As an art it must be about as old as man himself because to hold or rub an injured part is an instinctive reaction to pain or discomfort. Massage has evolved from a combination of Eastern and Western traditions. By far the greatest advancement of therapeutic massage recorded in history was by a Swedish physiologist named Per Henrik Ling , who created a scientific system of massage movements and techniques known as Swedish Massage.
This consists of five basic strokes: Today, massage is a multidimensional skill encompassing a wide variety of ever evolving techniques, many of which have their roots in the Swedish system.
The general public is now very aware of the value of massage in combating the stresses and tensions of modern living. Athletes, sports people and dancers include massage in their training schedules to aid recovery and to prevent or treat soft tissue injuries. Most massage therapists utilize Swedish Massage as the foundation for a treatment and blend in various techniques, depending upon training and experience, to address the specific needs of the client.
It is most commonly used for relaxation and improving well-being. A typical full-body massage session lasts for about one hour, many therapists will offer shorter sessions for treating specific areas such as backs, shoulders and necks or any areas giving discomfort, aches or pains.
On the first visit clients are asked a number of questions concerning general well-being, injuries and medical conditions that the therapist should know about, in order to determine if there are any contra-indications physical conditions that would prohibit or limit a massage treatment. During the session, the therapist will utilise the draping to expose only those parts of the body to which treatment is being applied. Massage media include oils, lotions, creams and talc; oil is the most common.
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