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English: Canine Massage helps relieve minor te...

English: Canine Massage helps relieve minor tension and pain while improving circulation and the immune system. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dear Dr. Mom, The kind and loving touch of a mother or father is invaluable to the health of every family member (and even friends). Massage takes it a step further.

There are two fluid systems in the body that need to circulate throughout the body on a regular basis. The blood, which feeds the cells, and the lymph, which takes the garbage away. The blood is moved around the body by the beating heart which pumps the life-giving blood to the far extremities and back again. But the lymph has no pump system. The lymph relies on the pumping action which results from the stretching and contracting of the muscles and tendons to move it around the body during movement or exercise. Or, it can be moved by massage! If the lymph is not moved on, it can pool and the “garbage” goes bad and creates toxins that make pain, burning, and other problems resulting from the stagnation. And the muscles can go into a spasm which locks the lymph into one place. – Simply put. But, when you give someone a massage, you are actually getting the payback of moving your own lymph as you actively impart the massaging movements.

The basics of massage is to move the lymph towards the lymph glands (find out where they are) and the blood towards the heart, and to gently rub the muscles spasm till the warmth relaxes the knots of pain. Use coconut or olive oil or a health cream as a lubricant to prevent skin irritation.

The benefits of massage are endless. Relaxation and rejuvenation are valuable tools involved in combating increasing stress levels. Just like babies need the comfort of human contact, so do each one of us need loving human contact. It brings about sharing and unity.

Relieving tight muscles is an effective and holistic approach to decreasing pain and discomfort acquired by everyone on a daily basis. Then why is it that most people choose to overlook massage therapy as a viable option for body maintenance? Many concerns involve not knowing exactly what massage entails and not trusting someone with your most prized possession – your body. Or just plain modesty (you have to find someone you can share with and trust).

If you have never had a massage, it is an understandibly formidable challenge. Do a little research so you can be empowered by this powerful healing resource. Practice the knowledge and body image attitude so that you can employ the tremendous benefits of massage therapy into your own life an for the family.

Modesty is a natural defense system that should be treasured and preserved, especially in children. We can define modesty as keeping within bounds of proper behavior; displaying appropiate methods of respect and privilege before, during, and after the massage.  Knowledge and kindness also play a key role in maximizing the benefits of the massage experience.

As a first time client of a professional therapist, it is extremely important for your therapist to walk you step by step through the procedure before you get to the table. Your therapist should allow you complete privacy to disrobe by leaving the room. You can keep your underwear on. You are fully covered by a sheet the entire time of the massage.
“Draping” is the technique of using the sheet to maintain your sense of
security and create the boundary between therapist and the
person receiving the massage. You can relax knowing that your safety and modesty are highly protected by your therapist and never discussed with others. The professional therapist should also let you know:

  • Where you put your things
  • What the massage will entail
  • How to get on the table
  • How to breathe and relax
  • Allow you to ask questions

By preparing you with the knowledge of what to expect, you are more able to let down your guard and relax. That’s why you’re here! A skilled therapist should stay in good contact with you about your comfort, warmth, and pressure of massage strokes. This is a time you have set aside for yourself. Utilize it!

Body image is another subject worth addressing. It deters people from enjoying the fullness of a massage experience. Massage is for everybody. Every shape, every size. There is no need to be self conscious. Massage therapists are admirers of the body’s form and function, and work professionally to achieve developed goals for the session such as body sculpting or relieve of specific painful areas.

This sheds some light on some of the lesser discussed aspects of massage so you can be empowered as a mom or dad to provide kindness and physical comfort to your family. It is important to preserve modesty, knowledge and appropriate body image attitudes. And most of all, to remember the endless benefits that massage therapy can provide.

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