The History of Massage

The word massage comes to us from the Arabic root “Mass’h’” which means to touch or knead. The oldest written record of massage goes back some 4000 years in China.  

In Western history we can look to Hippocrates (460-380 B.C), he wrote “The physician must be experienced in many things but assuredly also in rubbing (anatripsis); for things that have the same name have not always the same effects. For rubbing can bind a joint that is too loose and loosen a joint that is too rigid.…Rubbing can bind and loosen; can make flesh (referring to the ability to tone muscle tissue) and cause parts to waste (soften and relax). Hard rubbing binds; soft rubbing loosens; much rubbing causes parts to waste; moderate rubbing makes them grow.”  Interestingly he spent years as an ‘intern’ treating the “Gladiators of the Circus Maximus” developing massage techniques for diseases and physical injuries. Your original sports massage if you like.  

When Europe turned away from the teachings of Hippocrates during the Dark Ages, the power of touch was misconstrued to be sinful. Just imagine all those supposed witches or travelling men with their magic ointments! when really everyBODY was simply crying out for a good massage.  

It wasn’t until 1813 that massage remerged as a therapeutic practice. The Swede Pehr Heinrick Ling developed what is now the fundamental study for most massage therapists, being Swedish Massage, simply bringing in different strokes as being the foundation of massage. In modern day there are now over 70 different types of massage, all with amazing results.

My Massage

I initially trained in Swedish Massage, back in 1997. I have since developed my own personal style that is intuitive and meditative. I ‘read’ my client before we start; by this I mean, I get an idea of how they would like to feel when the treatment is over, what their needs are at that specific moment, where their pain is and where their mind is. Sometimes I guide them into a meditative state verbally, sometimes we stay silent, it is as variable as the weather. No treatment is ever the same.

Due to many years of teaching yoga, adjusting bodies, studying movement, teaching meditation, I feel confident in treating anybody and pretty much anywhere. I have my own practice in my own home, with beautiful sea views, or I can do home visits if needed/preferred. 

Massage is touch. As nurtured and cared for infants, we were touched continuously, held, rocked, stroked, unfortunately this seems to taper off as we mature. Touch is the keystone to massage. How we touch is of paramount importance to enable the other person to feel both safe and relaxed. Not only will you be enveloped in a safe, soothing space, you will also receive a deep sense of mind/body connection.  The message being we are not the chatter, we are not the emotions, we can become the space, the surrender, it’s a joint venture. I guide you to places you can let go, down to your bones.