Massage is an excellent form of passive exercise . Massage is an important nature cure procedure which is based on VAYU mahabhuta. Ayurveda also advocated massage as a useful bahiraparamarjana Chikitsa in the name of Abhyanga, Udavartana, Utsadana.
It tones up the nervous system, influences respiration and quickens the elimination of poisons and waste material from the body through the various eliminative organs such as the lungs, skin, kidneys and bowels.
It also boosts blood circulation and metabolic processes. A massage removes facial wrinkles, helps to fill out hollow cheeks and neck and eases stiffness, sore muscles and numbness.
Systemic rubbing or manipulating body parts with oil, water, powder or without them is called massage. However natural massage does not requires massaging media like oil, powder.
Types of Massage
1. According to system -
Ayurvedic massage - Away from the heart or the direction of artery.
Swedish massage - Towards the heart or in the direction opposite to the artery.
2. According to material -
- Dry massage
- Powder massage
- Paste massage
- Paste massage
- Oil massage
There are five fundamental modes of manipulation in massage and these are effleurage(stroking), friction (rubbing), Petrissage (Kneading), Tapotement (percussion) and vibration( shaking or trembling).
Another form of massage helpful inmost elements is the vibratory massage . This can be done trained persons only. The vibratory muscle is more sfficientl administrative by special , electrically operated machine.
Material for Massage
Cotton seed oil is most commonly used for massaging, but butter is used for filling out cheeks and neck and also for breast enlargement. If patient is averse to oil , talcum powder may be used.
Oil should not be used by persons with excessive body hair.General body massage may be done for 40 to 45 minutes and local body massage for 10 to 15 minutes.
The oil should be washed off completely after massage.
Massage of joints : Stiff and swollen joints can be cured by massage combined with mechanical movements.
Massage is, however , not recommended in serious inflammatory cases of joints and tubercular joints. It should also be avoided in infectious diseases like diphtheria and gonorrhea which causes formation of pus as massage may spread the pus to the entire system. Sprains and bruises can be cured by massage. In these cases, affected parts should first be bathed with hot water for 15 to 30 minutes.
Massage thus provides additional nourishment to feed the muscular tissues, helping them to grow strong. Tapping,striking and vibrating help the muscle to develop its contractile power. Muscle massage is bought by first effleurage, kneading, followed by tapotement. later, active and passive movements are given.