Dr Arjumand Shah on a treatment called Massage Therapy.
Massage therapy which is one of the most important part of the regimental therapies of traditional Kashmiri medicine. The word massage has been derived from the Greek word masso which means to touch, handle or squeeze. Hippocrates the father of medicine described the benefits of using oils and massage on joints. Galen wrote about manual medicine as preventive treatments. Massage therapy in the unani classical books consists of 9 types. 1. hard massage 2. soft massage 3. prolonged massage 4. moderate massage 5. rough massage 6.. restorative massage 7. preparatory massage 8. soothing massage.
In developed countries a separate massage therapist is employed in hospitals to aid healing. Basic knowhow of the massage helps in choosing from the various types.
Massage though not popular in Kashmir is nevertheless highly needed in the state. Winter in Kashmir restricts the movement of people. This results in weight gain and massage is helpful here because it can dissolve fat. The restorative massage is done with palm and tones the flabby body thin.
After exercise somebody body wastes are produced in the muscle which are not expelled and produce fatigue. Soothing massage which is done with oil disperses these body wastes.
Kashmiris are very prone to joint problems like arthritis, cervical spondolysis. These ailments can be relieved by massage which not only removes pain but also reduces inflammation of the joints.
Young children should be given massage. It improves their digestion, tones up muscle and gives nutrition to the tissues.
Facial massage which is given to improve the tone of the facial skin provides nourishment as well as gives shine to the skin.
Besides, massage also has other health benefits. It helps in the increase of circulation and prevent necrotic tissue formation in legs and feet. The persons who suffer immobility due to injury, wheelchair use, stroke or cerebral palsy benefit from massage which acts as mild exercise.
However, massage should not be done during fever, infectious diseases, kidney or heart disease, acute infections, first trimester of pregnancy or hernia.