The rumor going around about “Alternative Medicine” and “Primary Medicine”
That Natural Therapies such as Massage, Yoga, TCM, even Nutrition, to name a few are “Alternative Medicines” and that synthetic medicines and surgery are “Primary Medicine”.
This is completely false. So what is Primary Medicine and what is Alternative Medicine? Before getting in to the explanation and differences between the two lets first look at some of the definitions of what is Primary and what is Alternative.
- First or highest in rank, quality, or importance; principal.
- Being or standing first in a list, series, or sequence.
- Being or existing as the first or earliest of a kind.
- Serving as or being an essential component, as of a system.
- constituting or belonging to the first stage in any process.
- (of one or more things) Available as another possibility.
- a possible or remaining course or choice.
- available as another possibility or choice:
- The science or practice of the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease (in technical use often taken to exclude surgery).
Our bodies natural resources are it’s first defense of Body Healing and Recovery.
Drugs are synthetics of what our body naturally produces. instead of taking a synthetic approach use one that promotes the stimulant of our bodies own resources. Simple examples are fever and inflammation but even before this our body is continuously maintaining itself. Another stage of primary medicine is actively assisting our bodies. Nutrition, herb, exercise, massage, self massage, yoga, sound therapy, hydro therapy, even simply sitting in a quiet space and or in nature.
Physical effects of massage
During any exercise, as a muscle contracts to do the work, its fibers shorten and glide together which allows the muscle and tendon to broaden. During a massage session, compression and friction techniques can be used to imitate this broadening to help create more pliability of the connective tissues and eliminate restrictions in the broadening of the muscle. Here are some more examples onhow massage can help you and your clients/patients.
- Pumping – The stroking movements in massage suck fluid through blood vessels and lymph vessels. By increasing the pressure in front of the stroke, a vacuum is created behind. This is especially important in tight or damaged muscle tissue as a tight muscle will squeeze blood out like a sponge, depriving the tissues of vital nutrients and energy to repair.
- Increased tissue permeability – Deep massage causes the pores in tissue membranes to open, enabling fluids and nutrients to pass through. This helps remove waste products such as lactic acid and encourages the muscles to take up oxygen and nutrients which help them recover more quickly.
- Stretching – Massage can stretch tissues that cannot be stretched by the usual methods. Bundles of muscle fibers are stretched lengthwise as well as sideways. Massage can also stretch the sheath or fascia that surrounds the muscle, so releasing any tension or pressure build up.
- Break down scar tissue – Scar tissue is the result of previous injuries or trauma and can effect muscles, tendons and ligaments. This can lead to inflexible tissues that are prone to injury and pain.
- Improve tissue elasticity – Hard training can make tissues hard and inelastic. This is one reason why hard training may not result in improvements. Massage helps reverse this by stretching the tissues.
- Opens micro-circulation – Massage does increase blood flow to tissues but so does exercise. What massage also does is open or dilate the blood vessels and, by stretching them, enables nutrients to pass through more easily.
Some common types of therapeutic massage
Physiological effects of therapeutic massage
- Pain reduction – Tension and waste products in muscles can often cause pain. Massage helps reduce this in many ways including releasing endorphins in the body.
- Relaxation – Muscles relax in response to heat, circulation, and stretching. Mechanoreceptors which sense touch, pressure, tissue length and warmth are stimulated causing a reflex relaxation.
- Alleviate low-back pain and improve range of motion.
- Enhance immunity by stimulating lymph flow—the body’s natural defense system.
- Release endorphins—amino acids that work as the body’s natural painkiller
- Relax and soften injured, tired, and overused muscles.
- Promote tissue regeneration, reducing scar tissue and stretch marks.
- Pump oxygen and nutrients into tissues and vital organs, improving circulation.
- Reduce post surgery adhesions and swelling.
- Reduce spasms and cramping.
- Increase joint flexibility.
- Improve the condition of the body’s largest organ—the skin.
Psychological effects of massage
- Anxiety reduction – through the effects mentioned above relaxation is induced and so reduces anxiety levels.
- Invigorating – if massage is done with brisk movements such as what would be done before an event then this can produces an invigorating feeling
- Ease medication dependence.
- Help athletes of any level prepare for, and recover from, strenuous workouts.
- Lessen depression and anxiety.
A Powerful Ally
There’s no denying the power of bodywork. Regardless of the adjectives we assign to it (pampering, rejuvenating, therapeutic) or the reasons we seek it out (a luxurious treat, stress relief, pain management), massage therapy can be a powerful ally in your health-care regimen. Experts estimate that upwards of ninety percent of disease is stress related. And perhaps nothing ages us faster, internally and externally, than high stress. While eliminating anxiety and pressure altogether in this fast-paced world may be idealistic, massage can, without a doubt, help manage stress. Furthermore, clients often report a sense of perspective and clarity after receiving a massage. The emotional balance bodywork provides can often be just as vital and valuable as the more tangible physical benefits.
Increase the Benefits with Frequent Visits
Getting a massage can do you a world of good. And getting massage frequently can do even more. This is the beauty of bodywork. Taking part in this form of regularly scheduled self-care can play a huge part in how healthy you’ll be and how youthful you’ll remain with each passing year. Budgeting time and money for bodywork at consistent intervals is truly an investment in your health. And remember: just because massage feels like a pampering treat doesn’t mean it is any less therapeutic. Consider massage appointments a necessary piece of your health and wellness plan, and work with your practitioner to establish a treatment schedule that best meets your needs and enjoy the benefits and effects of massage therapy.
Massage: It’s real medicine (CNN health, march 2007)Having your honey rub your back is sweet, but it’s tough to compete with the hands of a pro. A good massage therapist can make you feel like a new person. And now research suggests massage can ease insomnia, boost immunity, prevent PMS, and more. Read more…