05 March 2019
Where the culture of massage is a way of life. In Thailand and Indonesia alike, children are brought up with massage and learn how to master techniques at an early age. Its seen as an everyday necessity, and not the luxury that we in the West have become accustomed to.
Looking at the origins
Therapeutic massage dates back to the ancient Egyptians, which you can see in early hieroglyphics inscribed on ancient walls and scribes, then onto ancient China and the birth of Ayurveda in India. Ayurveda, a Sanskrit word which translates as ‘The science of life’, is widely practiced throughout the world, and regarded as the basis of holistic medicine, combining meditation, relaxation and aromatherapy.
In the 1800s massage reached western shores when Dr Henril Ling developed ‘the Swedish movement system’ and later Dutchman Johan Georg Mezger defined this as the basic hand strokes of Swedish massage… and massage was born.
Massage has made great headway over the last 50 years and demand is now at an all-time high. With both national and international corporations investing in the wellness of their employees, alternative therapies are on the rise, albeit still in it’s infancy in terms of potential.
Swedish massage works with the manual manipulation of soft tissues and muscles to promote healing, blood and lymphatic circulation to enhance wellbeing. Today there are over 250 variations of massage therapies used globally. Massage is also extremely popular pre-and post-natal, along with baby massage, again promoting well-being from childhood. The term ‘massage’ originates from the Greek word ‘massein’- meaning to knead, which is exactly what we do!
The basis of Swedish massage can be taught with five movements, combined and repeated together this is the basic technique that all cultures adopt and go on to develop.
Effleurage – Long gliding strokes used to apply the oil to the skin, also used to connect other movements together. This is your beginning stroke to warm up the body, feel the tension so you can concentrate on the areas that may need some TLC.
Petrissage – Lifting and kneading of the muscles, this is used to squeeze out the tension, work out the knots.
Friction – Firm, circular rubbing movements, also used to break down the knots and build up of toxins in the body.
Vibration – Rapidly shaking or vibrating of specific muscles.
Tapotement – Hacking, cupping, beating and pounding percussion movements to break down fatty tissue and invigorate the body.
Massage increases the body’s absorption of oxygen, rejuvenates and contributes to the detoxification process, which speeds up the rate cells eliminate waste – basically it makes you feel great and it’s good for you! What is there not to love?
Massage continues to be a luxury in the West, but with the amount of stress and anxiety we all seem to be experiencing these days, it really is a necessity. So, until massage becomes a part of our healthcare, spas are here to reduce both your physical and emotional stress.
For Valentine’s we thought we would give you a different kind of gift this year… and that’s the gift of massage technique! Roll up your sleeves, bring along your partner/friend and learn how to massage with our 60-minute Massage Masterclass for two including our best-selling Driftaway Massage oil, all for £90 per couple. Learn how to massage each other instructed by a spa professional – after all sharing is caring!