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Origin of Massage

Massage is one of the oldest healing therapies. Massage probably began more than 5.000 years ago in China and Mesopotamia as a form of therapy.

Types of Massage

The aim of every kind of massage is the regeneration of the body as well as reviving self-healing powers. Massage can release tension and fear. For this reason massage is considered as one of the holistic types of treatment which is good for the body as well as the soul.

Each of the different massage techniques has its own philosophy:

Western massage techniques, which are based on the Swedish form of massage, seek to normalise pathological changes in the skin, connective tissue, muscles, tendons and the joints. Amongst these massage techniques are the classical massages, the lymph drainage massages and reflexology.

Eastern massage techniques are based on the idea of a cosmic energy which circulates in the body and gets blocked by tense muscles. The aim of the massage is to enable unhindered energy flow again. Amongst these massage techniques are for example acupressure and Shiatsu.

Over the years a great number of mixed massage methods have developed such as foot reflexology or Rolfing.


The Book of Massage: The Complete Step-by-Step Guide to Eastern and Western Technique, Lucinda Lidell, Carola Beresford Cooke, Anthony Porter

Effect of Massage

Regular massage can help to decrease feelings of fear, relieve tense or cramped muscles and make stiff joints agile again. In addition to this massages increase vitality and well-being.

Massage Methods

Stroking (Effleurage)
The stroking movements are relaxing and they warm the areas of the skin being stroked. In addition to this the massage oil is spread all over the body. Effleurage is particularly suitable for the beginning and the end of a massage.

Kneading (Petrissage)
The skin and muscles are grasped and kneaded with the thumb, forefinger and middle finger. Kneading is particularly used to release tension. Kneading has an effect on the muscles and the connective tissue underneath the skin surface. It also increases blood circulation.

When performing frictions the masseuse massages in circular motions using the finger tips, the edge of the hand, the ball of the thumb or with a fist increasing or decreasing pressure over the skin. This increases blood circulation and loosens the muscles.

Pounding (Tapotement)
Pounding with the finger tips, the edge or surface of the hand revives and tones the skin.

Vibration massage is mainly done with an electrical vibration massage device. The vibrations help to get rid of muscle cramps as well as loosen any tight muscles. Furthermore it stimulates mental relaxation.


The Complete Book of Massage

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