Other Massage Therapies
The healing touch is not just for people
The benefits of certain types of massage have been recognized for centuries: improved recovery from injuries, relaxation, reduced stress and an overall feeling of well-being. So it only makes sense that we'd want to extend those benefits to everyone we care about.
Seniors are one of the populations that are discovering the pleasures and benefits of massage. The elderly suffer from a number of ailments that can be, in part, alleviated through massage. Whether it's chronic aching or arthritis in hands and feet, or poor circulation to extremities, massage can help. The human contact and interaction is also very valuable to people who too often are shut away from broader society.
Infant massage has become increasingly popular. The importance of parent-child contact has been well established. Children who are cradled and receive a parent's attention and affection thrive. No wonder, then, that massage can enhance bonding. Babies also suffer from a number of common physical complaints, whether it's colic or emotional distress, which can be soothed by massage.
Animals are becoming the furry kids of Western households. Most pets adore being petted. They receive a very cursory massage off and on all day. It's been established that merely providing this affection is good for us, so it seems safe to assume that it's also good for the recipients. Animal massage, whether performed by an expert or an informed layperson, is a more considered approach to petting. It uses many of the techniques used with humans, but tailored to account for temperament, sore points, and the animal's overall attention span. Massage has also been used with good effect on horses. Equine massage is particularly good for racing and performance animals that need to keep their muscles and joints in tip-top shape.
These different approaches aren't just limited to special populations. Most of us lead busy lives, and getting away from the office for a massage break just doesn't fit into most of our schedules. Employers who believe in the virtues of massage are recognizing this and, in response, are bringing massage to the workplace. On-site massage is an increasingly common perk. It can reduce office stress and also catch repetitive-stress injuries before they become debilitating. This, in turn, may reduce employee absences and sick leaves. In a best-case scenario, it's a win-win situation.