Massage must be one of the most contraversial topics around; everybody seems to have some kind of thought or emotion about massage, be it positive or negative. A big part of my work is massage; not only doing it, but training others and spreading the knowledge about the benefits of using massage in many places, especially institutions.
Coming from Sweden I am used to massage being a household word. Massage is being used in most institutions and hospitals, it is part of the teacher-training today and every pre- and primary school has massage on the schedule. I have worked with old, sick, handicapped, mentally disabled, children, pregnant women, teenagers with abuse-problems…etc, etc…the list is endless. I have also worked with psychologists and psychotherapists with wonderful results.
Since coming to Luxembourg I am meeting with so much resistance which is surprising and shocking. Massage is accepted when it comes to anti-stress, beauty enhancement and relaxation – the idea of the Spa. But on all other levels – nil. My work here has become the introduction of massage as a normal part of society. I talk to schools, ministries, teachers, nurses etc. I have plenty of clients who come to me privately, and I go to nursing-homes to massage the ones who have family that hire me. The demand is great, so what is the problem? Why is it so difficult for society to accept the need? Old ingrained programming of religion and sexuality? And still, massage is one of the oldest practices existing today.
Massage opens doors in us. Every individual will experience massage differently because it is an individual experience. Massage can be a relaxing and pleasurable experience and it can also be a concentrated effort to heal, it all depends on the situation. After the war in former Yugoslavia, massage-therapists and aromatherapists from all over the world worked in organized help-centers to help with the psychological effects of war-time. I trained some of them. Even if people are not physically harmed in the war, there is tremendous psychological and emotional trauma that is never adressed. Massage adresses these problems.
SO WHAT IS MASSAGE?
“Massage is the practice of soft tissue manipulation with physical, functional, and in some cases psychological purposes and goals. The word comes from the French massage “friction of kneading”, or from Arabic massa meaning “to touch, feel or handle” or from Latin massa meaning “mass, dough”. An older etymology may even have been the Hebrew me-sakj “to anoint with oil”. In distinction the ancient Greek word for massage was anatripsis, and the Latin was frictio.” (Wikipedia)
Massage is a purposeful positive touch
Massagetherapists work with different forms of massage to help individuals:
- Deep tissue massage for athletes and/or muscular problems.
- Soft relaxing massage for emotional reasons or for deep relaxation.
- Localized massage for disabled persons or aged people to help with pain, stiffnes and circulation.
- Peer massage for children and in schools to alleviate stress and create a harmonious connection between children; positive touch.
- Baby massage to strengthen connection between parent/child, help with minor ailments and sleep. For premature babies to help them to strengthen.
- Harmonizing and balancing massage for mentally handicapped persons.
- Massaging animals (for all the above reasons)
Massage transgresses all barriers; language, religion, politics, race, colour…Nothing is needed for massage except hands and a good intent. And when trauma is deeper than words, touch will heal.
“The touch research institute” in Miami is dedicated to studying and researching the effects of massage since 1992. Below is their web-address, please have a look at the amazing work they have done.
“The power of touch cannot be underestimated,” says Tiffany Field, PhD, the director of the Touch Research Institute.