Origin of massage
The word “massage” derives its etymology most probably from Arabic masah (“To press lightly, palpate“) only from Greek marzipan (“massage”). It is an ancestral practice used by many civilizations: Eastern, Asian and Indian.
Relaxing, energizing, therapeutic, massage has many health benefits. If its practice differs from one tradition to another, it remains a tool of well-being to preserve its body from tensions.
Principle of massage
The massage is based on precise techniques of touch, generally organized according to a determined execution scheme. If everyone has already practiced it to relieve themselves of pain and benign tension, massage is not a trivial gesture.
In France, only masseur-physiotherapists have the right to perform a therapeutic massage, medical or not.
Apart from therapy, massage can be considered a moment of well-being and relaxation. In any case, it can not replace a medical consultation with a person suffering from a pathology or a disorder.
Why get a massage?
There are three categories of massage.
– Medical therapeutic massage intervenes to promote healing or improvement of a physical disorder.
– Energy massage serves to regulate the circulation of Qi (or Tchi) energy in the body to maintain a harmonious balance of its vital functions;
– Well-being massage is primarily performed to relax, soothe and relax the body and mind.
In all cases, the massage contributes to the awareness of the body, promotes sensory pleasure and stimulates blood and lymphatic circulation.
The massage is generally practiced lying on a massage table or sitting on a chair specifically designed for this technique of touching.
Each of the three major types of massage includes several practices.
– Medical therapeutic massage: performed by physiotherapist masseurs, this type of massage is often linked to a very specific part of the body to be rehabilitated (feet, back, shoulders, etc.) or to the treatment of diseases involving lymphatic and circulatory disorders.
The practitioner is also authorized to perform toning massages such as Swedish massage. Thanks to its toning properties, this great classic is ideal as part of a physical activity in preparation or recovery. The maneuvers are applied to muscle mass and joints.
– Energy massage: of Asian origin, his best-known techniques are Ayurvedic massage (India), Thai massage, tui na massage (China) and do-in self-massage (Japan). According to tradition, they allow the body to protect itself from disease by maintaining a good circulation of our internal energy.
– The well-being massage: it is carried out by a professional masseur, the modeling by a beautician. There are many types that are only intended to relax: Californian massage, Hawaiian massage, hot stone massage, zazen, pijatkepala etc.
In order not to heat the skin during a massage, the practitioner can use oils or lotions. More or less scented, they also contribute to the feeling of well-being and relaxation.
Contraindications to massage
Massages are not recommended in the event of skin diseases, wounds, bruises or following a surgical intervention (with the exception of scar massages, which are perfectly indicated).
You should know that all massages affect blood circulation (increase in blood pressure) and lower the heart rate. Therefore, it is essential to seek the advice of a physician with a history of heart disease, embolism, phlebitis, or diabetes.
Let us add that certain massages, in particular in the area of the abdominal belt, are not recommended, even contraindicated in the event of pregnancy. Check with your doctor.
There is no such thing as a typical session for a massage.
If the massage is performed by a physiotherapist, speaking time is generally arranged before and after the session. Before, to know your expectations and your health problems; afterwards, to collect your impressions.
If the massage is performed by a practitioner of Ayurveda or Chinese medicine, the session is preceded by a detailed interview, in order to establish the patient’s profile as a whole.
You should know that this speaking time is not always observed in all the centers offering massages, particularly aesthetic or well-being. In this case, it is preferable to first seek the advice of a doctor to ensure that there are no contraindications to massage or to call in a health professional authorized to practice massage. .
The practice is specific to each type of massage. It will be rather gentle for the well-being massage with touches and enveloping movements allowing the nerve endings to be solicited for the sensation of pleasure.
Pressure maneuvers and techniques can be used during wellness massages (digitopuncture, shiatsu, etc.). The practitioner of Chinese medicine or Ayurveda looks for points of support for the massage, located on the meridians.
In France, state-certified masseurs-physiotherapists are the only ones authorized to practice therapeutic massage, as it is understood in the medical sense of the term. While some are trained in alternative practices such as energy massage or body awareness massage, the law does not allow them to advertise them. It is therefore essential to obtain information directly from your practitioner.
There is no training recognized by the state for energy massages. They are carried out by masseurs, physiotherapists, osteopathic masseurs-physiotherapists, wellness massage practitioners or even Chinese medicine practitioners. It is therefore essential to make word of mouth work and to learn as much as possible about the masseur before making an appointment. A training certificate in a certified school is an additional guarantee of seriousness.
Duration and price of a massage session
A medical therapeutic massage with a physiotherapist lasts 30 minutes to an hour at a cost of between 20 and 45 euros. It is reimbursed by Medicare up to 60%, the rest being paid for by mutuals.
On the other hand, energy massages or well-being massages are not covered by Medicare or by mutual funds, even if they are carried out by a physiotherapist. Their price and duration are very variable, from 15 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes for a cost ranging from 40 to 50 euros up to 100 to 200 euros.
– ” Massages for dummies “, Steve Capellini, Michel Van Welden, Jocelyne Rolland, ed. First: a complete book to know all the secrets of massage.
– ” Massages of the world “, M.-B. Gauthier, E. Layani, ed. Flammarion: a little tour of the world of all massage practices through images and some advice on how to achieve them.
DVD on massage
– “The good gestures of massage”, Jean-Louis Abrassart, ed. Guy Trédaniel: the author is the founder of the school of touch and specialist in massage techniques.
Internet sites dedicated to massages
– for research and treatment of lympho-venous damage
-, the association of professionals in Ayurveda
-: an association which aims to promote Chinese medicine to patients.