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Massage - Ireland

What is Massage ?

Massage is a complementary therapy that involves using the hands to ply the muscles and flesh of the body. The word massage can be traced to the Latin word Massa which means that which forms lumps. The Greek origin is massein which means to knead.

The use of massage has been used as far back as 3,000BC in ancient China. It was used to generate and maintain good health as well as for relaxation.

Holistic Massage Techniques

Massage is an amalgam of different actions used for the manipulation of body tissues to address stress and specific local problems or the promote a whole-body, or holistic, sense of general well-being.

Depending on what outcome is required the actions may range from gentle rubbing to harder friction. Modern massage techniques are based upon the Swedish approach.

Swedish Massage

Per Henrik Ling was a Swedish physiologist who created a range of movements that were designed to improve and maintain his own physical well-being. Modern massage is rooted in his approach that included petrissage, effleurage, and percussion.


Petrissage from the French word Pertrir meaningto knead. This technique employs kneading in conjunction with rubbing of the muscles and tissues. Pressure applied by the masseurs fingers helps to eliminate tensions. By compressing tissue against tissue petrissage relieves muscle tightness, breaks down toxins causing a release of tension.


Effleurage comes from the French effleurer which means to touch lightly. It is a light, gentle relaxing motion that is used at the start and finish of a massage session. If the muscles are relaxed Effleurage can be applied with a firm pressure over larger areas. It does not try to manipulate or move muscles or tissue but rather Effleurage attempts to ease and relax them while improving blood circulation.


Percussion is from the Latin word percutere which means to hit. This technique involves sharp, quick strokes that stimulate and invigorate tissues and muscles. The masseurs uses his / her hands in a chopping movement quickly and suddenly. This is known as hacking. Besides chopping motions percussion also employs beating, pounding, cupping and tapotement.


Friction is from the Latin word fricare meaning to rub. All friction methods work by compressing tissue against bone and are usually applied to small local areas of tightness or discomfort. Firm rubbing produces relieving heat and is often used in sports massage for the treatment of injury.


Vibration can be applied manually or by mechanical methods. The concept is that the body's muscles tremble and vibrate thereby releasing muscle highness and removing tension. It can be a reliever of pain and clears nerve pathways.

For Head, neck and shoulder massage in Swords contact Jennifer Dunne. She is a USUI SHIKI RYOHO Reiki practitioner - practising the Tera Mai System of Reiki. Professional Member of Reiki Federation of Ireland.

Irish Representative Body for Massage

The main representative body for Massage in Ireland is the Irish Massage Therapists Association. Contact details are as follows:

The Irish Massage Therapists Association
P.O. Box BQ31
Co. Offaly
Tel: 086 377 3801

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