Massage is perhaps one of the oldest of all healing therapies, having been used in ancient times across all cultures and continents. In ancient Rome, massage was used by the wealthy who lavishly pampered themselves with aromatic baths and rubs.
Today at a time when our lifestyles have become more complicated and stressful, massage is still a skill worth learning.
Massage can soothe a very nervous child, relax your partner and improve sleep. You will learn how to massage each part of the body individually and what oils are best to use. Finally you will be able to put it all together to do a full body treatment to suit anyone’s requirements.
The Power Of Touch
We all know how powerful touch can be. If we are low and upset and a friend gives us a hug, our mood soon lifts. Likewise when we hurt ourselves we rub the painful area. Massage is pleasurable because it fulfils our needs for soothing touch.
The primitive instinct of rubbing a sore area increases blood flow into the capillaries just below the skin, bringing fresh oxygen to the affected area,promoting healing. This is why massage so effectively eases aches.
As we get used to using massage regularly we become more in touch with our own bodies, and those of others. We become aware of what causes stress and illness and are able to prevent or control these conditions.
How Massage Benefits The Body
Massage is much more than simply a pleasurable and relaxing experience, it has concrete physical benefits for the muscles, skin and the circulatory system.
Maintaining Muscle Tone
Massaging helps to maintain muscle tone, reduce tension and aid in elasticity of muscle fibres. You can also use massage to increase muscle tone and strength.
- Lactic acid is a waste product that gathers in muscle fibres during periods of stress and exercise. Massage helps maintain the elasticity of muscle fibre by breaking down these deposits of Lactic acid.
- Massage also helps to break down adhesions in the muscle tissue (fibres that join together during the healing process after injury).
- Massage is a valuable tool when it comes to improving and maintaining muscle tone. Muscles that lack tone benefit from stimulating massage techniques like hacking and cupping. This is particularly helpful as part of a sports massage
Improving Skin Condition
Massage strokes are applied directly on the skin and have an immediate effect.
- Skin texture improves as massage exfoliates dead cells from the surface. It also stimulates sweat and sebum (oil) gland into cleansing and detoxing.
- Fine lines on the face can benefit from massage as it relaxes underlying muscles..Due to improved blood flow, the skin complexion looks brighter and nourished.
- Massage products have their own specific effects on the skin. For example, apricot kernel suits sensitive skin and sweet almond treats dryness. Essential oils used in massage also have potent effects in their own right- you’ll learn how to choose appropriate oils for each type of massage.
Massage works on both the body and lymph circulatory systems.
- Speeding the flow of blood through the veins, massage stimulates the supply of oxygen and nutrients to all cells in the body. It also increases the removal rate of waste products from the tissues.
- massage reduces the thickness of blood and lowers blood pressure.
- The lymphatic system- which transports lymph fluid back towards the heart from the tissues- can be stimulated by massage, reducing swelling and puffiness. This explains why massaging the feet and ankles reduce fluid retention in those areas.
- The muscle contractions which move lymph around the body are increased when massaged, helping to drain off excess fluid.