Massage is the use of hands, or mechanical means , to manipulate the soft tissues of the body, particularly muscles. It can be used for relaxation, stimulation or rehabilitation of the whole body or part of it. It promotes suppleness of the muscles, improves circulation and reduces stress, aids digestion , waste removal and neural communication, promotes cell regeneration.
There are a number of different massaging techniques ; Efflourage, a generally gentle sweeping stroke which introduces the body to touch and relaxes the client. Petrissage ; this stroke is used to manipulate tissues and muscles and is a firmer kneading or rubbing stroke with pressure. Friction ; these moves focus on a particular problem area and can be used for loosening tightness around joints etc, as it heats up the area and promotes lymphatic drainage and improved circulation.
Percussion; these are invigorating and stimulating strokes which use the hands to strike the body rapidy and suddenly. They help to improve muscle tone , break up fat deposits in fleshy areas , and invigorate the nerves.
History of Massage
The use of massage has been recorded in China from 3000 BC. The ancient Chinese called their technique “amma” and used specific movements on particular points of the body. It was used for the promotion and restoration of health as well as for relaxation. The Japanese also used the amma technique , and in India massage has been used as a traditional part of Ayurvedic medicine. Many different cultures have massage depicted in their history, but the modern technique was developed by Per Henrik Ling in the early 1800’s. It is a well reputed and established form of rehabilitation and a natural and effective way to treat both physical conditions and psychological problems.
What will happen during a Massage?
You will discuss, with your practitioner , what outcome you want from the massage treatment, ie do you want to feel relaxed, or would you like to feel invigorated. Details will be taken of you current health status to determine whether there could be any contra-indication to the treatment. You may choose to have the whole body massage, ie back, front & back of legs, arms and abdomen, or you may just choose to have a combination of any just mentioned. You will be asked only to remove clothing from the area which is involved in the treatment , and relax on the therapy couch. The practitioner will begin the treatment by first spreading the oil or medium used, then will commence the massaging using correct pressure in accordance with the client. It is not unusual to become very relaxed and even fall asleep during the massage, which may indicate that the body has begun to start to rejuvenate itself. The session will last about 1 hour depending on how many areas are being treated, and the client will be advised to drink plenty of water following treatment to detoxify the systems.
Hot stone Massage
Massage using hot volcanic stones to gently stimulate and exfoliate the skin. The deep penetrating heat prepares the body for deeper work, melting tension away from the muscles. This is a wonderfully relaxing massage with the contrast of hot stones for the massage treatment, and cooler stones to gently reawaken the body.