Time to diversify
In 2013, after 16 years as a shiatsu practitioner, I decided it was time to diversify my Glasgow practice and add massage to my repertoire. I undertook an Aromatherapy & Massage diploma course, which although gave me a qualification, I found hadn't stretched me. Therefore, after a year out, I studied Remedial and Sports massage with the Western School of Massage. This is the second time I have trained with a "private", not collage, school and both times I felt the training far superior to that gained in college. The first time being with the Glasgow School of Shiatsu. Well worth every penny both times.
Swedish physiologist Per Henrik Ling (1776-1839), having travelled throughout Europe, developed both a system of exercise, "Swedish Remedial Gymnastics", and massage. He is generally credited as being first to use the terms "effleurage", "petrissage", "vibration", "rolling", and "slapping". His methods were adopted widely and were often referred to as the "Ling method" and later as "Swedish Massage".
Massage techniques help move interstitial fluid, blood and lymph; boost distribution of nutrients to the cells of the body and remove waste. As waste is washed out fresh nutrients move in. Capillaries enlarge increasing blood circulation. Massage strokes help direct venous blood back towards the heart and lymph along lymphatic vessels.
Massage helps to loosen connective tissue of the skin, muscle and fascia. It also helps break down adhesions caused by injury or the repair of micro-tears in muscle after exercise or repetitive strain. Small, localized stretching is generated in the muscle while it is massaged, encouraging it to lengthen, improving flexibility and muscle tone. A similar action happens to blood vessel walls helping improve their elasticity and functionality.
The techniques used in Swedish massage allow for a range of depth of pressure. Therefore Swedish massage can be a light massage or a moderately deep massage.
During a massage session
- A consultation will be taken which will include relevant medical questions
- Massage is normally performed on a massage couch
- I prefer to work on a futon at floor level
- Though I use a couch where appropriate
- Expect to undress
- How far depends on the areas you choose to have massaged
- Sheets and towels are used to help maintain your modesty
- Oil, lotion or wax is generally used to help the practitioners strokes flow across the skin
- My preference is to use macadamia oil
- If nut oils are unsuitable then grapeseed oil
- A session, including consultation, will last an hour, unless otherwise arranged
- To make the most of the session rest or take it easy after the treatment
- Healing reactions caused by the release of tension or emotion may be experienced
- It is generally advised to drink plenty of water after your massage