As well as improving general health, massage can have a profound
effect on our emotional and mental well being. Powerful and painful
emotions affect our conscious and subconscious minds. They can
also disturb the functioning of the nervous system by either
tensing or collapsing our musculature. They can contract the
nerves that control breathing and digestion, causing nervous
asthma, various digestive disorders, and ulcerations.
Sadness and depression, along with its resulting lethargy, can
weaken our muscles, curve our spine and sink our chest; some
believe this can lead to weak immunity.
Massage and bodywork increase circulation with many related benefits.
It imparts warmth and a glow to our bodies and minds; relaxes
tense and contracted muscles, making us feel calm and more conciliatory;
it awakens and tones weak and lax muscles, giving us renewed
vitality and optimism.
A good massage should infuse the receiver with a deep sense of
relaxation and instil a sense of trust and nurturing and could
help to rejuvenate and revitalize the nervous system. Nerves
are present in every part of the body and each individual may
store emotions in different areas and in different ways: one
recipient may lock their emotions in the abdomen, while another
may hold them in the chest or back; some receivers feel very
relaxed when their feet are massaged, others their head and so
The following advice in part makes use of the emotional understanding
of Chinese medicine; work with it and see if and when it can
be of help. Over many centuries millions of people have found
this approach to be beneficial.
From time to time most of us suffer from com-plaints like
insomnia or depression that can diminish our enjoyment of life.
Often these problems can be greatly improved through the loving
and comforting touch of massage.
Most of us experience an occasional night when we cannot fall
asleep. This may be due to causes such as worry, or even a late
meal that sits uncomfortably in the stomach; but for many people
insomnia can become chronic. Lack of sleep can greatly debilitate,
and reduce mental alertness and concentration. Massage helps
by soothing the nervous system and the mind. You can also practise
self-massage to relax the neck and shoulders. Choose essential
oils that are calming like chamomile, lavender and neroli.
Massage the following acupressure points in a circular motion
for two minutes each before retiring: Pericardium 6, Heart
7, Spleen 6 and Liver 3.
If you are doing self-help you can massage those points with
an essential oil combination.
Many herbal combinations are available in health food shops
and pharmacies that can promote sleep without the drowsiness
associated with most drug-oriented sleeping tablets.
Always go to sleep with a light stomach and do not take stimulant
drinks like coffee and tea at night. Try also to do some relaxation
Depression and Sadness
No one can claim that massage is a cure for depression. However,
a soothing and caring touch can alleviate the hopelessness and
senseof isolation that accompanies this state of mind. At the
same time the invigorating effects of a full-body massage can
help stimulate a little more enthusiasm and zest in the recipient.
For depression and sadness, Chinese medicine advocates the treatment
of acupressure points along the heart, lung and spleen meridian.
With a circular motion massage the following points for two minutes
twice a week: Pericardium 6, Spleen 6, Lung 9 and especially
You can also use any of the following essential oils: Bergamot,
Clary Sage, Jasmine, Lemon Balm, Marjoram, Neroli, Orange peel,
See also the link to meditation as there a few visualisations that can greatly soothe tension