Massage has been used throughout history and even pre-history.
Free Online Dictionary defines it as, “The rubbing or kneading of parts of the body especially to aid circulation, relax the muscles, or provide sensual stimulation.”
This rubbing or kneeding can vary in intensity depending on the desired outcome. I use more pressure than most aromatherapists but less than a sports massage therapist would typically use. Most often vegetable oil of some sort is used to ease the movement of the hands/arms etc. over the skin. (Some therapists use talcum powder but I have never tried this.) The one time when these are not used is with pre and post sports event massage when their use might prevent perspiration flowing from the sweat glands and cause the body to over heat.
From time to time I have been asked how long a massage should last? This is a bit like the proverbial piece of string. I will sometimes give someone a head massage for a headache that might only last five minutes. Many therapists who do chair massage do sessions of around twenty minutes. For a full body massage, I normally allow an hour and a half though it varies by a few minutes either way. I often feel that small people get better value because they get more work done per unit area of skin!
For massage oil, I mostly use coconut or walnut oil, organic in each case. I also add essential oils specific to the individual I am treating. Bergamot is one I often use for depression and ginger is often used for muscular aches and pains along with other stimulating oils like rosemary or eucalyptus.
I use therapeutic massage for both physical and emotional issues. I see the two as being very interlinked. Those with a heavy weight of emotional problems often have neck and shoulder pain. The phrase, “Carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders does not come from nowhere.
Essential oils can enhance the effects of the massage either through improving blood flow and other physiological effects or more subtly through their spiritual and emotional effects.
I Practice at the Salus Wellness Centre, 47 Norfolk Street Cambridge, UK CB1 2LD.