Massage involves different types of touch, pressure or flowing movements applied to the skin and underlying tissues to release muscular tension and pain, relax the body and enhance wellbeing.
Different massage techniques and approaches exist.
SWEDISH MASSAGE (also known as therapeutic massage) - a range of techniques applied to the skin using oils, including effleurage (stretching and relaxing superficial muscles), petrissage (kneading and squeezing deeper muscles and tissues), friction and compression (rubbing and ‘holding’ the tissues to break down scar tissue and relax muscles), tapotement (rhythmical movements and tapping performed with the edge of the hand or heel of the palm to increase blood circulation) and vibration (rhythmical movements for releasing tension and boosting circulation).
SPORTS MASSAGE - a range of techniques for treating sport injuries and aiding performance.
REMEDIAL MASSAGE - soft-tissue massage, commonly used to treat muscle and joint pain and sports injuries
JAVANESE DEEP TISSUE -an oil based massage that originated as an ancient system of healing with a history of over 300 years in Indonesia. In Javanese massage, pushing and stroking techniques predominate, working to ease muscle and joint pain. It relies upon deep thumb pressures pushing, pressing and circling along and around the body's energy meridians to break down tensely knotted muscles and to stimulate the body's lymphatic system into releasing its self regenerative power. The deep thumb pressure is accompanied with simultaneous stroking palm movements, squeezing and pushing against the skin and veins to improve blood circulation.
WHAT DOES IT INVOLVE?
Touch is used to locate areas of stiffness, pain or tension and then various techniques involving pressure, friction or stretching of the skin are used to promote circulation and release tension. Oils or powder may be used to enable smooth, flowing massage movements.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Massage of the skin and underlying tissues increases circulation of blood and lymph fluids, which is thought to increase oxygenation of the tissues and aid the removal of waste products.
Massage is believed to stimulate skin receptors and the nervous system triggering the release of ‘feel-good’ chemicals, known as endorphins, that help us relax. It may also help ‘block’ pain signals.
WHEN SHOULD I NOT HAVE A MASSAGE?
Massage is not suitable on broken, damaged, bruised, swollen or infected skin, burns, open cuts or wounds, over varicose or inflamed veins or when someone has deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or a fever.
It's also not advised if someone has suspected broken bones, brittle bone disease (osteoporosis), advanced cancers or serious heart problems.
ARE THERE ANY SIDE-EFFECTS?
Massage is generally very safe when practised by trained therapists.
Mild side-effects: slight drowsiness owing to relaxation during treatment. You are often advised to rest briefly before resuming daily activities such as driving.
Occasional side-effects: some forms of deep tissue massage cause tenderness or stiffness the next day. Certain essential oils can cause skin irritation or even allergic reactions.
Severe side-effects: these are extremely rare but have included broken bones or damaged organs, owing to excessive direct pressure being applied, usually by inadequately trained individuals.
HOW MANY TREATMENTS WILL I NEED?
Daily treatments may be advised to treat pain or sports injuries. A weekly massage is often given for relaxation and the relief of stress and anxiety. These may last for a set number of weeks or be on an ongoing basis.