About Bamboo Massage
Bamboo was considered a powerful healing tool in ancient China, Japan and Indonesia. Bamboo still symbolizes life, energy, prosperity, longevity and fertility in these cultures. Today though, it is making an impressive comeback as a bodywork tool and coveted beauty ingredient around the globe. And for all the right reasons!
Overall, there are more than 1,200 species of bamboo, all of them related to sugarcane and corn. Bamboo is, in fact, a giant grass: the bamboo stalk can be cut, leaving the root system intact for rapid re-growth. This makes bamboo a highly renewable resource. In a favorable habitat, it can grow as fast as one foot in 24 hours and will grow back to full-size in a few years. Considered to be one of the most multifaceted plants on earth, bamboo has earned its reputation from its holistic and soft appearance, as well as its perseverance under any conditions.
Using Bamboo for Bodywork for use in massage, usually consists of seven hollow bamboo sticks of different lengths and diameters which are used during the treatment.
These bamboo canes are both hard and straight, and at the same time flexible and light due to the silica covering its outer cell walls. Silica is an essential element for maintaining the integrity and health of the skin, ligaments, tendons and bones. Bamboo extract is the richest known source of silica; it contains over 70% organic silica and is 10 times more potent than horsetail silica. Silica has a strong restorative effect on many of the body’s tissues, making bamboo massage even more potent than just the practitioner’s rolling and kneading maneuvers. Similar to warm stones, the belief is that the extra heat will penetrate more deeply into tissue and muscle layers.
Generally the longer, thicker sticks are utilized for gliding and rolling movements, primarily for larger muscles such as the back and thighs whilst therapists deploy the shorter, thinner canes to find built-up tension, knots and trigger points, and then vigorously knead these spots for release. Also smaller muscles such as those found in the hands and feet are massaged with the thinner stalks.
Most Eastern-oriented practitioners believe that the bamboo canes, as can the hand on its own, clear blockages to stimulate the flow of chi or energy.
Typically the degree of pressure alternates between firm and soft, depending on the physical and mental issues being addressed in the session. All parts of the body are affected in some manner with the bamboo.
Bamboo’s Therapeutic Applications
The bamboo sticks can be used in various techniques and modalities, giving the therapist a lot of versatility and ability to focus on specific client needs. Many compare bamboo massage to deep tissue massage, but the bamboo can also be used to replicate the strokes used in Swedish Massage.
Depending on client needs, bamboo can also be combined with Thai, Lymphatic Drainage and Ayurvedic techniques. Some masseurs combine it with elements of Shiatsu to stimulate acupuncture pressure points. The smaller sticks on their own can be used to apply pressure and activate specific points in hands and feet during a reflexology session.
Whatever the bodywork philosophy used in conjunction with the bamboo sticks, it will be a deeply penetrating, stimulating massage with the capacity to resolve customer complaints about the state of their health or to sustain their positive status.
Client Benefits of Bamboo Massage
Like any form of massage, there are numerous physical, mental and emotional benefits. At minimum, it produces a deep sense of relaxation, serenity and inner wellbeing. In fact, many believe it to be a powerful and safe therapy to reduce or eliminate the stress commonly associated with contemporary daily life.
Considered a complementary therapy to be used alongside conventional western medicine to treat illness and relieve muscle pain, it also plays a very strong preventative role. It is only recently though that the benefits of ancient forms of therapy such as bamboo massage are becoming more clearly appreciated and scientifically understood. In addition to managing stress and promoting over-all good health, below are some of the ways customers are believed to obtain relief from or solutions for specific health problems;
Reactivates and stimulates blood circulation
Can improve sleep quality and help insomnia
Helps manage respiratory ailments
Helps alleviate arthritic pain, particularly in the neck and shoulders
Improves nervous system functions and sensory nerve perception
Increases joint and muscle flexibility
Stimulates cellular activity to repair and intensely nourish the skin
Breaks down and softens adhesions
Assists to remove lactic acid to reduce pain
Once you experience it for yourself, you will likely discover a host of other ways that this ancient healing tool and renewable resource will help you live a fuller, healthier and happier life.
A Natural Detox – Move over Toxins
The rolling and kneading of the bamboo sticks stimulates and heats the body, thereby dissipating accumulated toxins. The enhanced circulation moving through the body, heart and lungs also helps to remove stagnant toxins. Similarly it improves lymphatic drainage and the removal of excess fluids. Bamboo massage is thus a perfect massage treatment as part of a detox and / or weight loss program.
Stubborn Muscle Pain and Tension Melt Away with Bamboo Massage
Similar to deep tissue massage, bamboo has the ability to release tension in major muscles through intensive kneading. It is especially effective for runners and cyclists experiencing tightness in their legs, feet and IT bands as it softens and breaks down muscular tensions. For women whose legs feel heavy and tight, the rolling and kneading with bamboo will soothe and alleviate discomfort, thus giving more vitality to their movements.
Given the stretching and elongating of muscles during the process, It is also of great benefit to anyone suffering from shortened muscles due to postural imbalances. For almost anyone suffering from neck, shoulder or lower / upper back pain or stiffness, the effect of the bamboo’s rolling, gliding and intensive kneading will give them a new lease on life with increased flexibility along with less soreness.
Bamboo massage can accelerate rehabilitation for many injuries and the release of endorphins provides the body with a natural pain killing boost. It is recommended that for targeted problem areas that weekly sessions for the first month are most impactful. After the issue(s) are resolved, monthly sessions are sufficient unless the massage is purely for rejuvenation, relaxation and stress reduction.
The Spiritual Connection
For those inclined to feel connections between long-held traditions and the natural world, a bamboo massage can have a powerful effect on the mind and general wellbeing. Bamboo is a renewable and sustainable resource with ancient roots, so a respectful therapist can nurture these links to create an even more profound experience. Even those who do not connect deeply with these elements, report that it was a totally fulfilling experience with a warm feeling of optimism lingering for several days.