Most men who respond to massage ads still don’t appreciate the importance and benefits of real massage. This may be due to social conditioning and the impact of the euphemism for unrelated activities that the word massage has unfortunately become, I’m nevertheless determined to shine light on the tremendous benefits and unassuming, understated, powerful intimacy of the beautiful art of massage.
Massage is one of the most powerful forms
of physical contact in the context of intimacy or therapy. If massage combines with essential oils, it is by far the most important application in aromatherapy. This is the case because it allies the therapeutic power of touch with the properties of the essential oils chosen for a particular person at a specific time.
Massage with or without essential oils formalizes a very primitive instinct. When a child falls, his mother will rub his bumped knee. Likewise if we trip over and bruise ourselves, our unthinking first reaction will be to rub the painful area. Similarly, if we find a friend in distress, we’ll offer a reassuring hug. All these are forms of healing, whether on a physical or emotional level. Rubbing a painful part of the body encourages a stronger flow of blood in the tiny capillaries just below the surface of the skin. And this helps to ease the pain. A hug is a way of communicating our sympathy and love that we may not be able to put into words.
Both kinds of healing enter into massage
The masseuse performs a variety of strokes to relieve pain, ease tight muscles, increase circulation, or benefit the physical body in other ways. She applies the strokes to the muscles visible below the surface of the skin. But their effects also benefit the deeper layers of muscle and the underlying organs. Some forms of massage aim to benefit only the physical body. But a general feeling of wellbeing will result and enhance the degree of relaxation which we will experience after a massage. Renewed energy and vigour will follow this deep relaxation. The benefit of massage is cumulative. The recipient will almost always feel good for several hours after a massage. And regular massage will prolong the feeling of wellbeing for increasing periods after each treatment.
Massage has several profound benefits
Massage can release tight muscles and also act as reeducation due to making us aware of unnecessarily tensing certain muscles. It also teaches us to feel the difference between a tight or contracted and relaxed muscle. We often do not realize that we tighten certain muscles until we feel those muscles relaxed during and after a massage. It is perfectly normal to tense muscles when we feel mentally tense. But it is important to be able to let go of this tension before the tight muscles convey discomfort and unease to the mind and set up a vicious circle of tension. This is one way in which mental stress can lead to physical symptoms. Massage can break this chain of events, especially when we work with essential oils that have a calming, soothing, or uplifting effect on the mind and body.
Some systems of massage
such as the eastern massage and various kinds of intuitive massage developed in the past 40 years take the link between body and mind further. Hence they work mainly on the connection between the mental and physical states of the recipient of massage. Letting go of physical tensions often leads to a release of emotions. This can relate to the person’s present situation or to something that has been stored in the body for a long time. The masseuse and the recipient must build a relationship of deep trust and sympathy before such catharsis can take place. And this building happens over several treatments. One of the ideas inherent in eastern massage is that by gently working on the physical surface tensions deeper tensions will come to the surface and eventually be released.
The variety of massage techniques is enormous. I believe that the technique used doesn’t matter as much as the masseuse’s caring and nurturing attitude to the recipient.
Massage is vital to aromatherapy
because it provides the most effective way of introducing essential oils to the body. The skin absorbs the oils very readily. When we massage the whole body, a useful amount of essential oil goes into the bloodstream in a short time. The essential oils are diluted in carrier oils. If it isn’t possible to massage the whole body, a back massage offers the best possibility of getting sufficient essential oil into the body for a therapeutic effect. This is because the back presents the single largest expanse of skin on the body.
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