In Naturopathy, massage therapy is used for treatment of many disorders and for up-keeping a good general health. Massage has been in use as a therapy for many centuries to cure different ailments. Hippocrates is known to have used massage therapy for treating many of his patients. While performing massage therapy on a patient, a therapist manipulates soft tissues of body to restore health of a patient.
Massage therapy is very effective in toning body, nervous system, elimination of body waste/poison through kidney, bowel, skin and lungs, and improving respiration. Massage therapy is also useful for improving blood circulation, relieving pain, fastening metabolic rate, delaying appearance of facial wrinkles, easing stiffness of body, and toning muscles. The process involves the following manipulation modes:
- Stroking (Effleurage)
- Rubbing (Friction)
- Kneading (Petrissage)
- Percussion (Topotment)
- Shaking/trembling (vibration)
While performing massage a therapist could use oil depending on the condition of the patient. One commonly used oil for massaging is cotton seed oil. For people who are uncomfortable with oil, talcum powder could be used. Also, those having a lot of hair on body may avoid oil for massaging. Ideally, body is massaged for forty- forty five minutes before local part massage of around ten minutes. Once massage is complete, oil must be washed away.
Although massage is very useful for curing several disorders, one must not use massaging for serious inflammatory or tubercular conditions of joints. For less severe conditions of stiff joints and swollen joints, it could be used. Massage must be avoided in conditions of gonorrhea and diphtheria, as massaging could spread pus in the body and could worsen the situation.
Half of the weight of the body is contained in the muscular tissues and a quarter of blood circulates in muscles. Therefore, upon given a massage, the body's blood circulation improves and muscle regenerates to hold half of the blood. Therefore, muscles get nourished as a result of massage and get strengthened. Also, different modes of manipulation help in improving contractile power of muscles. Massage therapy is very effective in curing ailments, yet therapist must assess condition of the patient before providing him with a massage.