We live in an everyday life where there are still more and more demands on our ability to work and work, family life, tolerance and, not least, our stress threshold. And too many people have learned to live with stress, tension and muscle pain, which taps them for energy, instead of adjusting and not having time to prioritize their own well-being. As humans, we all want to be healthy, but the perception of our physical and mental well-being will always be individual from person to person because we most often have our own definition of health.
There is a form of treatment that we humans have used for millennia. All over the world, the massage is used by people who have experienced its impact. The use of massage goes, like many other things related to health, all the way back to ancient Greece, where the Greek doctors of the day used the massage to remove and relieve suffering. The father of medicine, Hyppocrates, wrote: “Massage can tighten a joint that is too loose and loosen a joint that is too tight.” The 11th century Arab philosopher and physician Avicenne wrote: “The goal of massage is to disperse waste that will not be excreted from the muscles by physical activity.” In China, where the massage has been used in combination with acupuncture for over 2000 years, the basic rule in Chinese medicine is: “If a negative condition is cured, you have to cure its roots.”
The massage’s entry into the Nordic countries was due to Swedish athletic educator Per Henrik Ling (1776-1839). He developed his own massage technique by comparing his knowledge of the physiology of the body with experiences from his travels in eg. China, Greece and France. Here he studied various types of physical body work as well as their effect on the movement apparatus. Today there is a huge selection of massage therapists and not least massage forms. But what do we really get when we lay down on the chip and leave our body to the hands of a masseur.
Benefits of massage
In addition to feeling good about oneself and allowing oneself to relax and release everyday stress and hassle, massage has lots of other benefits: it relieves pain on tense muscles and increases the body’s blood circulation while releasing waste. And in addition to providing increased flexibility and mobility, massage also relieves stress symptoms such as tension headaches and insomnia.
Massage as a treatment
The massage as a form of treatment acts as an interaction between the masseur and the recipient. Through the dialogue and any functional examination, the masseur finds out the recipient’s problem and needs. The dialogue, confidence and massage performed by knowledgeable hands is crucial to your benefit from it. The masseur uses a variety of massage techniques that soothe and relieve pain and help to relieve muscle tension. By means of ironing, rubbing, squeezing and kneading, which are closely adapted to the muscles of the individual, – during and after the massage – an increase in the blood flow of the muscles occurs. In addition, the masseur uses cross-massage, muscle stretching and muscle manipulation. In cross-massage, muscles and tendons are massaged, which promotes the solution of glued muscle fibers. Muscle stretching is used for tense and stiff muscles where the receiver is passive, whereas muscle manipulation is performed in active cooperation with the receiver.
Muscle manipulation works with maximum resistance technique, which is a maximal muscle energy technique that leads to increased flexibility of stiff, tense and short muscles, especially suitable for people with hard work as well as exercise and athletes.
When do you need massage
Today, the massage has become very popular in many people’s everyday lives. Both with the individual exercise and athlete, but also in many companies. A large number of companies have in recent years established massage arrangements as a staff benefit for their employees. This means that employees can make use of massage arrangements to relax in a busy day and get more energy and surplus. Some prevent any damage that can result from bad, one-sided or wrong postures. And others again because they hurt their muscles by e.g. wrong and one-sided use of computer mice or because they want to get rid of their tension headaches. The result is positive. Satisfied and happy employees, more body awareness, fewer sick days and greater work efficiency.
But even if you are not so privileged to be employed in a place where massage is offered in conjunction with the job, you may well need it. Because even if you do not immediately feel the tension of everyday life, it cannot be ruled out that the feeling of care and the physical touch you get during the massage plays a certain role in the relaxation of the whole organism. In such a case, most forms of massage – including the gentle surface massage you can get at home – can contribute positively to your overall well-being. A gentle, all-round massage benefits most of us from getting approx. every 14 days. If the budget does not allow for self-indulgence, try to see if you cannot “swap” massage with your boyfriend or friend. If, on the other hand, it is about massage of a really preventative, restitution or therapeutic nature, you should probably choose your masseur with substantially more care. There are lots of offers of varying nature, so it is always a good idea to check the educational background of the masseur you choose.
Massage and sports injuries
Balance is important for our physical as well as mental well-being. Imbalance that arises in our locomotion, whether due to lack or too little exercise, too much exercise or too much exercise intensity, inadequate or wrong choice of training shoes, is crucial to our performance and performance. The mentioned examples can cause bone, joint and muscle pain. Lack of energy, reduced mobility, overload injuries or acute injuries are all factors that may mean you may be forced to take a longer workout break.
Unfortunately, the problem is often that we tend to resume training at the same intensity as before the injury occurred, without taking into account the time it takes the body’s various tissue types to recover. We often use the pain as an indication of when training can begin again. However, because the pain has disappeared, it does not mean that the injured tissue has healed to a level that can handle the same loads as before (see fact box 2 below).
Never get a massage directly on fresh sports injuries or fresh blood draws until these are treated according to the RICEM principle (see fact box 1 below). The goal of RICEM treatment is to reduce the swelling and fluid retention as well as reduce the pain, thereby stimulating faster and better healing.
In the subacute phase, which begins 24-48 hours after the onset of injury, a slight movement of the injured tissue will be recommended. The massage will increase blood flow to the injured tissue, supply oxygen and nutrients, but also transport degradation products to improve healing process and recovery.
How often do you need a massage
Getting a massage just 5 minutes on the hand, neck, arm or scalp will be an incredibly relaxing experience and provide a sense of luxury that creates good contact between two people. The duration of the massage will always depend on the individual’s situation and needs and will vary from person to person. A treatment will often last 30-40 minutes, working on the specific problem and the associated muscle groups. Chronic procedures should be treated 2-4 times weekly and acute injuries approx. every other day in close dialogue with the recipient. A massage can also last for one to one and a half hours during which the entire body is worked through.
The combination of massage being performed by knowledgeable hands, mutual trust and a positive recognition of being co-responsible for one’s own health is basically good for both the body and the soul’s well-being.
It happens when you get a massage
Massage is achieved, among other things. a heat effect. This occurs when hands and fingers are rubbed against the skin and when the individual tissue strikes one another. In addition, the small blood vessels of the muscles, the capillaries, will open.
Effect: General relaxation and increased blood circulation in the treated area, which in turn means increased removal of waste.
Massage performed by a good masseur extends the individual groups of muscle fibers, not least in areas with overloaded structures, such as. myoses, connective tissue and tendons.
Effect: Massage can help treat smaller and almost unattainable areas of stressed and strained structure.
A deep cross-massage can break down the formation of incipient scar tissue and separate sticky structures caused by protein or clotted blood.
Effect: The deep cross-massage reduces the risk that scar tissue formation can prevent normal function in parts of the muscle and smooth the connective tissue.
Massage affects the circulation, which is why there is a greater blood flow in the treated area.
Effect: With weak and overloaded muscle and connective tissue, this can help speed up recovery.
Unilateral muscle work, poor physical posture, poor training technique and the like. causes, among other things, that the elastic parts (bind the tissue) in the muscle and late tissues contract and thicken. Which in the long run can cause pain. The massage increases blood flow and thereby improves oxygen supply to the stressed areas. Massage also stimulates sensory nerves in the tissue, leading to the secretion of the hormone substance endorphin.
Effect: The mere application of oxygen to tense and damaged tissue radically reduces pain. In addition, the secretion of endorphin will inhibit the brain’s ability to perceive pain.
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