Massage Therapy – Origin
Massage therapy. It is one of the oldest practices known to history, along with healing. References to it are found in Chinese texts over 4,000 years old. Massaging has been used in European health care practices since the time of Hippocrates. In the fourth century B.C. he wrote, “The physician must be acquainted with many things and assuredly with rubbing”.
Massage Therapy Introduction – Definition
The basic philosophy of massage therapy is: vis Medicatrix naturae.
Meaning aiding the body to heal itself and achieving or increasing health and well-being.
Massage therapy is the specific manipulation of the soft tissues of the body. These being skin, muscles and tendons, ligaments. The concept is to normalise those tissues and create harmony. A massage usually consists of manual, (and possibly other), techniques that include applying static or movable pressure, holding, and/or causing movement of or to the body.
Massage therapy is applied primarily with the hands, sometimes the forearms and even the elbows can be used. The techniques affect the muscular, skeletal, circulatory, lymphatic, nervous, and other systems of the body.
Touching is the medium of massage therapy. While massage can be described in terms of the type of techniques to be performed, it is not a recipe to follow. All massages also has an intuitive component. the massage therapist should feel the flow and adjust the pressure and flow of the strokes instinctively. There has to be a sensitivity to the process. There is almost an artistic component to the flow of the movement.
When touch is used with an instinctive sensitivity also allows the massage therapist to gain vital information from their hands about the client’s body; like spotting areas of muscle tension and other soft tissue problems.
Touch is a very primal form of communication, sensitive touch will engender a sense of caring to the person receiving massage.
Massage Introduction – Purpose
- reduction of muscle stress, tension and stiffness
- stop of muscle spasms
- provide greater flexibility and range of motion
- increase ease of movement
- reduce stress and aide relaxation
- promotion of deeper more regular breathing
- increase the circulation of blood
- increase the movement of lymph
- relief of tension headaches and eyestrain
- promotion of faster healing of soft tissue injuries; pulled muscles and sprained ligaments and swelling related to such injuries
- reduction of swelling
- reduction in the formation of excessive scar tissue following soft tissue injuries
- enhances the health and nourishment of skin
- improvement in posture
- creation of a feeling of well-being
- reduction in levels of anxiety
- increase in awareness of the mind-body connection
- promotion of a relaxed state of mental awareness
- reduce psycho-emotional distress in persons suffering from chronic inflammatory bowel disease, etc.
- enhance immune system
- some medical conditions that massage therapy can help with are: arthritis, asthma and bronchitis, repetitive motion injuries, chronic and temporary pain, depression, digestive disorders, insomnia, myofascial pain, sports injuries, and temporomandibular joint.
On the following pages of this site is detailed information on the different massages I perform at Crown House in Dartford.
You will see that I perform some simple and some quite complex ones. Many are several different techniques skillfully blended together to create a very effective form of massage. After all I am sure you will want me to give you the best massage I possibly can.
Massage Therapy – some considerations
- In some cases, pregnant women should avoid massage therapy. Talk with your health care provider before getting a massage if you’re pregnant.
- People with bleeding disorders or low blood platelet counts should avoid having forceful and deep tissue massage. People who take anticoagulants (also known as blood thinners) also should avoid them
- Massage should not be done in any potentially weak area of the skin, such as wounds
- Massage cannot be performed over skin condition
- Massage cannot be performed over large varicose veins
- Deep or intense pressure should not be used over an area where the patient has a tumour or cancer, unless approved by the patient’s health care provider
- Never use massage therapy to replace conventional care or to postpone seeing a health care provider about a medical problem
- If you have a medical condition and are unsure whether massage therapy would be appropriate for you, discuss your concerns with your health care provider
Click the title links below to go straight to the individual massage therapy pages.