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The Power of Massage


Therapeutic touch is a powerful agent for healing, one that has been recognized by traditional cultures all around the world, from ancient times to today. Beyond the focus of improving health, the physical stimulus provided by touch is essential for our well being at all stages of life, especially so in the early developmental years. Touching is a natural reaction to pain and stress, and for conveying compassion and support. Whenever we bump ourselves or experience pain, our natural inclination is to place our hands on the area of distress. Therapeutic touch is a physiological necessity, it is a fundamental human need.

Even though this experience is something we all require throughout our lives, touch is something of which our stimuli-rich society is sadly deficient.  Your therapist aims to fulfil this need, working on the principle that touching in a caring manner helps initiate and support self-healing in the recipient.


Why massage is good for your health


Virtually every system of the body is affected by massage, either directly or indirectly. Here is a guide to how your body can benefit:


Skeletal system: Bone is affected indirectly by massage. Improved circulation of blood brings oxygen and nutrients to the bones. Joint stiffness and pain can be reduced. As the muscles become more flexible, joint movement increases.


Muscular system: Some massage movements relax and stretch muscles, reducing muscular tension and cramp. Massage also makes muscles more flexible by reducing muscle tone. Muscles tired by exercise are more quickly restored by massage than by rest.


Nervous system: Soothing massage can provide relief from nervous irritability and stress-related conditions such as insomnia and tension headaches. When used energetically to stimulate, massage may relieve lethargy and fatigue.


Circulation system: Massage {2}can improve the flow of blood, which can help poor circulation. This is especially useful for anyone who is immobile.


Lymphatic system: Gentle massage stimulates the lymphatic system, which helps clear the body of a build-up of waste products. The relaxing effect of the massage can relieve stress, which in turn can boost the immune system.


Respiratory system: As you become more relaxed during a massage, respiration may become slower and deeper as you are using your diaphragm for breathing and expending less energy. Physiotherapists use cupping movements over the base of the lungs to relieve chest congestion.


Digestive system: Massage aids relaxation and therefore can help to increase the movement of food and waste products through the digestive system. This relaxation can have a balancing effect on the digestive system.


Female reproductive system: Menstrual problems such as period pains and PMS can be alleviated by the relaxing effects of massage, as can menopausal symptoms.


Massage Styles

Healers throughout time and throughout the world have instinctually and independently developed a wide range of therapeutic techniques using touch. Many are still in use today, and with good reason. I place these techniques in two broad categories. The first is European style massage, also known as Swedish or Therapeutic including Rolfing, Cranial Sacral and others of this ilk. This category focusses on improving the biomechanics functioning of our body.

The second category is Asian style massage examples of which are Shiatsu, Tuina and Thai  massage. The second category seeks to facilitate the chi or energy field of the body by stretching and stimulating the meridians and associated pressure points.