Which massage works?

There seem to be an abundance of technique based styles of massage; some describe their approach to treatment (holistic), and others describe the effect of the treatment (relaxing.) If you are new to the massage experience the terms may result in some confusion. This article aims to remove the mystery from massage.

A massage treatment by its very nature should be:

Relaxing; both during the treatment and afterwards

Therapeutic; go some way to solve the issue that brought you to the therapists door

Holistic; treat you as an individual and take into consideration all the elements that influence who you are and how you live (Anatomical/Physiological/Mental/Emotional.) This means that the treatment you receive should be adapted each time according to your current state of health.

Why massage works

Muscles can be described as soft-tissue, therefore massage can also be defined as soft-tissue manipulation. The muscles are supplied by blood vessels, delivering nutrients and removing toxins (waste products.) They are also supplied by a network of nerves which either give instructions (movement) from the brain or receive and communicate information to the brain.

When a muscle suffers chronic tension it communicates the soreness, resulting from fatigue and build up of toxins, to the brain. Massage aims to soften the muscle by reducing the tension and breaking down the accumulated toxins (which may have formed small crystals). We do this by applying a variety of techniques which will involve both rubbing and pressing the muscle against the relatively hard tissue of the skeleton (bones.) Whilst this can be painful, it should always be an agreeable pain. This means that the client is always in control of the treatment and should communicate with the therapist their comfort or discomfort in terms of pressure or technique. Quite simply, if you are not comfortable, you will not be able to relax!

By reducing tension and improving the blood flow, the muscle is cleansed of the accumulated toxins and receives fresh nourishment. Both body and mind will experience a sense of well-being.

When massage works

The frequency of your massage treatments will vary from person to person depending on several factors:

  1. The condition being treated which may benefit from frequent, regular sessions.
  2. The time the client has available to have treatment.
  3. The financial disposition of the client.

Therefore, whilst I would advise a regular massage to all my clients, this may vary from once a week to once a fortnight or even once a month, etc.

Now you know the Which, Why and When of how Massage Works.

Your Massage should be seen as an integral part of your health maintenance programme, alongside regular exercise (energy training), and a healthy eating plan (informed energy resourcing.)


Symptoms of Chronic Tension

Headaches, Low Energy Levels, Sore Joints, Migraines, Digestive Disorders, Restricted Movement, Breathlessness, Depression, Irritability/Short Temper, Dizzyness & Vertigo.

Article written by Heather Langley, Massage Therapist ( Southampton, UK )