Massage is an essential part of my Healing Technique. In the Orient, massage techniques like Shiatsu (Japanese), Tuina (Chinese), Marma (Indian), Thai, etc. were more therapeutic than relaxing as they are often painful.
Swedish massage uses kneading and rubbing techniques and is therefore purely relaxing. Greek and Turkish massage use pummelling, slapping, rubbing and kneading techniques. These are also therapeutic in nature.
Benefits of massage
Muscles form the bulk of the body, a fact all too often neglected in the university Medical Anatomy year. Every movement in the body as well as standing and sitting, requires the participation of the muscles. Until you fall into deep sleep, the muscles are in full tone, in a partially contracted state.
They need rest to replenish their energy and above all rid their bulk of lactic acid. This is a byproduct of glucose utilisation by muscles in the absence of adequate oxygen supply following excessive use and poor supply. This lactic acid can cause muscle cramp and a great fatigue in muscles. Massage gets more blood into the muscles and therefore more oxygen, which instantly converts lactic acid into carbon dioxide and water. It is essential to restore relevant muscles to a relaxed and malleable state before any manipulation is attempted as otherwise any distortion can interfere with the treatment. This is especially true of the neck.
The energy molecules in the body are known as ATP (Adenosine Tri Phosphate). This is broken down by the cells to release stored energy. The muscles produce maximum amounts of ATPs. Massage is a good way of nurturing the muscles, replenishing their nutrients and keeping them toned. Exercises do similar things if they are not too strenuous (then you lose energy) and are accompanied by breathing (oxygen supply) as in Yoga and Pilates.
Massage relieves aches and pains and creates a very positive sense of “feel good factor”. The skin’s surface is a powerful sensory organ linked to various emotions in the body. I have tried to map it and it’s quite amazing how humans and animals touch each other to generate such emotions and affection. Self touch, other than in the erogenous zones and genitalia, does not produce the same emotions.
The armpit, neck, belly area, soles of feet, the area above the hips etc produce laughter (tickling sensation). The scalp induces deep relaxation and sleep. The nape of the neck and back produce “goose bumps” and sense of excitement. The areas behind the ears, lips, breasts, nipples, pubic area, the inner surface of thighs, genitalia are erogenous zones. The nostril and tickling the hair within canals of the ears and anus (orifices) cause anger.
There is constant wear and tear in the body. Massage helps to heal those, if done regularly. Repetitive Strain Injuries, as in the excessive computer use, can be prevented and treated with regular massage. In short, massage removes the lactic acid that forms ‘knots’ within muscles, it helps overcome fatigue, it relieves aches and pains in the joints and it activates the innate healing power of the body.