Swedish massage was originally devised over a hundred years ago in a gymnasium in Stockholm to support the performance of gymnasts. It drew on influences as diverse as ancient Greek and Chinese massage therapy. It formed the basis of physiotherapy massage and underpins many modern styles of massage such as Sports massage and aromatherapy massage.
The Benefits of Swedish Massage
Swedish massage is highly adaptable. It can be used in a gentle way, with long flowing strokes (effleurage) which relax the client and warm the skin and muscles. Such a gentle style is often used with aromatherapy, enabling the essential oils to penetrate the skin, and to promote stress relief. Firmer pressures of various styles can also be applied to muscle 'knots' (petrissage) which can relieve muscle tension and modules caused by sport or being deskbound. Finally tapotement e.g. 'hacking' can be used to further disperse knots and increase the circulation. Swedish massage therefore has a powerful ability to relax the mind and deal with stress, for some individuals in an even more powerful way than talking therapy. It also can improve the condition of muscles, joints and skin and can aid detoxing through the increased circulation of blood and lymph. In this way it can help with the dispersal of cellulite, for example. The comfort of the client is ensured throughout by being wrapped in large, soft towels, only exposing the area of the body to be worked on. Treatments are usually 40, 60 or 90 minutes long and focus on areas of importance to the client.
Indian Head Massage, a Brief History
IHM was developed in India over a thousand years ago. It is very much an integrated part of Indian culture, being performed within families, at markets, on the beach and of course in barbers and hairdressing shops. Many Indian people consider IHM as an important part of preserving the colour and condition of their long, dark hair. It also uses pressure (marma) points and oils related to traditional Indian holistic medicine, ayerveda, so can have a pronounced therapeutic effect.
Indian Head Massage, the benefits
IHM in the west combines many of the moves discovered throughout India to benefit the head, neck, upper back and arm areas. It is performed clothed and in a chair so is convenient and portable. It can promote physical improvements to the areas addressed e.g. neck and shoulder tension. It can also promote powerful psychological benefits such as improved sleep, emotional balance, calm, focus, relief from headaches and uplift. It achieves this through the rebalancing of energy (the upper three chakras) and working on the numerous pressure points located in the head area.