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The Healing Art of Massage
The healing power of massage was recognised and recorded by the physicians of ancient China, India, Egypt, Greece and Rome.
Massage is an advanced and conscious form of our instinctive and innate ability to offer healing through the laying-on-of-hands, whether it be the stroking of a furrowed brow or the rubbing of aching shoulders. In this respect, stroking and caressing may be just as important to our health as food and cleanliness. And when combined with the mood-enhancing properties of aromatic essences, we are nurtured on every level of our being, including the intangible spiritual level which may be embraced through our aesthetic appreciation of fragrance.
The Mind/Body Effects of Aromatherapy Massage
- Improves blood circulation and lymphatic drainage, and thus aids the eliminating of tissue wastes such as lactic and carbonic acids which build up in the muscle fibres causing aches, pains and stiffness.
- Aids digestion and helps to prevent constipation.
- Can prevent and alleviate headaches.
- Encourages deep sleep and helps to prevent insomnia.
- Helps to reduce high blood pressure.
- Encourages deeper breathing and is therefore helpful for respiratory ailments. Deep breathing also brings about a sense of letting go, thus reducing stress levels.
- Triggers the release of mood-altering brain chemicals such as encephalin and endorphin which have the ability to reduce pain and engender a sense of well-being. Feelings of well-being also stimulate the immune system, and thus help in strengthening our resistance to disease.
- As tense muscles begin to relax, pent-up emotions are also sometimes freed. This may manifest as an over-whelming need to laugh or cry during the massage. Where there has been a great deal of stress and nervous tension the emotional release may be experienced as uncontrollable shaking, though this rarely continues for more than a few minutes. In every case, however, there is a subsequent feeling of renewed vitality.
- During massage or immediately afterwards, some people experience a light-headed sensation, as if they have had a few glasses of wine; a few fall into a deep sleep; many become tranquil; others who are prone to tiredness and lethargy suddenly feel more alert and energetic.