Have you ever had a massage and come away feeling relaxed but slightly dissatisfied? That’s because there is more to massage that simply performing a routine of mechanical movements on the body. Massage is actually an art form, and a good massage will marry the traditions of both the East and the West schools of thoughts.
The first thing that any massage should do is to eliminate the tension that lies in the muscles when they are not being used. The second thing that a massage should do is to find and remove any blockages in the meridians, the energy channels within the body. Therefore, there is more to massage than simply learning the names of all the muscles and the techniques involved in loosening them.
A massage should focus on how tension is interrelated within the body. For example, a person may feel tight between the shoulder blades. Did that tightness come solely from the movement of the shoulders? Actually, it didn’t as it is likely that it occurred as a result of the movement of the hands or the posture of the person. In this way, one area of tension relates to another, just as the acupressure points along a meridian relate to one another.
The same principle can apply to lower back pain, or to headaches. Most lower back pain can be traced to tension that originally occurred in the feet or the legs, while headaches can occur as a result of tension in the neck or even tension in the legs, feet or hands. This is why it is so important to realize that massage is about more than just working on the muscles that are causing pain to an individual. The entire body needs to be looked at so that the interrelated areas of tension are unlocked and the effects of the massage are more encompassing and last longer.