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Introduction: Massage occupies an important place in naturopathy. It improves blood circulation, relives pain, fatigue and tones up the muscles. It has many beneficial effects on different parts of the body. Massaging the skin opens the pores and helps in the removal of poisonous matter from the body. Massaging the abdomen kindles gastric fire, strengths the digestive system and increases the efficiency of the liver. Massaging the muscles removes tension, pain, and swelling and increases the blood circulation. Massage means scientific manipulations of the soft body tissue with hands.

Massage is the systematic manual application of pressure and movement of the soft tissue like muscles, ligaments, skin, tendons, and fascia (the membrane surrounding muscles and muscle groups. Massage encourages healing by promoting the flow of blood, reliving tension, stimulating nerves, stretching and loosening muscles and connective tissue to keep them elastic. Before physical exercise, massage helps in warming up. Massage after a workout has been shown to reduce the waste products that builds up in muscles after exercise. These products also cause cramps and discomfort. Massage, if given correctly, offers relief from muscle strain. This is because when muscle is massaged blood is expelled from that area and when pressure is removed, fresh newly oxygenated blood flow into the muscle thus improving its tone. Tension is lessened by slow rhythm tic strokes, allowing the recipient to relax. The lymphatic drainage is encouraged to become more efficient and thus the clearance of toxins from the tissues and the relief from swelling are activated. Friction and pressure improves circulation to the viscera and the skin develops a more glowing and healthy appearance.

Benefits:

 
 

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The pores of the skin are opened up, thus helping of the elimination of poisons from the body through perspiration.
Massage reduces the tension of the muscles and relives muscular pain.
The circulation of the blood in the part massaged speeds up, so that the part is supplied with more nutrients, and its healing powers increase.
Massage relives tension of the nerves and soothes them.
Massage the abdomen stimulates the digestive system, and promotes better elimination of wastes.
Massage activates urinary system.
Systematic massage reduces the burden on the heart, tones it and thus increases its efficiency. Massage is shown to promote relaxation and remove pain and anxiety in hospitalized cancer patients.
Massage in premature infants was found to enhance weight gain and shorten there hospital stay.

 
 


Precaution:
Massage is not advisable with an infectious skin disease, a rash or an unhealed wound, circulatory ailments such as phlebitis or varicose veins and inflamed or infected injuries.

Creating an Environment For Massage:

 
 

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Soft light music played in the background will encourage relaxation and promote concentration.
Subtle lighting is very important. Bright, glaring lights make it difficult to relax.
The room should be comfortably warm, but not hot.
The best place to massage at home is on the floor. The person receiving the massage can be supported by a thin mat or folded blankets covered by a sheet or towel.

 
 


Massage Oils:
You can use olive, sunflower, safflower, and coconut oil. Oils like almond, avocado and walnut are best in winter months or can be used to enhance the effect of the other oils. Cold pressed oils are preferable. Keep the oil in a handy position through out the massage. Store in a dark glass container in a cool dark place during the course of its use.