Buying a Massage Video

Young woman having shoulders massaged
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Just as there are many different types of massage, there are many types of massage videos. If you are interested in seeing a short demonstration of various massage styles to help you decide which type of appointment to book, video is a great place to start.

For example:

  • Thai massage has become popular at spas and is more energizing than other forms of massage. You don't just lie there—the therapist moves and stretches you into a sequence of postures. It's like yoga without doing any work.
  • Although reflexology is sometimes called foot massage, it is more than simple foot massage. Reflexology involves applying pressure to certain points on the foot that correspond to organs and systems in the body.

Finding How-To Videos

If you are interested in massage videos because you would like to learn how to give a massage at home, there are also plenty of options. There is an increasing number of short videos online, some at popular video websites and search engines like YouTube and Google Video. The quality of the videos, however, really is a mixed bag. Many of the people in the videos are not licensed massage therapists, so there is no guarantee that the techniques are being demonstrated properly and safely.

Cautions for Using How-To Videos

Massage videos and DVDs can also be purchased online or at bookstores. Although massage videos can be a great way to help provide the benefits of massage at home, keep in mind that how-to massage videos should be approached with caution.

First, massage is not suitable for everyone and many massage videos do not explain this. For example, people with medical conditions such as cancer, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, deep vein thrombosis, recent heart attack or surgery, hematoma, tumors, hernias, recent or unhealed fractures, burns or infections, or who are pregnant consult their doctors before getting a massage.

Massage should not be done over skin that is infected, broken, blistered, ulcerated, or other areas where pressure could be harmful.

Side effects of massage may include temporary soreness, pain, and fatigue. Very rarely, massage may cause internal bleeding, temporary paralysis, and nerve damage, usually resulting from massage by an improperly qualified person.

If you're considering getting a massage, talk to your doctor first. Keep in mind that alternative medicine should not be used as a substitute for standard care. Self-treating a condition and avoiding or delaying standard care may have serious consequences.

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