You might wonder what swedish massage and the dinosaur could possibly have in common. Well, it seems to me that swedish massage is facing extinction just as the dinosaurs did.
Whereas simple effleurage – gentle soothing strokes designed to aid in relaxation, releasing tension and restoring health – was at one time much sought after, it is now almost looked down upon as a plethora of new, improved, more complex techniques and bodywork modalities have surfaced – myofascial release, trager bodywork, rolfing, deep tissue integration, cranio-sacral therapy, aromatherapy, hot stone massage, to name a few.
Our lives are becoming increasingly complex in all areas.
Have you bought a shampoo recently? It used to be that there were three simple choices – for dry, normal or oily hair. Now it can take 10 minutes just to read the options of shampoo formula available and to try to find one that may or may not work for you – shampoo for color-treated or perm-damaged hair, shampoo for curly hair, shampoo for coarse hair, moisturising shampoo for dry hair, conditioning shampoo for every day use, clarifying shampoo for oily hair, smoothing shampoo for unmanageable hair, detangling shampoo, extra body shampoo, volumizing shampoo, dandruff control, etc., etc.
Then there are the cold and flu remedies…………
Growth and change inevitably bring about improvement and progress. We are continually looking for and creating the next best thing. Just look at technology and how as soon as you buy the latest, newest, coolest phone, computer, PDA or the like there is a new and improved version available on the shelves.
However, massage and bodywork are not technology – they are methods of healing designed to recognize the needs of the physical body, allow you time and space to go within and address your ability to be well and whole.
We are indeed fortunate to have such an abundance of choice available in the field of massage and bodywork, including swedish massage.
Certainly there are occasions when a specific bodywork modality is indicated or called for as a result of injury or illness, but is it not OK to simply want to relax and release? Are you seeking out the latest form of massage or bodywork because it’s the in-thing and everyone is doing it? Do you have permission to take time out for yourself without having to achieve instant improvement?
I believe swedish massage is facing extinction because for many people it is not enough any more. They want better, improved, more advanced techniques so they can feel they are improving and becoming more advanced. But in the process, they are looking outside of themselves rather than looking within.
In my opinion, the best thing about swedish massage is that it provides the opportunity to STOP – something that is often hard or, for some people, impossible to do in this fast-paced world. It allows us to go within and listen to our bodies without the pressure of having to improve, achieve or better ourselves. It allows us to get out of competition for a moment……..
Swedish massage is like sitting on the porch in a rocking chair watching the sunset.
Give it a try – don’t let swedish massage go the way of the dinosaur.
Photos courtesy of flickr and stock.xchng.