The Art of Self and Peer Massage

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As my regular readers will know, I love hunting out and experiencing new activities. I always love discovering ways to live a healthier lifestyle. So, when Alicia Kon told me about The Art of Self and Peer Massage workshop that she teaches, I had to give it a try.

I have suffered from migraines for the past 12 years. I believe there are a number of factors in my life that come together to cause them, and the loss of a family member triggered the first one. I’ve tried many different treatments and medicines over the years, some of which have worked and others have made things worse. Although conventional western medicine does cure my migraines most of the time, I find that doctors have very little interest in the cause of them and how they can be prevented. All they want to do is treat the symptoms. Learning proper massage techniques can help deal with the pain caused by migraines, headaches, back ache and other muscular and joint issues. If you can incorporate it into your routine, massage can help you to relax more and reduce stress, one of the major causes of migraines.

So, on a slightly chilly and grey Sunday afternoon in Wales, I threw a pot of tiger balm into my bag, tucked my yoga mat under my arm and headed over to Cardiff MADE to meet Alicia and the others who would be taking part in the workshop. It was the perfect venue for the course. Hidden away in the loft space, it was nice and cosy for us to practice the different techniques on each other.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from the workshop. I’ve had people massage me before, but I’ve never learnt how to massage someone else properly. With Alicia’s calming voice expertly talking me through everything, though, I didn’t have anything to worry about. The workshop lasted 3 hours, although we were all so engrossed in what we were doing that it didn’t even feel like one hour had passed! We started by learning some simple techniques that pretty much anyone can use on themselves everyday. Just a few minutes in the morning can help wake your body up for the day, and if you practice the exercises before you go to bed they can help you sleep better. I don’t know about you, but these are both things I could use some help with on a daily basis.

The second part of the course was where we got to practice massage techniques on each other. Having a real life person responding to your touch is a great way to learn what you’re doing right, and their facial expressions will soon tell you what you’re doing wrong. When you are the person being massaged you gain an even better understanding of what you are doing to the body and how it feels. Alicia also taught us to adapt our technique to suit our own strengths and abilities, and also the physique and flexibility of the person you are touching. I even learnt a few things about myself – who knew that the vertebrae in my spine are so evenly spaced?!

I came out of the workshop feeling relaxed and refreshed. I feel confident enough to use the techniques that Alicia has taught me. Obviously, after just three hours I am no expert. However, Alicia is, so I asked her a few questions about The Art of Self and Peer Massage which she very kindly answered below.

Alicia will be holding another workshop on Sunday 11th October as part of Made in Roath 2016. For more information you can contact her aliciakon.health@gmail.com

Alicia, can you explain what The Self and Peer Massage workshop is all about?

Self Massage is based on Do In, an ancient technique from China which is very useful to prevent health issues and to help keep yourself active and fit. Some minutes everyday does the trick! Peer Massage is based on Shiatsu (from the Japanese, shi: finger, atsu: pressure) so using our fingers, palms, knuckles, elbows  we will be massaging others – the basic and most immediate result of this action/contact is increased blood and energy circulation, it raises spirits and is a first step to better health. I will be teaching acupressure points for when you have a headache, lower back pain, etc.

Who can benefit from Self and Peer Massage?

Everybody can benefit from it, and that is my philosophy behind the workshop – I am passionate about empowering people and bringing these simple techniques back into their hands.

Is it suitable for practicing while travelling?

It is an excellent tool and knowledge to use while travelling. You can apply it to yourself and on fellow travellers you meet on the way 🙂

Do you need any special equipment?

No, the heart of it is YOU CAN ONLY DO GOOD when your intention is loving, that’s why we will be exploring re-linking ourselves to the instinctive and healing power of touch, ours by birth right.

Sasieology is all about visiting new destinations and experiencing new activities. Which destination is on top of your bucket list and what activity would you like to try?

So many! Hawaii and Iceland are the latest 2. Surfing in Hawaii and walking in Iceland are some of the activiites I’d love to try out.

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