Californian massages have come into vogue at spas and massage therapy studios. This type of massage incorporates many of the recipient’s senses, and has numerous physical and mental health benefits. Read on to learn more about this soothing massage technique. You may decide to indulge in a Californian massage, or learn how to provide one.


History

Californian massage is similar to Swedish massage, in that long, graceful movements and vigorous muscle manipulations are utilized. According to the Canadian Association of Therapists in Complementary Medicine, the Californian massage technique was created in the 1970s in Big Sur, California, at the Esalen Institute. It was performed as an accompaniment to psychotherapy, providing relaxation as well as touch reminiscent of the way a mother would wrap and caress an infant. These strokes are intended to awaken a physical memory of the positive contact the patient received as a child.

Significance

A Californian massage is a sensual full-body massage. This means that the recipient should be either fully undressed or wearing minimal clothing such as underwear or a bathing suit. If your massage therapist is a licensed professional, you can be confident that she will not act in an inappropriate manner. However, towels can be draped over parts of the body that the therapist is currently not working on.

Time Frame

Californian massages usually last 1 to 2 hours. The recipient will lie face down and the therapist will begin with light strokes applied with both hands. As the recipient’s breathing slows, the therapist will apply aromatic oils to the back of the recipient’s body, from neck to lower legs and sometimes feet. Full body strokes are applied, with the therapist paying special attention to any tightness or knots. This lasts for about 45 minutes. The recipient then turns over and the therapist uses the same methods on the front of the body.

Benefits

Because of the full-body, fluid motions used, Californian massages are very relaxing. When finished, the recipient will feel extremely mellow and his stress level will be greatly reduced. This can help lower blood pressure and fight off other stress-induced illnesses. The massage also increases blood flow and circulation, which is essential for good health.

Considerations

Before receiving a Californian massage, a warm shower or bath is recommended. This will not only help the muscles relax in preparation for the massage, but will also remove any oils or fragrances from the body, which could possibly react with the oils applied by the therapist. If you plan to keep your undergarments on during the massage, make sure they are not too tight or restrictive, as this can interfere with your relaxation as well as the therapist’s ability to work on the gluteal area.