroking increases blood circulation, soothes the nerves and is helpful in atrophied skin condition. Rubbing or friction warms up and relaxes the joints, tendons and muscles, reduces swelling and inflammation.

Percussion relieves muscle atrophy, increases blood supply and soothes nerves. Vibration is beneficial in neuritis, neuralgia, glandular problems and bowel disorders. Kneading invigorates muscles, relieves intestinal congestion, and respiration problems.

Body massage is much beneficial in the morning sun. The duration may vary from 15 to 45 minutes. Mustard oil, cotton seed oil and red oil are used for the body, and butter for cheek and neck. Massage should be avoided in serious inflammatory cases, infectious diseases, umbilical hernia, lung infection and after meals.
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