Stiff and swollen joints can be cured by massage combined with mechanical movements.
Massage is, however, not recommended in serious inflammatory cases of the joints and in tubercular joints. It should also be avoided in infectious diseases like diphtheria and gonorrhoea which cause formation of pus as massage may spread the pus to the entire system. Sprains and bruises can be cured by massage. In these cases, affected parts should first be bathed with hot water for 15 to 30 minutes. Next the massage should be done for a few minutes. Gentle stroking and kneading is recommended on and around the injured tissues. Fractures can also be treated through massage.
This form of massage is of great help in atrophy of the muscles which usually follows if the muscles are not used for any length of time. This condition may also be brought about by injuries, diseases of the joints, inflammation of the muscles and nerves, and by too long use of cats, bandages and splints.
A human being carries one -half of the weight of his body in the form of muscular tissues. One-fourth of the blood supply circulates in the muscles. When one gets a good massage treatment, the muscles get regenerated and are then capable of holding half of the blood supply.
Massage thus provides additional nourishment to feed the muscular tissues, helping them to grow strong. Tapping, striking, and vibrating help the muscle to develop its contractile power. Muscle massage is brought by first effleurage, kneading, followed by tapotement. Later, active and passive movements are given.