The expression wellness massage is fairly new, though the concept has been around for years. Often they’re called relaxation massages. Relaxation massage is not quite the same as wellness massage. Nor is wellness massage to be confused with therapeutic massage. There are some distinct differences, which I will explain below.
Let’s define Wellness first:
- the quality or state of being healthy in body and mind, esp. as the result of deliberate effort.
- an approach to healthcare that emphasizes preventing illness and prolonging life, as opposed to emphasizing treating diseases.
Wellness massage is not just a pampering and feel good massage, nor is the intent to treat any injuries or medical problems. Wellness massage is a holistic treatment.
Here the focus is on relaxing muscle tissue and supporting the natural healing process of the body. The aim is preventive healing as opposed to treating any injuries. The muscles are toned and relaxed, tensions eased out and aches soothed. Range and mobility are increased. The circulatory system is stimulated, helping the body to bring nourishment and oxygen to the areas which needs it. Digestion is aided when the stomach is massaged. Good physical health is the base upon which the other aspects rest.
In short, minor problems are dealt with and the body systems are given a boost.
A wellness massage can become a journey into meditation and deep relaxation, enabling the client to let go of worries and stresses. The rest gives a boost of energy and fresh look at challenges. It is important that we all find time to relax and walk away from our stresses, and a wellness massage allows you to do that.
In short, the recipient aided in dealing with his or her stresses.
Here the most important is to give caring and nourishment to the recipient. To give them that loving, caring touch that allows them to relax and let go. Many of us need more touch in our lives. A wellness massage provides that.
Physical contact and closeness aids the recipient in getting into touch with themselves. The massage gives a boost of enjoyment and pleasure. The “feel-good”hormone oxytocin is released, giving emotional strength. Many feel happy after the massage. By being in touch with yourself and your body, it is easier to know how you actually feel in a given situation and thereby act upon it. Emotional strength helps dealing with stress from other parts of life.
A wellness massage can be part of a spiritual journey, giving insight and clarity. It gives energy and healing on a spiritual level. The massage aids the the recipient to connect with their higher self, the Universe and Mother Earth.
Depending on the background of the massage therapist, as well as that of the client, different approaches and methods are used. Some include Reiki, others ceremony from Shamanism, some do Healing, they might work with energy principles from Chinese Medicine, or concepts from Auyerveda and so on. This is a highly personal aspect, and often very subtle. The spiritual element can be one of the reasons why a client connects with one therapist and not another. Nobody consciously working with the spiritual aspects will ever impose them on the recipient, so generally there will never be a conflict of interests, religions or views.
A wellness massage focuses on treating and supporting all parts of the recipient. It is a massage which looks at the person as a whole. If one element of our being is imbalanced, then the others will be affected negatively.
As I wrote in a previous article:
Your wellness is like an orchestra, consisting of a number of instruments which create great and beautiful music when they all play in harmony. Just one instrument which is disharmonious and the entire piece of music sounds wrong and becomes a pain instead of pleasure. Make sure all your instruments are in tune and played the right way and with the right tune and force.
This is the intent and what a Wellness Massage aims to achieve.