Also known as bindegewebsmassage, Connective Tissue Massage (CTM) techniques are designed to specifically affect the connective tissue of the body. CTM was developed in Germany by Elizabeth Dicke. After diagnosis of a serious medical problem, she experimented with different types of massage on herself. She found when she applied light pressure through the skin and connective tissue in one area of the body, there was a related effect at a distant site. From Alternative Healing, by Hugh Burroughs and Mark Kastner, Halcyon, 1993, The technique consists of the massage therapist subtly hooking her fingers into the skin and superficial connective tissue while performing a dragging or pulling stroke that somewhat stretches the skin. CTM leaves a visible mark that looks somewhat like an abrasion or burn, but which goes away without leaving a scar. In Germany, it is considered a physical therapy technique; in many parts of Europe, it is considered a medical technique. In the United States, connective tissue massage is taught in many massage schools.
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The two most obvious benefits of massage are increased circulation and flexibility.
From a physiological or mechanical engineering point of view, massage increases the lubrication between muscle fibers and allows the muscle to move optimally. Muscle fibers are designed to work independently of each other. When muscles dry out, or dehydrate, the fibers stick together and the muscle becomes stiff or ridged. As fluid is reintroduced, the muscle softens and regains its flexibility. As circulation increases between the muscle fibers, nutrients reach the cells and toxins are carried off more efficiently.
Aging is largely a process of dehydration. The less water in the body, the more quickly we age. As we dehydrate, we begin to shrink and as our muscles become smaller, our skin begins to wrinkle. Drinking lots of water and having regular massage is a great way to get rid of wrinkles.
At post mortem, muscle dehydration is found at every area of disease. This would lead one to believe that good circulation could possibly keep one healthy. Degenerative diseases like cancer and muscular sclerosis are anaerobic and can not live in an oxygenated environment. Because blood carries oxygen to the cells, circulation is necessary for optimal health. The Bible teaches that life is in the blood. If this is true, we need the best circulation we can get. Massage increases circulation, hence, increases oxygen to the cells. It’s time to get a massage.
From a psychological point of view, massage creates a sense of being cared for, of being nurtured. Massage helps us become more aware of our bodies and the feelings we value. Human touch connects one person to another and the feelings shared are healing and energizing emotionally. Safe touch is an important part of life. Massage by a responsible professional is a relaxing way to enjoy safe touch.
Looking at massage from a physics point of view, we see that electromagnetic energy is transferred from the giver to the receiver and back. This energy transfer can not be duplicated by gadgets or machines. The oriental cultures call this energy Chi or life energy. The world renowned nuclear physicist, Professor Serge Sitko, of Vidguk in the Ukraine, has developed equipment that is able to record this energy in the millimeter range of radio waves. This human energy transfer is an important part of the healing process. Many believe that this is simply love being transferred from one person to another.
Massage gives one a feeling of comfort and relaxation like a mini vacation from the pressures of life. The Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine, shows that massage increases mental alertness and accuracy in mathematical calculations. A group was given mathematical problems both before and after a series of massages and accuracy increased some 20%. Massage also increases beta waves in this study which shows that one is more relaxed after a series of massages. This relaxed state lasts longer as the cumulative benefits of more massage at regular intervals are experienced.
Weekly massage will make you look and feel years younger. You owe it to yourself to give massage a try. Find a Massage Therapist near you and make an appointment. You will be so very glad you did.
Today, many royal families have massage professionals on their family staff. Bob Hope and George Burns have been regular recipients of massage for over 50 years. Treat yourself like royalty, take a mini massage vacation for an hour or two this week. You are worth it!
Generally regarded as the most common form of massage, Swedish massage involves a combination of five basic strokes and concentrates on the muscles and connective tissues of the body for improved circulation, relaxation, pain relief, and overall health maintenance and well-being. Swedish massage is also one of the less demanding techniques for massage therapists to practice as it usually does not involve deep-tissue work.