Background to Massage
Massage techniques are a development of this most basic reaction to damage, pain or a feeling of soreness. At its most basic, massage is a most simple way of easing pain while at the same time aiding relaxation and promoting a feeling of care and well being. Early man soon learned that while rubbing painful areas of his body, certain plants could be applied which would help to ease pain and promote healing. This basic action has been developed through the years, into the system of massage that we know today. Although the origins of massage can be traced to the ancient civilisations as far back as 3,000 BC, it is in the early years of the 19th century that the Swedish physiologist Dr Peter Henry Ling finally developed a clear system of massage; ‘Swedish Massage’ as we know it today. In 1813, the first college offering massage as part of its curriculum was established in Stockholm and from then on, courses sprang up all over the Continent.
Swedish Massage today
Dr Ling formulated a system of massage techniques which he used to cure ill health however, there have been developments on Ling’s work and the five classic techniques of Swedish Massage, which we teach today, are credited to a Dutch physician, Dr. Johan George Mezger, these are:
Benefits of Swedish Massage
The main purpose of Swedish massage is to increase the oxygen flow in the blood and release toxins from the muscles. Swedish massage shortens recovery time from muscular strain by flushing the tissues of lactic acid, uric acid, and other metabolic wastes. It increases circulation without increasing heart load. It stretches the ligaments and tendons keeping them supple and pliable. Swedish massage also stimulates the skin and nervous system and soothes the nerves themselves at the same time. It reduces stress, both emotional and physical, and is suggested in a regular program for stress management. It also has many specific medical uses.
Swedish Massage Treatment
In classic Swedish Massage, the person to be massaged lies on a massage table and is draped with a towel or sheet. It is a full-body massage treatment, except in areas that are unsafe to treat or where the client requests not to be touched. Aromatic or unscented oil or lotion is used to facilitate the massage movements and a typical session will usually last 45-60 minutes.
There are adapted techniques which are classed as advanced, such as Acupressure, Shiatsu, Thai Massage, Deep Tissue, Neuro-muscular, Lympahtic Drainage, Trigger Points etc.