Wednesday, October 16, 2019

The Art Of Massage Therapy | Emotional And Health Benefits | Time Honored Tips


The Art Of Massage Therapy | Emotional And Health Benefits | Time Honored Tips 

The Art Of Massage Therapy | Emotional And Health Benefits | Time Honored Tips



“The love of beauty is one of the most firmly implanted qualities of the human mind, and only those who are mentally deficient fail to appreciate it. From the human standpoint there is no edifice so beautiful as that earthly temple which enshrines the soul.”—Dr. Cyrus Edson.

Massage is as old as the hills. Most really good things are, I’ve found.

The Grecian and Roman women preserved their wondrous, wholesome beauty by reveling in luxuriant baths and then undergoing vigorous massage by their stout-armed slaves.

Massage is a natural alleviator and comfort-giver. The first thing a baby does when he bumps his precious head is to rub the injured spot with his little fist. Relief seems to come with friction.

If one’s temples hurt, the hands seem to itch and tingle to get to rubbing and smoothing out the aches there.

And the reason for it is that friction makes active the nerves and blood vessels and exercises the tired or fretting muscles.

Massage is exercise.

If we were to cease using our arms the muscles would shrink and soon become incapable of movement.

The skin outside would, of course, be affected by the general warpings of the tissues, and the result would be everything that is dreadful to the mind feminine—crow’s feet, wrinkles, sallowness and lack of the tints and colors of health.

You who have enjoyed the pleasures of a Turkish bath must know how new and robust and fresh you feel after the invigorating cleansing and pummeling by a strong and experienced masseuse.
We all know about the system of decay and renewing which the skin constantly undergoes. It is much the same way with the muscles.

The very tiny cells of which the muscles are composed are continually being repaired. As the worn out particles are rejected the new fiber is created.

Does it not stand to reason that massage will facilitate this process, make the flesh firmer, restore vigor to the muscles and give new life to the entire system?
The muscles of the face, more than those of any other part of the body, are lazy and torpid. As the troubles of life descend, the wear and tear of bothersome existence begins to show.

The circulation becomes defective, and this brings flabby tissues and a wrinkled, sallow skin. Then, oh, woe! woe! One feels as if one might just as well be dead and gone as to be trailing through life so afflicted.
Massage means “I knead.” While the professional masseuse should be well informed concerning the muscles of the face and neck, the location of the veins and arteries, and the general formation of the skin, the little home body who wishes to rub away a few wrinkles or turkey tracks can easily dispense with the acquiring of so much knowledge.

With knowing what “not to do,” she will get along very well, although it has always been my opinion that the simplest and most satisfactory way to learn to massage one’s own cheeks and brow is to go to a first-class professional for one or two treatments. If you keep your eyes open you will easily learn the simplest and most effective movements.
The first thing to remember is that massage will both create and reduce flesh, according to the treatment given and the time devoted to it. Severe rubbing and rolling of the flesh between the fingers will gradually dissolve the fatty tissues.


The flesh will then become soft and flabby, and the skin will be likely to fall into tiny lines unless an astringent wash, like weak alum water (used hot), is applied to tighten and harden it slightly, and so make the flesh firm.


If the massage is continued, the flabby flesh will also be reduced, especially when the astringent wash is applied to help the hardening process.

When the face is to be plumpened or wrinkles removed, then rub the skin very gently with a rotary motion, which is not a mere rubbing but a kneading as well, and follow with light tapping movements. Never roll the flesh between the fingers unless reduction is the object.

Also, never massage oftener than once every twenty-four hours, and then only for fifteen or twenty minutes.
So much for the don’ts. Before beginning the massage have the face perfectly clean. Wash with tepid water and pure castile soap. Otherwise the dust and powder are kneaded into the pores and the result is frequently extremely irritating.
The reasons for massage are many. It facilitates and stimulates the skin in its continual effort to throw off the tiny flakes of dried, dead cuticle. It is exercise for the muscles, and at the same time it inspires a livelier circulation of the blood.

It is easy to understand then why massage is so beneficial for the face, and why it makes a rosy, healthy complexion.

Massage alone will remedy many a complexion ill, for when the muscles are sluggish and torpid, the tissues weak and flabby, the circulation as slow as the messenger boys in the funny papers, and the skin sallow and wrinkled, all in the world that is needed is a little gentle patting and coddling and rubbing into a less lifeless state.

Great care must be taken lest the skin become bruised and irritated. For this reason a cream or skin food is used.


Let me suggest that this emollient be of the good, pure, home-made kind, not the cheap cosmetic which has mutton tallow or lard as a principal foundation.

The orange flower skin food (formula appears in the chapter on the complexion) is the best formula for this purpose, as it will, by absorption, fatten and build up the impoverished tissues, and at the same time strengthen, whiten and soften the skin.

Mineral oils must never be used. Glycerin not only makes the complexion darker and rather yellow, but it dries the secretions of the skin very rapidly, and a dry, harsh surface is the sure result. Vaseline—as we should know from its reputation as a hair tonic—will not prove a happiness to one.
The skin food should be rubbed in all over the face and far down upon the neck with a firm, circular movement. When the cream is partially absorbed begin the manipulations, starting at the forehead. Place the thumbs on the temples and in that way hold the skin firm and taut.


With the tips of the first and second fingers of both hands rub the lines transversely. If there be wrinkles across the forehead, rub up and down, holding the skin tight at the top of the forehead with the first fingers and manipulating with the second and third.
Another movement which is excellent for wrinkles is to place the first finger of each hand crosswise of the wrinkles about half an inch apart.


Then push up a little fold. As the left hand finger pushes its way along the wrinkle, let the right hand one rub up and down, always keeping the line up into a little hill.
In massaging the lines about the eyes the movement should begin by rubbing the eyelid from the nose outward half an inch beyond the end of the eye, then returning below the eye toward the nose. This will make the massage sweep back crosswise of the crow’s feet.

Another movement is to hold the skin taut and then knead the lines firmly with the first and second fingers of the right hand.
If the chin is fleshy and you wish to massage it down to smaller proportions, you must dissolve the fatty tissues by picking up the flesh between the thumb and forefinger and rolling and rubbing as much as you possibly can without injuring or breaking the skin.


Then, in order to keep the flesh from getting flabby the rotund little chin must be bathed in cold water, in which is a small pinch of alum, a piece the size of a bean being plenty for a pint of water. This alum bath, remember, is only to be applied when you are reducing the carbon or fat.
The “kneading” movement is very beneficial. This is done very gently with the thumb and forefinger only—precisely the motion used in kneading bread.


The smoothing manipulation for the wrinkles is probably better explained as an “ironing out” motion. All lines can stand these two movements.


Whenever the skin seems particularly dull of color and generally lifeless, then the patting comes in excellent play. This is merely a gentle tattoo over the entire face. Electricity is an excellent accessory to massage—but that is another story.

After the massage, wet a wash cloth in water slightly chilled, and lay over the face. This will close the pores nicely. Dry and apply powder.

I trust that my beauty students will easily understand the foregoing—it is certainly a difficult topic to explain lucidly.

As I said before, it is a wise plan to go to some one who thoroughly understands the art and let her teach you.


While massage can be given at home, it is more satisfactory if done by a professional whose knowledge of anatomy will assist her toward the best results.


Excerpt From – Woman Beautiful By Helen Follett Stevans.