ITEC Level 3
Massage is a complementary touch therapy which involves the therapist using their hands, fingers, arms and elbows to apply pressure, rub, stroke and manipulate muscles and soft tissue of the body to help relieve pain and tension, and improve circulation. As well as the main large muscle groups, such as on the back, neck, shoulders, legs and arms, the therapist can work on every part of the body, including the hands, feet, fingers, toes and face.
Originating in the East, massage is one of the oldest therapies in the world, but to pinpoint its precise origins is almost impossible. Every culture throughout the world has used massage in some form, for therapy, beauty, ritual, fitness and to aid recovery. In every language, ancient and modern, there is a word for massage. There are many different schools and types of massage, each with certain methods, but all with overall similar principals and aims. The techniques developed in Sweden form the basis of all classic massage moves now used in the West – primarily effleurage, petrissage, vibration and tapotement.
Massage has a wide range of benefits and effects on the body and the mind. It is used to help people with injuries and pain, give relief from long-term health conditions, promote and maintain muscular and circulatory health, encourage overall wellbeing, and bring relaxation. The objectives of massage may be divided into mental and physical, but in practice, the two are inextricably connected:
- The pace, flow, strength and rhythm of a massage can have a potent effect on the mind of the client. Both relaxing and energising massages are rejuvenating and restorative to the mind, as well as being highly beneficial to the muscles and the body systems.
- Massage can be used to help people with stress and anxiety, the common cause of a plethora of other illnesses and complaints. Massage calms and boosts all the body systems, and rests the mind, bringing our thoughts away from stresses and worries, and so acting almost like a meditative tool, focusing the mind on the sensual experience of the moment. This is especially so if done in an atmosphere of relaxing music and gentle lighting.
- Massage fulfils our innate need for touch, and so can be deeply reassuring, calming, self-affirming and relaxing.
- By calming and slowing down the mind, a relaxing massage has a knock-on effect on the body by inhibiting the sympathetic nervous system, and stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system. The latter slows the heart rate, slows the circulatory system, causes vasodilation to the digestive, excretory and reproductive organs, causes vasoconstriction to the heart and muscles (thus relaxing them), slows and balances the endocrine system, and slows and deepens the respiratory system. This all has the result of calming the whole body, letting it repair and re-energise; encouraging excretion, detoxing and cleansing by stimulating the excretory systems; and giving the body the opportunity to rebalance its state of homeostasis. This is all particularly helpful to the immune system, and therefore helps promote the client's long term health and wellbeing.
- Massage improves blood circulation and lymph flow to and from the muscles, systems and connective tissues, thus speeding up the removal of waste form the tissues and increasing the efficiency of nutrient and oxygen arrival.
- Massage relaxes muscles, and helps relieve tension and remove knots in the muscle fibres caused by injury or build up of lactic acid. This is in turn can help relieve muscular and joint pains, stiffness, cramps and postural imbalances.
- Massage can help maintain and promote good muscle health, tone and performance.
- Massage aids skin and nail health, not only by stimulating blood and lymph circulation, but also by encouraging desquamation and introducing nutrient-rich oils to the skin to nourish, protect and hydrate.
- Massage can be beneficial to the nervous system by relaxing, cleansing and stimulating it, through both mental and tactile pathways.
Whether you have a particular strain or ache, or you just wish to treat yourself and unwind, why not call the clinic and book in today for a deeply beneficial, healing and relaxing therapy.
1 hour - £40