Reflexology And Therapeutic Massage
Therapeutic (Medical) Massage
Massage is a therapy method which creates physiological and psychological effects on the body by mechanically stimulating soft tissues. Therapeutic, in other words medical massage, activates the self-renewal or healing characteristics which are intrinsic to the body. It protects physical condition, increases muscle tone, provides relaxation, stimulates circulation, creates therapeutic effects on cardiovascular system and nervous system and balances interaction between whole body systems. Furthermore it elevates endorphin levels which have pain-reducing effects in the circulation, and it has a positive effect on autonomic nervous system responses. It has a wide range of application in medicine. Some of them are as follows:
• Myofascial pain, regional (neck, back, waist and headache particularly seen in office settings) muscle pain
• Functional insufficiencies in the muscle, active and passive constraining
• Arthroses, joint calcifications
• Fibromyalgia, soft tissue rheumatism
• Regional edema treatment
• Headache (nape and facial massage)
• Scoliosis and other postural disorders
• Sleep disorders
• Psychological problems such as stress and anxiety disorders and depression
In massage, which is a part of rehabilitation and medical treatment applications and a complementary method, the health of the person should be evaluated by a specialist physician prior to application and a massage technique should be selected accordingly. Medical massage can be combined with other physical medical methods when necessary, however it is often accompanied by exercise applications specific to the person.. Regular massage applications to be performed throughout the spine before or after exercise shall contribute to making body movements much easier and less painful. Therapeutic massage can as well be safely applied to back, waist and foot pain, which are frequently observed in pregnant women. Regular massage improves overall health, provides relief, soothes muscle tension, reduces anxiety and tension, supports maintenance of wellness in healthy people, and protects body-mind-spirit health balance.
The whole body massage should last 30-45 minutes. Regional massages can be applied for 15-20 minutes. Such period depends on the type and indications of the massage to be performed on the patient. The frequency of treatment may vary according to the pathological findings in the tissues, the general health condition of the patient and the respond given by the same. Massages can be applied every day, particularly on the persons working in the office environment, with back, neck, headache complaints and in lymphedema until favourable results are obtained. It is sufficient to apply a whole body massage 1-2 times a week.
In addition to the diseases mentioned above, "oncology massage", which is accepted as a subgroup of therapeutic (medical) massage in oncologic patients, gained its place among medical applications as a supplementary treatment that increases the quality of life of patients before, during and after the cancer treatment and reduces the side effects of such challenging treatment process. While starting massage therapy in these patients, simple but critical points should be considered, for example the lymph nodes might have been removed or radiation therapy might have been applied, or the patient may have bone metastasis. Therefore, in such patients pre-assessment should be made by the physical therapy and rehabilitation specialist before treatment, and appropriate massage technique and issues to be considered should be determined. Oncology massage is used as a part of the treatment in many hospitals and institutes today and we can enumerate its benefits which have been revealed by many scientific researches as follows:
- Reduces the state of distress (anxiety)
- Soothes the pain. Patients who receive massage treatment report that especially acute pain associated with cancer is lessened.
- Reduces nausea and vomiting due to chemotherapy. In the studies conducted it was demonstrated that the massage applied in the form of stimulation of acupressure points (applying pressure on acupuncture points) alleviated nausea and vomiting and thereby diminished the cost of treatment.
- Regulates sleep, reduces fatigue.
In the course of the massage therapy in our hospital, techniques such as classic massage, deep connective tissue, trigger point, acupressure (massage applied on acupuncture points), reflexology and aromatherapy are applied by drawing up a personalized program through directives of the specialist physician and in the form of various combinations mostly depending on the needs of the patient.
Classic massage is the most frequently used curing (therapeutic, medical) massage. Classic massage is a traditional western massage which is a whole of various manipulation techniques applied by hand on the surface muscles tracking the direction blood flow towards the heart.
Aromatherapy is completely a natural method contributing the healing process by benefiting from the chemical compositions and energy supplied as a result of penetrating herbal oils into the body through massage, vapor and similar methods. Aromatherapy is a therapy that deals with mind and body as a whole and provides support for solution of both physical problems and stress-related emotional problems.
It is a traditional medical system that emerged in India and which is practiced throughout the world today. Ayurvedic massage on the other hand is only a part of this holistic treatment system. In this therapy, the ayurvedic body type (dosha) of the person is determined and different vegetable oils are used accordingly and the type of massage to be performed is determined. It is not a massage for muscles as being done in classic massage but a massage for the general system. Generally sesame oil and mixtures of different herbal oils are applied warmly.
Reflexology is the technique of applying pressure on specific points on the feet, hands and ears. It is mostly applied to the feet, because there are many nerves passing through the feet and they are very sensitive. On the feet there are reflex areas and reference points where internal organs (brain, liver, lung, etc.), endocrine glands and musculoskeletal system are reflected. When pressure and massage are applied to such points, the blockades in the relevant organs are opened and free energy flow is provided. Reflexology can be applied to all age groups, ranging from small children to very old age. Healthy people as well can take regular reflexology sessions to protect their health and prevent diseases that could emerge.
Peloid (medical sludge) is refers to the sludge used for therapy and having a rich mineral and/or organic content, on the other hand peloidotherapy (medical sludge treatment) is called the treatment performed with peloid. In this treatment, application of hot / cold peloid is performed on the target region. Peloidotherapy could be used in degenerative joint diseases (joint calcification), fibromyalgia syndrome, waist and neck pain, and post-traumatic healing process.
Acupuncture is completely a scientific treatment method applied by dipping needles into specific points of the body for the purpose of curing various illnesses. Acupuncture has been used notably in China and other Far Eastern countries in order to cure diseases for a period of over 5,000 years. Today it is a complementary medicine method which is widely used in many western countries such as Germany, Austria, France and the USA. The main philosophy of such treatment is based on the unity, equilibrium and harmony between the energy flows that exist everywhere in the whole universe whether living or non-living. Acupuncture in this sense is a balance therapy.
The World Health Organization acknowledged acupuncture treatment as a scientific method in 1979 and publicized a list of medical conditions wherein it is effective. In our country, "the Regulations on Acupuncture" was issued in 1991 and the conditions of application of such treatment and the qualifications of the practitioners were prescribed. Acupuncture might be applied by medical doctors who completed the 500 hours course opened with the approval of the Ministry of Health and succeeded in the examination and thereby granted the certificate accredited by the Ministry of Health.
A Latin word, “ozone” means "smelling". As we know it, ozone is a gas which is formed by conversion of O2 to O3 by UVB rays in the upper layers of atmosphere. It is a heavy gas and has a unique smell. Ozone was first defined in late 1800s by Christian Friedrich Schönbein, a German Chemist. Ozone is used for surface cleaning, water cleaning, sanitation and kills viruses and bacteria. Ozone cannot be taken by inhalation because it is toxic if inhaled. It can only be applied as a cream which is produced with olive oil. If mixed with other oils, it flames up. Or it may directly be injected into a muscle or a joint. There is also another method called “major hemotherapy". In this method, the patient's blood is transferred to a vacuum bottle where it is enriched with ozone and administered back to the patient. Also, there are treatment methods called "bag therapy" to treat foot lesions called "diabetic foot” and extremity lesions, which are applied by keeping the extremity in a special ozone-oxygen mixture.