Other Types Of Massages - part 1

Apart from the Swedish massage, performance massage and warm-up and cool-down massage, there are a number of other forms of massages which provide physiotherapeutic benefits. A number of such forms of massages are briefly discussed below.

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Connective tissue massage

The history of connective tissue massage may best be described as a narrative of a sixth sense. Precisely speaking, Elisabeth Dike discovered this form of massage in 1929 - on account of an ailment she has been enduring for several years. She had severe circulation problems in the lower part of her right leg and in those days the only possible treatment for this condition seemed to be amputation of the affected body part. In addition to the problem in her right leg, Ms Dike also was burned with soreness in the lumber region and had endeavored to ease the pain by means of digital tractions in the lumbosacral (pertaining to the lumbar and sacral parts) area. Thanks to this mode of treatment, Ms Dike was amazed to notice that the condition of her leg started improving.

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The technique of connective tissue massage came into existence and it was worked on in the wake of this finding by Ms Dike. However, the ultimate refinement of this technique was established only after scientists examined the consequences of connective tissue massage on the human body. In effect, during the initial stages, having failed to determine a scientific cause for the consequences that were being received, the medical community was basically somewhat cynical. It was only after more discoveries were made in the domain of neurophysiology that the technique of connective tissue massage as granted approval by the official medical powers of the day.

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Deep, reflexive impact of connective massage
Neurological researches undertaken on the innervation system or arousal of the nervous system of the body has shown a splitting up of the body in zones wherein every nerve correspond stands for a part of the spinal cord which excites it. All neurotomes, also known as neuromeres (nerve plexus in the length of the spinal column) are linked to particular enterotomes (internal organs), to myotomes (particular muscles) as well as to dermatomes (precise facade of the epidermis). Any type of operational modification with any one of these arrangements is manifested in the linking systems by means of the neurotome. The effect is that there is a muscular problem or something relating to an internal organ and it reflects itself in a precise body part or area. In addition, any type of stimulus or spur on any concerned part of the skin incites an impulsive result in the related muscles as well as internal organs, thereby having a positive impact on the course of the ailment.
Modus operandi
The modus operandi of connective tissue massage is carried out along with the tips of the third and fourth fingers that shift the skin as well as raises it on top of the basic or core connective tissue. The fingers of the therapist may be in a flat or perpendicular position to the body surface of the recipient, conditional on whether the recipient requires a superficial or deep stimulus. Moreover, the intensity of the stimulation that is needed or performed by and large depends on the health condition recipient/ patient as well as his/ her response to the therapy. While the connective tissue massage is being performed, generally the recipient is seated on a stool. Nevertheless, in case the recipient or patient is not in a position to remain seated on a stool for a prolonged period, it is also possible to perform this form of massage while the recipient is in a lying, lying flat on his/ her back or lie sideways.
Various phases
The experience of Ms Dike has revealed that while the physiotherapeutic treatment is continuing, it is preferable to make use of precise techniques to attain utmost results as well as avert overstressed and disagreeable neuro-vegetative responses in the recipient/ patient.
The initial part of treatment applying connective tissue massage takes care of the aspect known as preparatory work. It is essential to have the first sitting with a view to assess the reactions of the patient/ recipient and to settle on a treatment schedule for this particular recipient. In case there are too many reactions in the patient during this phase, it is advisable to stop the physiotherapeutic treatment for about a week and following the break, endeavor for another sitting similar to the previous one with the patient.
A series of extra tractions follow the introductory work, which are planned depending on the nature of problems that are being encountered. The tractions are employed with a view to ease muscle tension in the areas that require treatment. Nevertheless, the physiotherapeutic treatment applying connective tissue massage functions progressively, steadily moving toward the region where the skin is most affected. In effect, a number of sittings may be needed before the concerned area is treated completely. Each sitting begins with the fundamental groundwork to which several other sittings are added. In effect, the first, second or even the third healing sequence, in addition to accessory tractions are undertaken as per the precise requirements of each patient/ recipient. In the event of the patient experiencing some kind of problem with his/ her lower limbs, following a preliminary preparation, the therapist or practitioner ought to directly overtake to accessory tractions and the treatment particular to the lower limbs and then, steadily moving toward the area concerned or the region requiring treatment.
It may be noted that replicating the preliminary preparation at intermissions during the course of a sitting as well as always concluding the treatment with it, is considered to be a good practice.

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Manual lymphatic drainage

Two Danish therapists Emil and Astrid Vodder discovered the massage technique known as manual lymphatic drainage in the 1930s. In effect, these two Danish therapists were foremost to demonstrate the nerve to massage the superficial lymphatic ganglia. Ever since this breakthrough, attributable to exhaustive researches on lymphatic system (interrelated system of spaces as well as vessels flanked by body tissues and organs by which lymph flows all through the body), the technique of manual lymphatic drainage was developed. Incidentally, in contemporary times there are several schools of massage that incorporate lymph drainage in their respective curriculum.

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Impacts of lymph drainage on lymphatic circulation
The primary objective of the lymph drainage technique is to facilitate the movement of the lymph as well as its surge in the blood circulation. Generally, the lymph circulates from the fringes to the core of the body, getting together in groups of tiny cisterns in particular spots within the body - deep as well as superficial. Subsequently, the lymph moves into the venous circulation at a point called the terminus (the specific point where the subclavian vein - any pair of veins, one on both sides of the body, which carry blood from the upper limbs to the heart) and the jugular vein (one of the three major veins of the neck, which return blood from the face and head to the heart) get together. The lymph from the left arm, the left chest as well as the left half of the face and the head passes into the left terminus. Lymph from the other parts of the body moves into the right terminus.
Modus operandi
All therapists ought to always remember two guidelines concerning the flow of the lymph if they have to carry out the lymph drainage in the appropriate manner. These two important rules are as follows:
Compared to the circulation of the blood, the flow of the lymph is very slow and, hence, while performing the lymphatic drainage massage, it is of greatest importance to hold back the cadence or tempo of the massage, carrying out the actions something akin to a slow motion. In case this basic rule is not adhered to, it may result in considerable compromises in the outcome of the physiotherapeutic treatment. In addition, it also augments the risks of further retarding the flow of the lymph.
Prior to draining the lymph in a particular area of the body, it is essential to clear the superficial lymphatic ganglion where the lymph flows into for all times. It should be borne in mind that the drainage always takes place toward the lymphatic ganglion.

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