What is massage?
Massage is the use of hands, or mechanical means, to manipulate the soft tissues of the body for both local and overall effects and benefits. Massage is as old as civilisation itself, and people from all cultures have used touch as a form of communication, comfort and healing throughout history.
Modern massage is based on techniques developed by Per Henrik Ling (1776-1839), a physiologist and fencing master. He was from Sweden and massage is still referred to as Swedish massage because of his influence.
Nowadays many systems and methods exist, but Swedish massage techniques such as effleurage, petrissage and percussion remain the basis for most practice.
What is Holistic massage?
The term ‘holistic’ comes from Greek word ‘holos’ meaning whole. The holistic approach to massage takes into account a person’s whole being, not just the physical symptoms or problems, but also psychology, environment, lifestyle and nutrition and the effects, both positive and negative, that these can have on the body as a whole. The aim is to rebalance the body so it achieves homeostasis ( a state of balance and optimal functioning of all body systems). To be able to perform holistic massage a therapist undergoes an extensive training that includes not only massage techniques, but anatomy, physiology, pathology, nutrition and general health.
What are the benefits of massage?
Massage benefits the whole body, both physiologically and psychologically.
It can help to:
- Reduce stress, soothe and relax the body
- Improve blood and lymph circulation, and aid digestion
- Disperse water retention
- Eliminate toxins
- Break down knotted tissues and relief muscle soreness and stiffness
- Speed up skin desquamation and promote cell regeneration
- Stimulate immune system and assist recovery from illness
- Enhance sleep quality, decrease anxiety and reduce fatigue
- Alleviate physical and emotional tensions as well as pain
Recent scientific research has proven that massage is very effective in reducing inflammation and helping with pain relief.
Your first appointment will begin with a consultation, which takes about 15-20 minutes. During the consultation you will be asked about your medical history, your current state of health, your lifestyle and emotinal wellbeing. Yours expectations, likes and dislikes will be discussed too. This is necessary to establish your suitability for the treatment (please read “Contraindications to Massage” below) and to tailor the treatment to your individual requirements. Any information you disclose will be treated in strict confidence.
After the initial consultation you will be left to undress to your underwear in private, wrap yourself in a towel and lie down on the massage couch. Throughout the treatment you will be covered with towels to make sure that you feel comfortable, warm and secure. You will always be fully covered, except for the area being worked on. You are guaranteed to be treated with care and respect at all times.
Contraindications to Massage
There are some circumstances in which a massage treatment is not possible. For example:
- Contagious or infectious diseases (including skin diseases)
- Diarrhoea and vomiting
- Active cancer
- Undiagnosed lumps and bumps
- Recent thrombosis
If you are being treated by your GP, hospital or any other health practitioner, it is recommended that you inform all the parties concerned that you are receiving massage treatment.