Body massages are now one of the most popular alternative therapy techniques offering both physical and psychological benefits to the body. This technique involves working or acting on the body by applying pressure on the muscles and skin of the body by using the hand, fingers, feet, elbows, knees or in some cases a massaging device. It is commonly assumed that the only benefit that a body massage can provide, is to help de-stress and relax the body. Body massage also helps reduce anxiety and depression. It improves our sleep and makes the body feel more energised and focussed thus reducing fatigue. Body massages and also helps relieve the pain in our body by releasing endorphins; hormones which act as stress and pain relievers. It helps relax the sore and overused muscles. It also results in an increased blood circulation and provides benefit to the skin by helping remove the dead cells on the skin.

There are different kinds of massaging techniques depending upon its method, application, massaging devices used or the country of origin.
Accupresssure: This technique is based on the concept that our life energy flows through certain nodes or meridians in our body. So pressure is applied, using hands, elbows or acupressure devices on the acupressure points with the objective of removing these blockages.

Chavutti Thirummal which basically translates to foot massage in Malayalam is a unique massaging known for its use of feet to deliver the treatment in long motions. A part of the two thousand year old Kalaripayattu martial arts, this technique is used to increase the flexibility of the body and strengthening the postural muscles. Asiatsu is another foot massage technique that originated in Japan which offers similar benefits.

Stone Massage: This technique uses hot and cold stones to apply heat and pressure to the body. The stones chosen are smooth and flat and because they are able to retain heat can help penetrate this heat deep into the muscles.
Swedish Massage: This massaging techniques uses different kinds of strokes of sliding, kneading, tapping, friction and vibration as its foundation. It is very helpful in reducing pain and stiffness in the joints.

Thai Massage: Thai massage incorporates both Indian and Chinese traditional medicine as well as yoga in its techniques like the other techniques discussed before aims to free the blockages and help increase the energy circulation. This full body massage starts from the feet up and focuses on the energy lines within the body and aims to free the blockages in those lines. Aromatherapy which uses plant materials and aromatic oils to improve one mood can also be applied here uses the body massages as one of the methods for its application.
There are already quite a few massage parlours in Raipur which already offer these services. But you can also become a masseuse yourself all in the comfort of your home. Now to give the massage one of the first things to do is to be ready with the preparations. Since the person who is to be massaged will be partially undressed, the room needs to have adequate privacy as well as heating. First of all you need to have a comfortable place for a person to lie down. It can be a bed or a massage table. The table should then be covered with a towel so as to make sure it will remain free of oil. You would need to keep a lot of clean towels with you for the massage. The towels serve three purposes to cover the massage table and preventing it from being covered in oil, covering the client and keeping them warm, and finally to wipe off the excess oil.

The idea of the massage is to provide a very relaxing experience to the client. Low lights, soothing music and a pleasant aroma also contribute to this experience.  Scented candles can be used to provide the aroma. Now that we have gone through the basic requirements we now come to the Oil. Oil is essential since it helps the hands to easily glide through the skin without causing any sort of friction that can cause pain to the client. Oil Therapy is also considered to help in removing the toxins and other built up waste fluids in the body. Any kind of natural vegetable oils can be used for this purpose but you need to be aware that these oils can go into the bloodstream. Sunflower, Jojoba, Almond oil from your kitchen can be used. You can also opt for gentler oil like lavender. It is important to warm the oil before proceeding with the massage.

Now that we have discussed the essentials, it is now time to proceed with the massage. But before you start, there are a few things to keep in mind. First on all you need to understand that a massage is a relaxing experience. So you need to dedicate sufficient time to each part of the body. Use slow, smooth and long strokes. Keep in contact with the skin during the entire duration of the massage. Avoid applying any kind of pressure on the bones as they would make the client uncomfortable.

Start with the soles of the feet. Wrap your hands around the feet and use the thumbs to apply pressure.  Focus on the arch, heel and ball of the foot as this is where the most tension accumulates. After this focus on the toes by giving each one gentle pulls to relieve the tension. Move on to the legs next by starting with a long relaxing stroke on both legs. Start applying light pressure. Now focus on kneading one calf and then shift to the upper thigh using the heel of the hand. After you are done with one leg shift to the other and repeat the process.

Now go to the upper back. The process is the same as above. Start with long, gentle strokes from the lower back to lower part of the neck. Place your palms on your hand on the lower back and start your way up.  Then return to the lower back and use a kneading motion to work on large muscles for some time. Use the “press and release technique” where you quickly press and release your fingertips starting from the lower back and going up. When we reach the upper back, use the thumb to press and release on the muscles on the edge of the shoulder blades. Use the same press and release technique to massage along the neck. Gently knead the arms with your fingers while for the palm of the hand use your thumbs. Of course there is a whole lot of difference between a professional and an amateur masseuse and it takes a lot of time and experience to elevate yourself to the level of a professional.

In case you feel the relax one of these days you can find more information about massage parlours in Raipur here.

Written by Bajith Sasidharan

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