The Culture of Massage

There are many many different names for the word “massage” all over the world, and it is one practice that has been observed as far back as the Mesopotamian days. (If you have no clue about Mesopotamia – its one of the first known civilizations of man)

Writings on massage have been found in many ancient civilizations including Rome, Greece, India, Japan, China, Egypt and Mesopotamia. A biblical reference from c.493 BC documents daily massage with olive oil and myrrh as a part of the beauty regimen of the wives of Xerxes (Esther, 2:9-12). Hippocrates wrote in 460 BC that “The physician must be experienced in many things, but assuredly in rubbing”.

The Ancient Chinese book called Huangdi Neijing by the Yellow Emperor recommended “massage of skin and flesh”. In Romania some illnesses were treated by a massage in which the client was trodden on by a tame bear. How crazy is THAT!

Lomilomi is the traditional massage of Hawaii. As an indigenous practice, it varies by island and by family. The word lomilomi also is used for massage in Samoa and East Futuna. In Samoa, it is also known as lolomi and milimili. In East Futuna, it is also called milimili, fakasolosolo, amoamo, lusilusi, kinikini, fai’ua.

The Māori call it roromi and mirimiri. In Tonga massage is fotofota, tolotolo, and amoamo. In Tahiti it is rumirumi. On Nanumea in Tuvalu, massage is known as popo, pressure application is kukumi, and heat application is tutu. Massage has also been documented in Tikopia in the Solomon Islands, in Rarotonga and in Pukapuka in Western Samoa.

Which brings me to my trip to Bali! I have never been more relaxed or in a state of complete divine intervention as I was during my Balinese massage.

The people of Bali use massage techniques that are gentle and aim to make the patient feel relaxed and calm throughout. Which they most certainly did! The techniques include skin folding, kneading, stroking, and other techniques.

Then the massage therapist applies aromatheraphy oil throughout the massage. A patient’s blood, oxygen and energy flow is said to increase as a result of the treatment. Balinese hot stones are an option as well. This type of massage is what is commonly practiced in many SPA’s throughout all of Australia and the experience is second to none.

SO other then becoming completely relaxed and pampered some of the other benefits of Massage Therapy include:
- pain relief
- reduced trait anxiety and depression
- temporarily reduced blood pressure, heart rate,
- reduced state of anxiety

Some say it even activates the nervous system which may or may not release endorphins such as serotonin which helps to prevent fibrosis, scar tissue, increases flow within your lymph nodes assisting in proper circulation, AND helping to improve sleep. For those of you who have had a deep tissue massage before quite frequently you’ll find that you’ll be devastatingly tired, and won’t be able to do anything for the rest of the day. (OR that could just be me) Most massage therapists will advise you to soak in epson salts or down a liter or two of water to help flush the toxins from your body!

Think of it this way….

Every few kilometers you go to your service man to get your car properly maintained. Think about the same sort of routine for your body!

Hope to see you in the spa soon, we have a FAB Christmas special coming up, look us up on Twitter @Calmertherapies or Facebook: Calmer Therapies and we’ll give you more info!

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4 Responses to The Culture of Massage

  1. Nicole says:

    I love the Tongan names for massage – too cute!
    I look forward to coming in for some “therapy” real soon :)

  2. Jill says:

    *sigh* I so badly wish I was back on the Gold Coast so that I could come in for another massage there….they are so heavenly and you leave feeling completely blissed out!

  3. ogen laseren says:

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