A brief history of
Massage is considered to
be among the oldest of all treatments used by man. Chinese
records dating back 3,000 years documents its use. The ancient
Hindus, Persians and Egyptians used forms of massage for some
ailments and Hippocrates wrote papers recommending the use of
rubbing and friction for joint and circulatory problems.
Today, massage is an accepted part of many physical
rehabilitation programs and has proven beneficial to many
chromic conditions such as low back pain, arthritis and
bursitis. massage helps relieve the stress and tension of
bodywork or somatic therapies benefit me?
Massage provides relief
to people from all walks of life - the weekend or competitive
athlete, the home gardener and the overstressed executive
struggling to keep pace in today's economy. Secretaries,
laborers, waitresses - anyone can feel a need for massage at
some point in time. The older population, as well, will
benefit from massage, as it enhances flexibility and
circulation. The bedridden can also be helped in this regard.
There are some conditions where massage is not recommended,
however. Your practitioner should ask for information
regarding any specific health conditions from which you may be
suffering in order to determine if massage, bodywork, or
somatic therapies are contraindicated. In some cases, the
practitioner may need your doctor's permission before
Finding a qualified
Your massage, bodywork,
or somatic therapy services should be provided by a
professional who has received proper training. Don't hesitate
to ask practitioners about their background, training and
experience. Referrals from friends can usually be relied upon.
Members of Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals have
met stringers requirements regarding training and must adhere
to a strict code of ethics in order to remain members. ABMP
offers a referral service to the public and will provide you
with a lost of practitioners in your area. For information,
call 1-800-458-2267, or visit their website at
Taking care of
Care of your body should
be at the top of your priority list. You will feel and look
better if you take the necessary steps regarding health and
nutrition in this age of increased longevity. Stress relief
alone can improve your vitality and state of mind. Massage,
bodywork and somatic therapies could play an important role in
Massage for pain
and emotional problems.
With many chronic
ailments, massage can relieve the pain and help heal. As with
physical problems, emotional problems may also be stimulated
into self-healing with massage. In many cases, this helps
eliminates the need to take harmful chemical drugs, which will
unnecessarily burden the liver, kidneys and other vital
Where will my
massage or bodywork session take place?
Your massage or bodywork
session will take place in a warm, comfortable, quiet room.
Soft music may be played to help you relax. You will lie on a
table especially designed for your comfort.
Will lubricant be
A light oil or lotion
may be used to permit your muscles to be worked on without
causing excessive friction to the skin. The lubricants use
should hydrate the skin and be readily absorbed.
What will the
massage or bodywork feel like?
It depends on the
techniques used. In general Swedish massage, your session may
start with broad, lowing strokes that will help to calm your
nervous system and at east exterior muscle tension. As your
body becomes relaxed, pressure will gradually be increased to
relax and relive specific areas of muscular tension. You
should communicate with your practitioner immediately if you
feel any discomfort so that another approach may be taken.
massage and bodywork are most effective when your body is not
How will I feel
after the massage or bodywork session?
Most people feel very
relaxed. Some experience freedom from long-term aches and
pains developed from tension or repetitive activity. After an
initial period of feeling slowed down, people often experience
increased energy, heightened awareness and greater
productivity, which can last for days. Since toxins are
released from soft tissues during a massage, it is recommended
you drink plenty of water afterward.
What are the
benefits of massage and bodywork?
Massage and bodywork can
help release chronic muscular tension and pain, improve
circulation, increase join flexibility, reduce mental and
physical fatigue and stress, promote faster healing of injured
muscular tissue, improve posture and reduce blood pressure.
Massage and bodywork are also known to promote better sleep,
improve concentration, reduce anxiety and create an overall
sense of well-being.
Types of massage,
bodywork and somatic therapies.
There are a variety of
bodywork techniques. Following are brief descriptions of just
Swedish Massage -
The most common form of massage, Swedish mainly relaxes the
muscles and eases aches and pains.
Sports Massage -
For the athlete, sports massage techniques are utilized at all
stages: pre-event, post-event, during training and to expedite
the rehabilitation after injury.
Japanese acupressure massage that restores energy to the body.
Trager - Utilizes
rhythmic rocking movements to relax the body and mind.
Hellerwork - A
combination of movement re-education and muscle and connective
Balance the energetic system of the body.
Massage of the feet, hands and/or ears. Stimulates
corresponding areas in the body.
There are more than 150
variations of massage, bodywork and somatic therapy
techniques. Many practitioners utilize an integration of
MediCupping: This therapy utilizes glass or plastic
cups and a vacuum pistol, bulb or machine to create suction on
the body surface.