Massage therapy has been used for more than 5,000 years in ancient cultures all over the world like Greece, Egypt, China and India. Massage is believed to provide many therapeutic properties, and can treat a wide variety of issues. There are different styles of massage, but they all generally involve using the hands to manipulate the muscles and tissue of the body. Massage can reduce tension in the muscles and joints, encourage flexibility, improve circulation and even uplift the mood.
Massage can be applied all over the body, and can be an effective natural remedy for things like anxiety, back pain, neck pain, depression, injuries, headaches, migraines, high blood pressure and insomnia. Massage can also stimulate the lymphatic system, detoxify the body and improve skin tone. Different styles of massage include Swedish, Shiatsu, Thai, deep tissue, hot stone, reflexology, myotherapy and much more.
While any type of massage can have therapeutic benefits, myofascial release massage and moderate-pressure massage are thought to be the most effective ways to treat rheumatoid arthritis. Myofascial release therapy is a style that uses longer pressure on the affected areas of the body to relieve tightness of the connective tissues (also known as the fascia). This can improve pain and inflammation, and can be self-administered by gently rolling the skin back and forth across the affected areas.
Moderate pressure massage therapy has been shown to improve pain and range of motion and involves applying pressure to the affected areas. This too can be self-administered, and the inclusion of essential oils can further improve benefits. Lavender, eucalyptus, ginger, peppermint and rosemary essential oils are particularly effective in relieving arthritis.