Therapeutic massage is a wonderful way to boost your wellbeing. It can easily become a part of your lifestyle and is a popular form of holistic therapy recognised for both its physical and psychological benefits. Massage and the use of touch as a healing method and is one of the oldest forms of health care practise. It was used in many ancient cultures dating back thousands of years. Early written accounts were found in Egypt where essential oils were applied to the body as a theraputic remedy. In the tomb of The Physician located in Saqqara Circa 2330 BC, the painitng on the wall depicts two men having foot and hand treatments. Another Egyptian wall shows soldiers having massage after a long march. There is also evidence that Mark Anthony showed his devotion to Cleopatra by massaging her feet at dinner parties.

Massage and specific massage techniques are mentioned in an ancient Chinese medical book called Huangdi Neijing 722-481 BC. It is considered that Traditional Chinese Medicine was based on this book and decribes how massage was applied for injuries and ailments.

Methods of massage in Chinese culture originated from the principle that diseases and illnesses arise due to a deficiency or imbalance of energy within meridiens. Through a variety of massage techniques energy will be encouraged to flow more freely, and therefore allowing the body to heal naturally. Traditional Chinese Medicine is part of the mainstream medical system in China today.

Ancient knowledge developed over many years and influenced other cultures. The Greeks, Romans and Turkish are well known for their bathing and therapeutic massage. Hippocrates the renowned Greek physician (460 BC) and ‘Father of Medicine’ wrote: “The physician must have experience in many things, and assuredly in rubbing.” The meaning of this reference is to show competence in massage, which was extensively practised to aid aches and pains in the body.

Massage and Complementary Therapies have long since evolved and have been widely accepted as a part of people’s lifestyles. The beauty and leisure industries can be credited for their development. Luxury spas, gyms and health centres across the world offer a wide range of therapeutic treatments to boost physical and mental wellbeing. They are used as a preventative measure for ill health, of which application of touch is the basis.

The practise of holistic massage services have developed further and are now available in the health care sector and used in some hospitals in specialised Cancer and Palliative care services. Both Macmillan and Cancer Care UK charities have helpful up to date information to guide you in this area. The NHS similarly provides useful information about Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM’s). Massage is also used in maternity units to provide support for pregnant ladies in labour to aid relaxation and pain relief.

The Benefits of Massage

All types of people use various forms of massage from elite athletes for prevention of physical injury and muscle recovery, to the average person for its psychological benefits. Relief of tension and stress helps to increase relaxation and general wellbeing.

The application of light gentle strokes to calm or firm kneading pressure through massage stimulates and soothes nerve endings. A reaction in the brain helps to release feel good chemicals called endorphins, which boost your mood and therfore can help to build positive thoughts and mental strength.

The benefits of massage are extensive and you may like to consider it as an investment into your general health and wellbeing. Receiving theraputic massage to the soft tissues of your body can be used to relieve pain, improve circulation, support flexibility and stiffness of joints and muscles.

Many chronic health conditions associated with pain and restricted mobility may gain benefit from Complementary Therapies as well as mental health problems like stress and depression. Here are just some of the common conditions that I have worked with to support peoples quality of life. Back and neck aches, Arthritis, Parkinsons disease, insomnia, anxiety and tension, migraines and headaches, Cancer, Fibromyalgia, Pregnancy and high blood pressure, lethargy and tiredness.

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Swedish body massage

Swedish massage is known as the original classic style of massage, which was established in the late 1700’s by the Swedish physical therapist Per Ling. It is very relaxing and helps to reduce both emotional and physical stress.

Swedish massage is an invigorating treatment to refresh and revitalise the whole body and enliven your mind. This treatment is an excellent wake-me-up to boost circulation, remove unwanted toxins and ease tired aching muscles. An aromatic blend of stimulating essential oils helps to cleanse and refresh your mind and body.

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Deep tissue massage

Essential oils are combined with slow firm compression and kneading techniques applied to the whole body or to target specific muscle groups.

Deep tissue massage increases blood flow and oxygen around the body. It helps to get rid of toxins in sore strained knotty muscles and therefore refreshing and relaxing them.

This type of massage is used to treat musculoskeletal problems and to help people to enhance their exercise performance with remedial massage techniques.

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Hot Stone Therapy

Get cosied up to when you’re feeling the chill. Heated volcanic Basalt stones are applied to the whole body to delight your senses, warm you to your bones and ease tension away. This massage treatment is particularly pleasant on cold winter days and creates balance and harmony within.

This style of massage has its origins in Native America traditions and beliefs. Hot stones were taken from the fire and applied to areas of pain or injury to soothe the affected area. This spiritual treatment helps to quieten the mind and is restful to the whole body and soul, revitalising mental and physical exhaustion. Stones are placed on key energy points and warm oils melt onto your body to nourish the skin. Jane has trained in the original Face and Body LaStone Therapy with Jane Scrivner.

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Indian Head Massage

Indian head massage originated in India more than 3500 years ago and is used today to promote wellbeing and to treat health problems. This hypnotic massage style has been a part of India’s rich culture for thousands of years and has its own unique techniques.

Indian head massage is based on traditional Ayurvedic medicine practise and translated from Sanscrit is, ‘the science of life’. This is one of the oldest forms of traditional healthcare and regarded as the basis of Holistic Medicine.

Hindus used the art of healing touch in the practice of massage with medicinal plants and warmed oils applied to the body. Many Indian women massage their scalp and apply nourishing plant oils to their hair to improve its condition.

Indian head massage is a fabulous treatment to relieve head, neck and shoulder tension. It combines deep strokes to the back, friction to tight muscles and pressure points to focus on key areas of the back, shoulder, neck, head and face. Spicy oils of Cinnamon, Ginger and Lemongrass add to the authenticity of this popular treatment.

Jane Eaton