Stress from school, work, family, and friends can be, at times, demotivating and draining. It is during these moments some of us resort to consuming a lot of our comfort food. Others would go out and travel to different places while some prefer staying at home and watching their favorite series. The rest may choose to visit a massage therapist. All of these can help you regain that drive and energy back. Massages are designed to relax you from all of these stresses.
The manipulation of soft tissue, including muscles, joints, connective tissues, tendons, and ligaments, is known as massage therapy. It has been a well-known and used treatment for various body pains, chronic pain conditions, and everyday stresses. One of the first cultures to use such treatment is the ancient Egyptians between 3000 and 2500 BCE. The ancient Egyptians used massages for therapeutic purposes. One of their earliest forms of massage is the Ancient Egyptian Healing Massage.
Ancient Egyptian Healing Massage
The earliest references of ancient Egyptian massages found on the walls of the tomb of Ptahhotep shown to be having a manicure and pedicure. The next sighting came from the tomb of Niuserre, which showed a king enjoying a foot massage. The last sighting was on the wall carvings in the tomb of renowned healer Ankhmahor where men were seen to have their feet and hands worked on. Each sculpture has shown that the areas for concern among the Egyptians were mainly the hands and the feet.
Today, there are only a handful of practitioners left for this specific form of massage therapy. However, this served as a pioneering force that drove towards modern-day reflexology, which is also known as zone therapy. Ancient Egyptian healing massages back in the past focused on energy pathways. The Egyptians were concerned with massaging specific areas or “zones” of the body where energy is believed to flow. Through this massage, one can get rid of the blockages preventing the imbalance of energy flow within their body.
The Egyptians were also known to be masters of therapeutic oil. Such oils of today have been helpful in various forms of injuries and diseases such as chronic muscle pains and sinus problems. With the combination of such oils in their massage practices, a person can be guaranteed to have their energy flowing once again.
That’s the irony of massage. It stimulates the neurochemical oxytocin, the feeling we experience as trust, but you have to start with a lot of trust for it to work. — Loretta G. Breuning Ph.D.
Benefits Of A Massage
In modern times, several concepts of the ancient Egyptian have paved the way for therapeutic massage and reflexology. These two fields have been used in conjunction to help relax an individual. Reflexology focuses on zones and does not use therapeutic oils while therapeutic massages may. Listed below are eight major benefits of massage therapy.
- Gets Rid Of Muscle Pain
A person can obtain an increase in blood circulation from massage therapy. Through this increase in flow, you can lose your muscle pain most of the time.
- Improves Sleep
Being in a state of relaxation can help boost a person’s mood. It makes it easier for anyone to sleep after a stressful day from work or school.
- Relieves Anxiety And Stress
Through massage therapy, you can alleviate your anxiety and stress since this can help release endorphins in your body. Endorphins are hormones which give you a feeling of joy, ease, and energy.
- Improves Blood Circulation
The energy paths, the Ancient Egyptians may have referred to might have been the flow of our blood stream. Massages have been shown to increase one’s blood flow throughout their body. It can help get rid of fatigue and different forms of muscle pain.
- Enhances The Immune System
Certain studies have found massages to stimulate the lymph nodes. It recharges one’s natural defense systems. Other studies have also found it to boost a person’s white blood cell count.
- Eliminates Toxins
Massages have also been found to stimulate the soft tissues in your body. It also helps your lymphatic systems to release toxins in your body.
- Increases Range Of Motion
Massages help relax your muscles and make it easier to move around. Those who usually play sports that increase the tension in their muscles may need this to expand their range of motion such as baseball pitchers, football players, and basketball players.
- Decreases Fibromyalgia Pain
Fibromyalgia-related pain involves pain caused by aches found all over your body. It may come from painful “tender” points which don’t disappear no matter what medication you take. By getting a therapeutic massage, however, you can alleviate and get rid of this problem.
The ancient Egyptians have contributed a lot to the field of reflexology and therapeutic massage. It has paved the way for an alternative form of medicine which can directly and immediately help you.