SOME FACTS ABOUT MASSAGE THAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
Massage therapy is recognized as one of the oldest methods of healing, with references in medical texts nearly 4,000 years old. In fact, Hippocrates, known as the “father of medicine”, wrote… (read bellow for more).
Massage is defined as the application of various techniques to the muscular structure and soft tissues of the human body. It is the application of soft-tissue manipulation techniques to the body, generally intended to reduce stress and fatigue while improving circulation.
Massage therapy techniques include applying fixed or movable pressure, holding, vibration, rocking, friction, kneading and compression using primarily the hands, fingers, forearms, elbows or even the feet. All of the techniques are used for the benefit of the muscle-skeletal system, circulatory-lymphatic, nervous, and other systems of the body. In fact, massage therapy positively influences the overall health and well-being of the client.
The many variations of massage account for several different techniques.
Massage excludes diagnosis, prescription, manipulation or adjustments of the human skeletal structure, or any other service, procedure or therapy which requires a license to practice orthopedics, physical therapy, podiatry, chiropractic, osteopathy, psychotherapy, acupuncture, or any other profession or branch of medicine.
Massage therapy is recognized as one of the oldest methods of healing, with references in medical texts nearly 4,000 years old. In fact, Hippocrates, known as the “father of medicine”, wrote papers recommending the use of rubbing and friction for joint and circulatory problems.
Chinese records dating back 3,000 years also document its use; the ancient Hindus, Persians, and Egyptians applied forms of massage for many ailments. A Chinese book from 2,700 B.C., The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine, recommends ‘breathing exercises, massage of skin and flesh, and exercises of hands and feet” as the appropriate treatment for complete paralysis, chills, and fever.”
Doctors such as Ambroise Pare, a 16th-century physician to the French court, praised massage as a treatment for various ailments. During World War I patients suffering from nerve injury or shell shock were treated with massage. St. Thomas’s Hospital, London, had a department of massage until 1934. However, later breakthroughs in medical technology and pharmacology eclipsed massage as physiotherapists began increasingly to favor electrical instruments over manual methods of stimulating the tissues.
Massage is now used in intensive care units, for children, elderly people, babies in incubators etc. Most American hospices have some kind of bodywork therapy available, and it is frequently offered in health centers, drug treatment clinics, and pain clinics. A variety of massage techniques have also been incorporated into several other complementary therapies, such as aromatherapy, reflexology, Rolfing, Hellerwork, and osteopathy.
Nowadays massage therapies can be found in any respectable SPA around the world (Day Spas, Medical Spas and of course Hotel Resort Spas).
If this is going to be your first massage ever, it is absolutely normal to be a bit frustrated and confused. You will visit an unknown place, you will meet an unknown person (therapist) and most of all you will have to let this person touch your body for more than an hour! It sounds terrifying, doesn’t it?
Here, we will try to describe some of the basic procedures for your best preparation (physical and mental) before the session, during the session, and after the treatment is over. We will try to explain what you should expect and what to do in different situations; this is in order to avoid possible embarrassment and awkward situations.
When you visit us you will be escorted to our reception area. There, you will be greeted by your therapist and spend a few minutes discussing about your treatment in detail. You will also be asked to help your therapist in order to fill out a questionnaire concerning your physical condition and general health. By this time you would have developed a sense of mutual trust with your therapist; this will facilitate the whole procedure. This trust will grow minute after minute, once you get completely familiar with your therapist and his professional attitude.
WHAT TO EXPECT
– BEFORE THE MASSAGE –
We will discuss with you about the purpose of your visit or any specific problems or conditions which you would like to give more attention to. Some of the questions perhaps will seem obvious to you, but do not forget that the information you are about to give will greatly facilitate the therapist’s task. If you suffer from old injuries or other health-related issues, be sure to mention them.
Later on, we will show you around the facilities and mention among others, where to hang your clothes, place your valuables and where to take a shower. If you wear contact lenses and any sort of jewelry you are requested to remove them. A special case will be provided for this purpose.
While you’re lying comfortably on the massage couch, your therapist will describe the entire session sequence so you will know roughly what to expect. He will take care of the proper room temperature and lighting, while soft and relaxing music will play during the entire session. At this stage, it would be advisable to mention any specific requests you may have. For example, you must inform your therapist if you would like to avoid a specific part of your body, or give extra attention to another (i.e. upper back, lumbar area etc.).
– DURING THE MASSAGE SESSION –
During the session, your therapist will ask you from time to time if the pressure which he applies is ideal for you. Remember that each individual has different levels of tolerance to pressure or even mild pain; therefore please don’t avoid mentioning this. Your therapist relies on your feedback in order to achieve the best result possible.
In order to enjoy all the benefits of a therapeutic massage treatment, it is necessary to remain calm during the entire session. In order to achieve this, many people just close their eyes and try to think positive. Others prefer to talk with their therapist, while most people simply prefer to let go and often fall asleep; this is completely normal and very frequent indeed. Which way is the fittest for you, does not make any difference to your therapist, therefore just try to be yourself and everything will come naturally.
During the session, sometimes you will be asked to change position or even turn around; when this moment comes, your therapist will let you know and guide you through the process.
If there will be a need for you to visit the W.C. during the massage treatment, don’t hesitate to mention it. Not only it is absolutely normal, it is also highly desirable; this means that the detoxification process is working well.
– AFTER THE SESSION IS OVER –
After the session, the therapist will leave you for a few minutes to recover from your “ultimate” relaxation experience. Later on, he will assist you in getting up from the couch and escort you to your dressing area. You will be offered a glass of water (always advised after a massage treatment) and you will be given your personal items (jewelry etc.). If you desire you could take a warm shower before getting all dressed up, but this is not advised after treatment with essential oils (they should stay on the skin for a couple of hours). You will also have all the time needed in order for you to freshen up.
Finally, we will give you some aftercare advice along with a glass of water or even a warm cup of tea.
Nowadays we are aware of the benefits of massage, which are varied and far-reaching.
As an accepted part of many physical rehabilitation programs, massage therapy has also proven beneficial for many chronic conditions, including low back pain, arthritis, bursitis, fatigue, high blood pressure, diabetes, immunity suppression, infertility, smoking cessation, depression, and more. Last but not least, massage helps relieve the stress and tension of everyday living that can lead to disease and illness.
Physical and Mental Benefits of massage:
- relaxes the whole body
- loosens tight muscles
- relieves tired and aching muscles
- increases flexibility and range of motion
- diminishes chronic pain
- calms the nervous system
- lowers blood pressure
- lowers heart rate
- enhances skin tone
- assists in recovery from injuries and illness
- strengthens the immune system
- reduces tension headaches
- reduces mental stress
- improves concentration
- promotes restful sleep
- aids in mental relaxation
In many types of diseases and chronic illnesses, massage therapy not only cannot help but in fact can even spread the disease, therefore it is absolutely prohibited. For each and every type of massage therapy there are specific rules, precautions, relative and absolute contraindications which we must always have in mind.
Therefore we request that you always try to be honest with your therapist about your medical history, and consult with your physician before visiting us. Just consider the fact that even a simple cold or flue can worsen if massage is performed.Some fundamental precautions and contraindications you should always consider are:
- Acute inflammations (i.e. sprained ankles)
- High fever (from cold, the flue or other reason)
- Serious skeletal injuries (recent bone fractures)
- Recent operations
- Hepatitis, AIDS
- Severe muscle, nerve and skeletal injuries (acute phase sciatica, low back pain due to herniated discs, etc.)
- Contagious (or not) skin diseases (herpes, warts, impetigo, boils, fungi, scabies, lice, etc.)
- Pregnancy at ALL stages (we are not qualified)
- Alcohol consumption
- Very low blood pressure
- Heart diseases and disorders (pacemaker, open-heart surgery, strokes)
- Open skin wounds and recent skin injuries (i.e. sunburns)
- Phlebitis and varicose veins (should avoid these areas)
- All forms of cancer
Before each massage session, you should expect to spend a few minutes (10′-15′) with your therapist in order to fill out a questionnaire which is also known as the consultation card or intake-form.
This questionnaire should include some personal details (name and address) and information concerning your physical condition and medical history.
Every possible effort should be made from the therapist’s side in order to avoid possible dangerous implications to his client’s health. People who are ill (even without knowing it) could endanger and put their physical health into unnecessary risk. A common cold can get worse if massage is applied.
Since we take your health very seriously, we urge you to be extremely careful and honest when filling out the questionnaire.
For some very serious health conditions (some of which we mention above), it is absolutely necessary to consult your personal medical doctor before booking an appointment with us.
We received our accreditation and certification from the Massage Therapy Schools and Associations which we mention below. We also have endless hours of working experience since 2009 when our company was established.
– THE WAT PO TRADITIONAL MEDICAL SCHOOL, Bangkok – Thailand
Internationally recognized and renowned medical school, authorized and under the supervision of the Thai ministries of Public Health and Education.
– LANNA SPA ACADEMY, Bangkok – Thailand
A recognized SPA Academy with international training standards, authorized by the Thai ministries of Public Health and Education. Lanna Spa Academy is also a member of the Thai Spa Association and in close cooperation with CIBTAC.
– ITM (MANTRA SPA) – International Training Massage School, Chiang Mai – Thailand
Internationally recognized massage training school, accredited and approved by the Thai ministries of Public Health and Education. ITM is also accredited by the following international boards and associations:
NCBTMB (National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork – USA), CMT-BC (College of Massage Therapists of British Columbia – CANADA), NHPC (The Natural Health Practitioners of Canada), AAMT (The Australian Association of Massage Therapists Limited).
“Confederation of International Beauty Therapy & Cosmetology”, an internationally recognized agency that provides high standards of qualifications in spa, holistic, and aesthetic treatments. CIBTAC is a U.K. based examining board which started off as the educational branch of BABTAC (British Association of Beauty Therapy and Cosmetology).
– THAI TRADITIONAL MEDICAL SERVICES SOCIETY, Bangkok – Thailand