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Massage for Eczema


Massage is used to treat a range of ailments and conditions, including eczema. Though there are conventional medical treatments for skin conditions such as eczema, there is a growing trend for alternative, non-medical therapies which typically have fewer side effects.

What is Massage?

Massage is the physical manipulation of the muscles and tissues of the body, and is an ancient healing therapy utilised by many cultures around the world. There are a range of different types of massage techniques which range from gentle stroking to more vigorous deep tissue treatments.  Massage has a number of benefits including aiding relaxation, releasing tight muscles and improving circulation. There are a number of different types of massage, or massage techniques, including:

  • Aromatherapy – this technique uses essential oils for reduced friction and therapeutic effect
  • Deep tissue – a massage targeting the deep tissue and muscle for maximum relief
  • Reflexology – massage and pressure point activation using the foot to target the whole body
  • Shiatsu – a massage that utilises rhythmic finger techniques
  • Sports - used to treat damaged muscle and tissue or to aid warm up before exercise
  • Swedish – a gentle technique utilising massage oil

What is Eczema?

Eczema is a skin condition characterised by irritated dry, itching and red skin that can affect any part of the body.  Though there is no obvious cause, it is thought to be triggered by a range of factors, including:

  • Allergens, with food such as nuts thought to be a factor
  • Environmental irritants, such as pet hair, dust mites and chemicals
  • Bacteria
  • Diet; and
  • Stress 

There are two types of eczema, namely atopic dermatitis and contact dermatitis, with the former mostly affecting children.  Some people are thought to be more genetically predisposed.  Conventional treatments include creams, oral antihistamines and corticosteroids.  

How Can Massage Help Eczema?

Massage is a great stress reliever, and it also helps to stimulate circulation, with trials indicating that ongoing massage therapy can help to reduce the impact of eczema.  Any massage should however be carried out by a qualified and accredited massage therapist, as contact with inflamed skin or massage oils could make the condition worse. Massage therapists in Australia are unregulated by government, but are obliged to adhere to national training and education standards which are administered by national associations.  They also typically require insurance and a First Aid certificate to operate.

FInd out about other effective natural eczema treatments.



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