Massage > Learning Massage
Massage is the world's
oldest healing art stemming from when we bump ourselves, with a little rubbing the ouch is often
quickly alleviated. It is because massage has been a part of human history
extending back beyond any recording that it is considered an instinctive gift
that everyone contains.
There are thousands of different massage schools around the world that teach
ways of rubbing and pressing into the body to affect the release of stresses and
discomfort, and to improve the sense of comfort and function.
Because massage has been an important part of human history for a long time,
there is a vast treasure of anecdotal and scientific evidence that supports most
claims made about massage. So there is no doubt that massage when performed
properly will have beneficial effects for the receiver and may also include
beneficial effects for the person giving.
So how do you learn?
One of the best ways is to massage yourself. In fact you probably do a little
self massage every day. Every time you wash your face, your hands or any
body part you are rubbing the body with the intent primarily of cleaning, but
the rubbing effect also stimulates the tissues underneath the skin.
Many people when they wash their face or their hair find the feeling is so
nice that they will rub a little more than is absolutely necessary to complete
the task and you can extend those basic touching and rubbing strokes everywhere
on your body that you can reach in order to understand what feels nice.
Self massage of the head, face hands and feet is commonly
practised all around the world, but when it comes to massaging someone else you
can simply begin with what you know feels nice being done to yourself. This
means that some of your rubbing and pressing techniques will be limited to the
parts of the body that you are familiar with touching and this can be extended
by reading a book or taking a course.
There are thousands of books on how to massage and many people have the
academic skills to translate the theory and instruction into movements on
someone else's body. Now days with the
phenomenal growth of youtube, there are hundreds of thousands of massage videos
that can be watched and copied.
When it comes to books and videos in the public domain, the quality and
integrity of the massage you are learning is often something of a lucky dip. You
may select a good book or a good set of video instructions which will work well
for your intended purpose, but there is always a possibility that some public
domain materials will convey unsafe or even damaging techniques, or you may not
completely understand them and apply them wrongly.
Therefore, it is a very good idea that if at all possible you take the time
to attend classes in person. Any organisation that teaches massage should first
cover everything you need to know in terms of health and safety because when you
are touching and pressing on someone else's body, even though they might appear
healthy there is no guarantee that they are.
There are scores of massage institutions that teach massage in a way that
supports people's limitations and suffering,
but there are some institutions that teach massage as a holistic science which
supports healing on many levels beyond just a simple muscle rub.
Unfortunately today, most massage therapy and most massage institutions
support and promote limitation and only a few schools teach from a truly
holistic perspective. Therefore you have a choice, you can learn massage that
supports limitation and bondage in suffering or you can learn to massage that
sets people free.
If you would like to indulge in massage simply for the simple relief of
stress and the sharing of pleasure, you are well served by books and videos
while attending mainstream American style massage institutions that are governed
by laws that prohibit massage from being used as a full-fledged healing art.
But if you would like to be effective in not only relieving day-to-day
stressors, but also helping individuals to become more self-aware and
responsible members of society, you must seek out a school that offers that
How are classes structured?
Every school has a slightly different approach, but generally there will be a classroom set up with several tables. The class participants will be required to partially undress
and the students will practice on each other. Some people who are shy are a little fearful of this, however there is rarely any full nudity and one's private parts are well covered.
Typically in class, the tutor will explain the theory then demonstrate massage techniques which the students then practice on each other. The students would also receive support
and correction as required.
Within the USA the closest people may come to the holistic perspective is the
in California and a few highly educated and skilled individuals who may teach
Holistic schools are very few and far between, but there is a small school in
Christchurch New Zealand where individuals and small groups are taken on human
journeys. The actual hands-on massage techniques are similar to all schools, but
what is different is the holistic perspective and the evolutionary path that
massage can be a part of.
For people living anywhere in the world, the Holistic Bodywork Manuals
(Website) are an online guide to holistic bodywork, but for
those who are able to travel and be in Christchurch for a few days or a few
weeks, there are many comprehensive learning options at The Quiet Mind Body
Shop in Christchurch, New Zealand,