Massage, and its demise!

Massage is not a new therapy, it’s not a new art form, it’s not a seedy dodgy way of “getting your hands” on someone you fancy. Massage Therapy is one of the oldest forms of medical treatment ever recorded. Its first recordings date as far back as China in the second century B.C. The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine is a classic Chinese publication on medicine. The exact date is unknown, but Dr Veith who translated the documentation, has carefully recorded her searches among Chinese authorities in an effort to date the work.

The evidence dates from early 2852 B.C to 1000 B.C. The Nei Ching lists five methods of treatment but the most popular and the most highly developed were acupuncture, moxibustion and massage. These methods would have been well known due to the lack of detailed description about them. If they were being introduced for the first time the methods would have been described in detail in the Nei Ching.

In India, the traditional healing system of Ayurvedic medicine also prescribed massage for a variety of medical conditions dating back to 1800 B.C. Hippocrates, in his book on Articulations, described the qualities and contra-indications of massage. For many centuries, Massage was seen as part of many cultures’ daily medical and health routines for medical and psychiatric conditions.

So what was the reason for its demise? Why do people smirk, giggle, raise their eyebrows and give me a suspicious glance when I mention that I am a massage therapist?

The beginning of its downward slide began with the social decadence of the Romans and continued in the Middles Ages when it was held in contempt by the church because it was perceived to be used for “pleasures of the flesh”.

Then came the scientific breakthroughs in medical technology and pharmacology which substantially changed the foundation of medicine in the West. Quite simply, drugs became the solution for many ailments and electrical instruments gradually replaced manual methods.

In more recent years in Britain namely the 80s and 90s, the massage parlours offering all manner of “extra services” did not help the cause. Today however, we see a new resurgence of these ancient methods of therapy, not only in China itself but all over Europe, primarily in Great Britain, France, Russia and now extending to the United States.

  • So why this new resurgence?
  • Have we got new and incurable medical and psychiatric conditions?
  • What is making people opt for alternative and complementary therapies?
  • Have we simply come full circle where we have tried everything and come back to the original methods?

Do you have any answers?  Let me know what you think.

I don’t have all the answers yet but will be researching this over the next couple of weeks to provide you with some!!!



Planning a “Baby Shower”?

It is not possible to say exactly when or where the “baby shower” idea originated.  Although there are various theories, these cannot be proven.  However and wherever it all started, we are happy it did, as it can only be a positive and fulfilling experience to celebrate a new life. 

Some evidence of baby showers has been found by historians dating back to ancient Roman and Egyptian cultures, although there is no definitive proof of this.  Many ancient cultures take the celebration of a new life serious, and this continues in today’s society. 

These celebrations from past times consisted of the giving of handmade gifts such as clothing, food, blankets, money and many more items for the new family.  Of course the most famous gifts bestowed on a new born were Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh.  Not may people however can afford or acquire these today, so any gift that can benefit the new family is greatly appreciated.  Previously these baby showers took place after the birth of the baby and often included viewing of the new baby. 

The format of the “baby shower” we celebrate today began after World War II, where friends and family organised a party to celebrate the birth of a new baby.  Initially only women, attended these gatherings, but this soon changed and many fathers, grandfathers and male family members also attended.  In recent years, the baby shower tends to occur before the actual birth of the baby.  Buying the wrong gift is also a thing of the past, with new technology enabling the parents to find out the sex of their baby before the birth.  Also there are huge ranges of “unisex” and “neutral” baby gifts if the sex of the baby is not known. 

Today baby showers are wonderful events enjoyed by expectant parents, where family and friends give generously toward the event whether in its organisation or bestowing gifts. 

Nappy Cakes from Zaanti Stores

These days the theme or venue of the baby shower can be varied, although most common is an afternoon tea, held with close friends and family, and involving some games, gift opening, and the giving of favours to guests. However, there really are no restrictions as the main focus should always be on providing a fun atmosphere that the mum-to-be and her guests would enjoy – so use your imagination!

If you’re planning a baby shower but don’t know where to start, download our user guide with lots of advice, tips and a planner you can print and use throughout the event.  If you know a family member or friend that’s pregnant, give her a wonderful surprise and treat her to this special event, remember it’s not the done thing for mum-to-be to organise her own baby shower!

Download your free Zaanti Baby Shower Guide now.

Making Do

We know that a lot of the skincare products on the market today are full of chemicals which are harmful to our skin, but still we buy them.  I have experienced at first hand the effects of these products from creams, to deodorants to perfumes, and the list goes on.  So I took steps to test this by using organic or natural skincare products and noticed the difference immediately.  I haven’t looked back since.  Now, my question to you is this.  If we are all so aware of the damage to our skin by many mainstream skincare products, why aren’t more people abandoning these products and seeking out the healthier alternatives?  

I hear people on a daily basis complaining about their eczema and how it flairs up regularly, people with sensitive skin who can’t use this product and that product because it gives them a rash, and the list goes on and on.  So… having done some research over the past couple of years to hunt down these elusive healthier alternatives, I find that they are not so elusive after all.  So I ask again, why don’t more people stop using the products that are clearly not good for their skin or general health and use natural or organic products? 

Very often I make recommendations to people who suffer from sensitive skin conditions, and I painstakingly explain the benefits of using the natural alternative, only to be met by a blank stare, a few exclamations such as “Is it”?…  “Really”?… “Oh I didn’t know that” as they shuffle slowly towards the nearest exit.  

Now I hear some of you saying, “Natural and organic products are more expensive”, “I can’t afford to switch”, “I don’t know what the alternatives are or where to find them”, hhmmm!  Whatever the reason, too many of us are simply “making do”. 

Share your thoughts with us and check back for more information.  If you are suffering with all manner of skin and health conditions from using products laced with chemicals, SLS, harmful parabens, etc but you don’t know where to start looking for healthier alternatives, make this your starting point.  Subscribe to our RSS fee so you get all our updates.