Massage is one of the oldest healing arts and today massage therapy is part of many physical rehabilitation programs. It has proven beneficial for many chronic conditions, including low back pain, arthritis, bursitis, fatigue, high blood pressure, diabetes, immunity suppression, infertility, smoking cessation, depression and more. And, as many millions will attest, massage helps relieve the stress and tension of everyday living.
So what is massage?
Massage, bodywork and somatic therapies are defined as the application of various techniques to the muscular structure and soft tissues of the human body.
- Massage: The application of soft-tissue manipulation techniques to the body, generally intended to reduce stress and fatigue while improving circulation. The many variations of massage account for several different techniques.
- Bodywork: Various forms of touch therapies that may use manipulation, movement, and/or repatterning to affect structural changes to the body.
- Somatic: Meaning “of the body.” This term is often used to denote a body/mind or whole-body approach, as distinguished from a physiology-only or environmental perspective.
There are more than 250 different types of massage, bodywork, and somatic therapies. Depending on the type of therapy, techniques may include stroking, kneading, tapping, compression, vibration, rocking, friction, pressure to the muscles and other soft tissues, passive or active movement, and/or techniques intended to affect the energetic systems of the body. Oils, lotions, or powders may be used to reduce friction on the skin.
Massage, bodywork and somatic therapies specifically exclude diagnosis, prescription, manipulation or adjustments of the human skeletal structure, or any other service, procedure or therapy which requires a license to practice orthopedics, physical therapy, podiatry, chiropractic, osteopathy, psychotherapy, acupuncture, or any other profession or branch of medicine.
TYPES OF MASSAGE
Swedish massage involves working with the soft tissues and muscles in the body to help restore balance and health. It is the perfect way to both relax and energise the body and mind, by relieving muscle tension, improving circulation, and creating a sense of calm and well-being.
Deep Tissue Massage
Deep tissue massage helps to refresh and relax muscles, increasing the blood flow around the body. It assists the body in the elimination of toxins in sore and strained muscles, which in turn helps them to strengthen and heal. Deep tissue is great for increasing blood circulation in muscles that are underused, relieving chronic muscle tension throughout the body, and breaking down scar tissue and “knots” deep in the muscles.
Indian Head Massage
Indian Head Massage is a treatment based on old Ayurvedic techniques, involving work on the upper back, shoulders, neck, scalp and face. Alongside relaxing and rejuvenating the receiver, it can help to reduce stress and fatigue, as well as increase mental clarity.
Thai Foot Massage
Thai Foot Massage is great for tired feet! It improves circulation and lymph movement in the feet and lower legs, and can increase flexibility. It is essentially a treatment of the lower legs and feet that involves physically stretching and massaging to open Sen (energy). There are 10 major energy lines that run throughout the body from the top of the head down to the soles of the feet (where they end as pressure points), and these lines provide a map of the whole body and its organs. When we stimulate these, we encourage the mind and body to restore its own natural, healthy balance, and keep the whole body harmonised.
Hot Stone Therapy
Hot stone massage therapy melts away tension, eases muscle stiffness, and increases circulation and metabolism. It promotes deeper muscle relaxation through the placement of smooth, heated stones at key points on the body. The premise behind hot stone massage therapy is that the direct heat of the stones relaxes muscles, allowing the therapist access to their deeper muscle layers. Combining hot stones with a full body massage provides a very healing and effective experience; the stones expand the blood vessels, which encourages blood flow throughout the body. It has a sedative effect that can relieve chronic pain, reduce stress and promote deep relaxation.
Baby massage is a bonding activity between parents and their children. In the most basic terms, baby massage refers to the process of stroking the muscles of an infant using a variety of specialised massage techniques. Vocalisation, eye contact, talking, singing and other communication techniques are also important components of the massage. Baby massage can help with digestion, colic, teething, pain/discomfort, sleep, and weight gain (amongst many other things) and is a wonderful way to spend time with your baby!