Massage is one of the oldest, simplest forms of therapy and is a system of stroking, pressing and kneading different areas of the body to relieve pain, relax, stimulate, and tone the body. Massage does much more than create a pleasant sensation on the skin, it also works on the soft tissues (the muscles, tendons, and ligaments) to improve muscle tone. Although it largely affects those muscles just under the skin, its benefits may also reach the deeper layers of muscle and possibly even the organs themselves.
A classical European massage technique of the muscles characterised by smooth, flowing therapeutic stroking and kneading of muscle tissue to promote general relaxation, stress relief, improve circulation and relieve muscle tension. Generally includes feet, hand, scalp and face massage.
An advanced therapy in which the practitioner uses a range of specialized and gentle rhythmic pumping techniques to move the skin in the direction of the lymph flow. This stimulates the lymphatic vessels that carry substances vital to the defence of the body, and removes waste products. Lymph drainage is used primarily to promote the optimal functioning of the lymphatic vessels that lead to the circulatory system. Lymph drainage techniques facilitate the removal of metabolic wastes, excess water, toxins, bacteria, large protein molecules, and foreign substances from tissue via the initial lymph vessels and the venous capillaries.
Treatment includes the use of massage techniques to the soft tissue (muscles and tendons) of the body and acupressure techniques to directly affect the flow of Qi (healing energy). By restoring a balance of energy in the body, Tui Na helps to restore your natural self-healing abilities. Chinese cupping, Moxabustion and liniments may also be used to enhance the treatment.
Cupping is an ancient Chinese method of causing local congestion. A partial vacuum is created in cups placed on the skin either by means of heat or suction. This draws up the underlying tissues. When the cup is left in place on the skin for a few minutes, blood stasis is formed and localized healing takes place. Cupping has also been found to affect the body up to four inches into the tissues, causing tissues to release toxins, activate the lymphatic system, clear colon blockages, help activate and clear the veins, arteries and capillaries, activate the skin, clear stretch marks and improve varicose veins.
Moxabustion is a process whereby moxa – a dried herb, usually the species mugwort – is burned either directly on the skin, or just above the skin, over acupuncture points. It is believed that when lit, moxa burns slowly and provides penetrating heat that can enter the meridians to influence Qi and blood flow. Cupping and Moxabustion is also often used as part of an acupuncture treatment.
This varies with each individual; however, I recommended monthly massages for general maintenance. Regular massage can have the effect of strengthening and toning the entire body mechanism, and so help to prevent unnecessary strains and injuries that might otherwise occur due to excess tension and any resulting structural weaknesses. Massage can stimulate or calm the nervous system-depending upon what is required by the individual-and thus help reduce fatigue, leaving the receiver with a feeling of replenished energy.
Contraindications include conditions involving fractures, phlebitis, open wounds, and lesions, fever, contagious or infectious diseases ( including any cold or flu no matter how mild it may seem), recent operations or acute injuries, neuritis, skin diseases, cancer, High BP and when not recommended by your doctor.
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Emma MansfieldBachelor of Health Science (Naturopathy)
Maree BeattieAdv. Dip. Naturopathy