Massage is essentially the art of applying due pressure on the body, particularly on the soft tissues, manually or through mechanical means, for the therapeutic benefit of the body and mind.
It is an age-old alternative method of healing, which has been practiced for long, across time and generations. It comes with immense advantages. It channelizes blood and fluid circulation in a better way, alleviates tension and stress points in the body, promotes better immunity and controls fluctuating blood pressure.
Apart from the technical and holistic aspects, it is also the harmony and connect between the therapist and the recipient that affect the results of a massage, the focal point of the resulting well-being from a massage. In the case of personal relations, where the masseuse or the masseur is someone close, it becomes a highly intuitive form of treatment. The companion can recognize the spot of ailment and thereby radiate healing and positive vibes through his or her touch. It is equally applicable to self-care massage regime, where one can concentrate on the area of stiffness or pain and, and can adequately maneuver the massage techniques to reap maximum benefits.
Given below are some critical pointers you should know to administer massage in a proper manner. It can be followed by the therapist, partner or the individual to use different massaging variations, as applicable in different situations.
The Touch Of Knowing And Respect
The art of right touch is very crucial for right massage. It should be one that engages proper connection with the recipient’s body. Deep breaths and relaxation set the right atmosphere. The traditional greeting, ‘Namaste’ channelizes the favorable energies. It establishes a trust to heal, seeks permission for carrying out the therapy, and secures a complementary relation of mutual respect between the therapist and the recipient. The communication of healing is through the therapeutic touch.
Establishing The Right Rhythm
Once the remedial technique of massage is known, the next thing to keep in mind is the correct momentum and the pressure to be applied. A good intuitive knowledge about the mood and disposition of the person receiving the massage is very helpful for the therapist. The vigor of the massage can be varying—from gentle to rapid strokes of hand, compressions or kneading, tapping or slight tug at the pressure points. For example, relaxed yet intense touch works well for someone who is low-spirited and feeling down, whereas swift and light movements are uplifting for someone who is feeling exhausted.
Massage Techniques For Some Common Ailments
For Headaches/ Sorehead Or Migraine
If one has stress or caffeine-induced sore head, brushing the scalp intensely or vigorously can be helpful. One must take care that it should be done with the tip of the fingers and not nails, which can cause scratches and injuries.
- The next step is to gently work around the temples and then massage the back area of the ears.
- Following this, the forehead can be massaged in a repeated cycle. The palms and the fingers should be used to massage—starting at the center and then spreading outwards, with a deep, gentle and relaxed movement.
- Rubbing the feet is also very relaxing because it takes away the stress and calms the body.
For Menstrual Pains
The partner or therapist can make the recipient lie on their tummy with a hot water bag, or a heating pad kept under their abdomen or lower back, wherever, the pain is persistent. Then the lower back and the coccyx should be massaged in a firm yet gentle manner.
- Hold them gently by the sides of their lower back, and move them backward and forward in a relaxed manner. It can be continued for about 10 minutes or more. Then the massage should be done with a soft cushioning effect, starting from the legs, working down till the feet.
- Pressing the right acupressure points in an effective way helps reduce specific pains. For e.g. The Spleen point 6 and point 10 helps considerably with gynecological issues and menstrual pains.
Melancholy, Misery, And Pessimism
Take deep breaths to calm the body and then apply pressure to the point called Heart 7 or HT 7. Gently massage the point and you will find anxiety and the symptoms of restlessness reducing.
Rhythmic taps and massage around chest and sternum are beneficial to alleviate emotional stress.
The first technique is to ensure that the recipient is warm enough. Then s/he should be made to lie comfortably and practice deep breathing. The therapist should place one palm on the recipient’s lower abdomen. The other palm should be placed atop his/her head. Then both the places should be softly pressed in unison. Both the therapist and the recipient should breathe in harmony, slow and relaxed.
Another supportive technique is to make the recipient lie on his/her front. Then the therapist can gently place both the hands on the lower back and make soft rocking movements, soothing the body through the up and down motion. The momentum can be regulated as per the recipient’s comfort and liking.
It is particularly helpful to calm the over worked/tired parasympathetic nerves.
- To ground unwanted stress or negative energies, the acupressure point Kidney 1 is also helpful. It is even used for kids and infants to soothe them.
- A simple touch of benevolence or a warm embrace can work wonders too! It helps people to connect and is an instant and highly effective stress buster. It also sends positive vibes to the other person and the atmosphere.
Apart from its curative functions, a good massage is also a means of bonding, growth, development, and emotional welfare. Therefore, the advantages of a relaxing massage are many. However, one should also be careful while administering a massage. Those suffering from any health conditions like inflammation, blood-pressure etc. should consult a physician or health-care professional before getting a massage to avoid any unwanted complications.