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Understanding Massage Therapy: Types, Techniques and Health Benefits

Massage dates back thousands of years and continues to be integral to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Today, there are around 80 different types of massage techniques, each of which is designed to achieve a specific goal. The most common types of massage therapy in Toronto include:

• Aromatherapy massage: Essential oils are massaged into the skin to boost the healing effects of massage.
• Lymphatic massage: Light, rhythmic strokes are used to encourage the flow of lymph, a fluid that helps fight infection.
• Myofascial release: Gentle pressure is used to release tension that has built up in the muscles and connective tissues (fascia).
• Reflexology: Pressure is applied to areas, called reflex points, in the legs, hands, feet, face or ears. Reflexologists believe that reflex points connect to specific organs and structures within the body.
• Rolfing: Pressure is applied to the connective tissues to increase their flexibility. The goal of this form of massage is to realign the body so that it functions better.
• Shiatsu: Finger and hand pressure is applied to specific points on the body to relieve discomfort and improve the flow of energy (Qi) throughout the body.
• Swedish massage: Five different types of strokes are used to stretch ligaments and tendons, ease physical tension, and enhance blood flow to the heart, helping to remove waste products from tissues.
• Trigger point massage: Gentle pressure is applied to tender areas of muscle, known as trigger points, to alleviate pain and spasms.

Massage is considered safe when carried out by an RMT. An RMT is an individual who has completed a competency-based program of education at a recognized educational institution and participated in continuing education to maintain their high professional standards.

When a Registered Massage Therapist or RMT in Toronto, such as the masseurs/masseuses at Sage Health and Wellness Clinic, Inc., massages the body, electrical signals are transmitted to the tissues to calm or excite them. When combined with the healing powers of touch, these signals help heal the body.

Practitioners of TCM consider massage particularly useful for musculoskeletal problems, such as lower back pain, osteoarthritis, muscle strains and sprains, and fibromyalgia. Massage may also alleviate sleep problems, ease the symptoms of depression, relieve constipation, decrease swelling, and improve self-esteem and self-image.