No one needs to tell you that massage is a guilty pleasure that actually improves your game. Experts tout massage as one of the most beneficial ways to keep muscles healthy and happy before and after strenuous activity. So instead of reminding you of the typical benefits, I thought it would be a good idea to talk about the additional senses we have besides touch. What can we do to add to the massage experience that will actually add benefit to the body and mind?
The Nose knows: Many massage therapists use essential oils topically for muscle recovery and relaxation, but did you know that there are many other ailments that can be addressed while you are on the table? How about high or low blood pressure, fluid retention, nasal decongestion, anxiety reduction, energy enhancement, and even hair loss prevention? Aromatherapy is the treatment or prevention of disease by use of essential oils. It is based on the influence of aroma on the brain, especially the limbic system through our olfactory system. Oils can have a direct pharmacological effect on our bodies. Although studies show varied results, large hospital systems, such as North Shore/LIJ on Long Island, are using it on their patients and their employees.
The Eyes have it: Colored light use, known as Chromotherapy, is a therapeutic science. It is gaining in popularity as an exciting form of healing, and is complimentary to kinesiology, acupuncture and other natural healing modalities. According to Natures-Energies.com, green light can regulate the pituitary gland, fight depression and irritability. Blue is calming and stimulates the parasympathetic system, reduces blood pressure and calms breathing and heart-rate. They claim it has anti-inflammatory and muscle relaxing effects and relieves tension too. Red energizes and stimulates, increases body temp and can be used to develop excitement and sensuality. Yellow is used to increase neuromuscular tone, purify blood and help digestion. White regenerates and provides energy, in addition to aiding in depression.
Let’s Hear it for the Mind and Body: Music is way under-utilized as a form of emotional and mental therapy, let alone as a physical one. There are more than enough studies proving how it can increase relaxation, but research is now showing it as a treatment for many ailments, including high blood pressure, depression, dementia, autism and Parkinson’s disease.
Types of music vary depending on what is being treated. Unfortunately, when it comes to mood therapy, there is no one-song fits all treatment. Many people love jazz because it stimulates them, while another hates jazz for the very same reason. This has to do with the fact that each one of us has a diverse bio-chemical makeup that will respond differently to musical adaptations. In addition, memory plays a large role. Some music can instigate memories, either good or bad. When I receive a massage or acupuncture treatment, I bring my own music so my experience is always positive.
Get negatively charged lately? Look for my next blog, which will detail the use of ion therapy. Lots of science and a little more than this little brain can handle, but I will bring you the highlights!
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