Massage is a form of manipulation of the superficial and deep layers of the body’s muscles using various techniques, to improve their functions, aid in healing processes, decrease reflex activity of the muscles, inhibit motor neuron excitability, promote relaxation and well-being, and as a recreational activity.

It is probably the oldest therapeutic tool that human beings have used to provide themselves with a natural resource against pain. Its evolution and use went parallel to that of society, until it became the “structured touch” technique we know today.

There are several types of massage, from relaxation to affective or sensual; through specific therapeutic (massage therapy) in the health area and in the sports area, aiming at improving physical activity.

Benefits and adjectives
– Mechanical: the mechanical forces related to each massage maneuver affect the tissues.
– Physiological: relieves fatigue, is associated with light exercise, gymnastics, and thermal baths.
– Preventive: these are accomplished when a tense area or area with possible injury is located by palpation. When delimited, the subject is informed that he or she receives the massage and is treated. The therapist, once the massage is finished, advises the treated person that the massage be combined with moderate exercise, to improve overall well-being, and also ensure the duration of the treatment.
– Therapeutic: when massage is used to improve circulatory function, restore restricted mobility between damaged tissues, relieve or reduce pain, or increase sensory awareness. Massage therapy should be performed only by trained persons.
– Aesthetic-hygienic: when it aims to improve a person’s external appearance by eliminating fat deposits, restoring muscle tone, and relaxing fatigue. It also has hygienic results, because eliminating fatigue in a healthy person produces an aesthetic result.
– Sports: when it is performed to prepare an athlete for competitive purposes before, during, and after practice.
– Psychological-emotional/relaxation: the contact of the experienced hand provides safety and comfort, while regulating and relieving psychophysical tension.

Source: Wikipedia

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