Holistic massage is an ancient method of healing that clears the lymphatic drainage system and releases toxins from the body. By recognizing that illness and stress affects not only our physical but also our emotional, spiritual and mental well-being, holistic massage allows the body's natural healing abilities to come forth and balance the entire body as a whole.
Holistic massage techniques have been used for thousands of years in Egypt, China and India. Ayurveda, an ancient Indian healing system, uses the therapeutic benefits of massage combined with plant extracts, spices and aromatic oils.
There are four main massage techniques used in holistic massage. Effleurage involves stroking movements; petrissage is a technique that resembles kneading; tapotement includes cupping movements and hacking; and vibrational movements are created using the fingers (see Resources).
The Meaning of "Holistic"
The term "holistic" derives from the ancient Greek word "holos," which means "whole." By definition, holistic massage treats the whole of the body as a single unity (see Resources).
When giving a holistic massage, it is important to remember that only muscle should be massaged; the masseuse should not massage directly on any bone area, as this can cause discomfort or damage to the recipient. If you recently had an operation, consult you doctor before receiving a massage (see Resources).
Holistic massage can lead to better circulation, less physical tension and deeper breathing, which oxygenates the entire body. There are also many emotional and mental benefits from holistic massage (see Resources).
Based in Spain, Jennifer Burdett has been writing alternative medicine and health-related articles since 2007. Her work has appeared in "Inland Magazine" and in newspapers such as “Euro Weekly,” “Round Town News” and the “Sol Times.” Burdett received the Holistic Back Practitioner Asset Award in 2008 and qualified as a holistic back practitioner at StoneBridge College, U.K.