Balinese vs Swedish / Self Care Exercises / Hand Strengthening Exercises / Essential Oils Guide


Balinese vs swedish

What Is a Balinese Massage?
Balinese massage differs from a Swedish massage as it focuses less on the physical and more on the holistic and spiritual side.
A Balinese massage comprises of a series of acupressure, stretching, aromatherapy and reflexology techniques.
There is also massage oil used. But instead of a typically massage oil a Balinese therapist will use an essential oil to help with certain physical or mental conditions.
It’s a great massage for those looking to feel a lot calmer and more relaxed.
You will also have physical concerns worked on like knots and tightness.

What to Expect from a Balinese Massage?
The room will usually have essential oil diffused into the air to create a relaxing environment. Aromatherapy is an important part of this form of massage therapy. There is a lot of emphasis on using the right oils.
The massage techniques used include more deep-tissue work for a deeper level of relaxation. It can be more painful experience than a Swedish massage and not for first timers. You will get more from the massage if you are familiar with massaging and what you want to get from it.
The therapist will use more closed fist techniques and kneading movements. So it’s very effective at working out knots and tightness in the muscles.

Benefits of a Balinese Massage
The benefits of a Balinese massage connect with a person on a deeper level than just the physical, and even the mental. There is a long spiritual and emotional history to this form of massage, and it needs to be respected for its heritage. If you allow yourself to get lost in the moment you can find a connection with your emotional side.
The deep-tissue techniques used work deep into the muscles and tissues to resolve even the most stubborn knots and adhesions.
Combined with the essential oils the client receives a relaxing and rejuvenating experience.





What Is a Swedish Massage?
Swedish massage is the most common form of massage therapy and a lot of other massage techniques have been developed from the Swedish massage. A Swedish massage is always the best type of massage for beginners. It offers a wide range of therapeutic and physical benefits without being too firm.
There are other forms of Swedish massage designed for certain types of pain or muscular issues. Such as deep-tissue massage or sports massages, but for an all round relaxing and rejuvenating experience a Swedish massage is what you want.

What to Expect from a Swedish Massage?
During a swedish massage the therapist uses oil to lubricate the skin and aid their techniques. There are a wide range of strokes involved in a complete therapy. Usually starting with effleurage strokes, followed by petrissage and tapotement techniques.
The movements release tension and work out the knots and adhesions in the muscles and tissue.

Benefits of a Swedish Massage
You will experience benefits with both your physical and emotional well-being.
The physical benefits include working our knots in the muscles. Decreasing aches and pains, increasing blood circulation, and stimulating lymph activity. As for mental benefits you will feel stress leaving your body. As well as feeling a deep state of relaxation you have probably never felt before.

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Self care exercises for massage therapists

Massage therapists spend most of their days performing massage.

It's easy to let a whole day or week go by without stretching and giving ourselves the care we need.
Because massage puts such a strong demand and stress on your hands, arms and back, exercise and stretch should be a regular part of your routine and should be done regularly.
You should take a 15 min. or more break between each massage to stretch and to shake off any tension or stress that occurred during the prior massage.

By maintaining a regular self care routine, you will be able to keep your arms and hands in top-notch condition, as well as keeping your posture good and your legs and back free of any pain.

We hope you're going to be inspired to use these self-care routines and wish you the best in health and wellness!

Stretch your neck

WHY: Massage therapists spend a lot of time massaging, but we also spend a lot of time on computers. A few times a day, take a minute to safely take your neck through its degrees of motion.
HOW : Sit balanced or square up your stance and shake your shoulders out. Let your head drop to one side, with your ear falling towards that same shoulder. Let yourself have a heavy head, even if you have to remind yourself that your head will not fall off! Relax into that position for at least 15 seconds. With your head still leaning to the side, turn your head to look towards the ground. This will target some of the muscles more medial in the back. Hold again. With your head still to the side, rotate so that you are looking up to the ceiling. This position will target your anterior neck without crunching the cervical vertebrae. Pause again, then gently come back to center. Last but not least, repeat to the other side!
TIP : This is a great stretch to do in the shower while letting the warm water relax the muscles. Think of it as a way to say good morning to your neck!


Reset your shoulder girdle

WHY: Remind your shoulder girdle how to be open, relaxed and back to an optimal you. So much of our work is curled in front of us, so this tip is a simple way to open your chest, drop your shoulders and relax.
HOW : Standing evenly or sitting up, scrunch your shoulders up to your ears, keeping the tension until you start to shake a little. While still having your shoulder up to your ears, laterally rotate your humerus (like a gingerbread man), take a deep breath in and on the exhale let your shoulders drop. You should feel your chest open, your shoulders relaxed, your neck is tall and your head should be more aligned to the frontal line.
TIP : Reset your shoulders every time you change the sheets on your massage table. It takes only seconds and it put you back into a "non-hunched" posture before your next client.

Stretching Hands and wrists

WHY: To prevent from being injured while working, it is important to keep your hands and forearms in top-notch condition.
To boost circulation as well as stretch some of the smaller muscles in both your fingers and your hands, try the following exercise
  • Starting with your pinky finger, touch each finger to your thumb and work inward
  • Follow up by stretching your hand open as wide as possible, spreading all your fingers as wide as they can go
    • Perform each exercise five times per hand
    Yet another stretch can help to relieve any tension that you might have in the joints of your shoulder, wrist, or elbow area.
    Do the following stretch slowly and stretch only as far as it is to be comfortable; do not stretch to discomfort:
  • With your arms out in front of you, hold your hands together, so that your palms face each other
  • So that your thumbs point downward, rotate your hands both down and inward
  • With your thumbs pointing down, interlock the fingers of both hands and bend your elbows
  • Move your thumbs down your chest and then extend that the arms outward with both hands still clasped (You should feel a stretch through your wrists and your elbows)
  • Then, bring your hands back to the original position. Repeat this stretch between five and 10 times each, taking care not to overdo it
    TIP : In addition the American Massage Therapy Association suggests that therapists perform fingertip push-ups on a wall to increase the strength of their fingers and hands.

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Use hand exercises to make your hands supple, stronger:

1. Squeeze a soft foam ball
2. Put an elastic band around your thumb and forefinger (index) and stretch it out (muscle tone of the thumb and palm). 
2. Loosely shake hands from the wrist. 
3. Place hands in the praying position, then press them together. 
4. Clench your fists and then stretch them out.  Repeat this many times. 
5. Place your hands flat with the fingers outstretched, and then elevate the palm, thumb side.

You are now ready to commence treatment using an alternate press-release movement. 

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Essential oils guide

It's important to ask if your client has any allergies.
Your clients trust you to use products that will not irritate their skin. High quality, natural ingredients are more gentle, healthier,
and provide a better overall experience for your client.

For your own health, the question of quality ingredients is especially important.
After all, you have your hands and arms in these products each and every day.


Essential oils will not "go bad"

A pure and undiluted essential oil will not go rancid. Rancity can only occur if there is a fat present, if the essential oil is diluted in a vegetable oil it will go rancid over time. Essential oils are very volatile and will vaporize when exposed to open air. They are best protected in a dark amber or cobalt blue bottle and when not in use capped tightly.

Basic list of Essential Oils

(lavandula angustofolia) or vera, steam distilled - often referred to as the "Swiss Army Knife" of aromatherapy. It is most recognized for its stress relieving effects.
Geranium (pelargonium graveolens), steam distilled - a wonderful oil that is great to help increase circulation and is effective for female hormonal balance.
Eucalyptus (eucalyptus globulus) steam distilled - Is a known decongestant and expectorant, it helps open up respiratory passages and has a refreshing invigorating scent.
Peppermint (mentha piperita) steam distilled - It's strong and minty scent is indicative of its properties. Stimulates alertness without make you jittery, when diluted and applied to temples it helps tension headaches and the same diluted preparation when massaged over your stomach helps with stomach aches.
Rosemary** (rosmarinus officionalis) steam distilled - Rosemary is for remembrance, it stimulates memory , it's refreshing minty scent also helps stimulate circulation and when used in a massage lotion or oil is a great way to refresh tired muscles that need to keep going.
Sandalwood (santalum album) steam distilled - considered a sacred oil by most not only because it is obtained from the heartwood of mature sandalwood trees, but because its woody aroma is subtle and all encompassing at the same time. For centuries used in India for religious ceremonies it has become a western favorite. Sandalwood oil from Mysore, India is the most prized and most expensive. Great care is being taken now to create an eco friendly sustainable harvest for sandalwood trees.
Roman Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile) steam distilled - is often used to help stress, frazzled nerves and anxiety. It is also has anti inflammatory properties so is useful for injuries or arthritis. There is another variety of Chamomile known as German Chamomile, do not confuse the two. They come from different botanical species and their properties and applications differ. It is a clear pale yellow essential oil with a sweet floral scent much like the tea.
Melaleuca-Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) steam distilled - the Aborigines of Australia have for centuries used Tea Tree for many medicinal purposes. Studies have found it to have very strong antiviral and antifungal properties. You can use it just about everything. I find it most helpful in skin related applications from heat rash to toe nail fungus.
Mandarin* (Citrus reticulata) cold pressed- of all the citrus oils, Mandarin Oil is the sweetest and tends to be the most calming. It is considered very uplifting. Aromatically, it blends well with many other essential oils including citrus, floral, wood, spice and herb families of oils. Mandarin Essential Oil is a favorite of children and parents. If desiring to diffuse a citrus oil in the evenings before bed or with children, Mandarin Essential Oil may be the best choice.
Juniper (Juniperus communis) steam distilled - the branches and berries of the Juniper, a coniferous tree, have been used for medicinal and spiritual purposes since ancient times. It may help combat acne when used at low dilutions in skin care applications. A room mist/air freshener made with Juniper Oil may help to kill airborne germs. Emotionally, Juniper Oil is calming and helps to ease stress without imparting the sedative effects that clary sage and the chamomiles are known for. Spiritually, Juniper Berry Essential Oil used in a room mist, diffuser or candle burner cleanses and purifies the air. It is a good choice for use during prayer or meditation.

*Photosensative oil; always dilute. To prevent a rash or pigmentation of the skin, do not use citrus oils when exposed to direct sunlight.

**Should never be used undiluted on babies and children.

Dillution in a massage carrier oil : for an adult not more than 5% (10 drop in 10ml carrier oil). For children a 1% dillution will do (1 drop in 5ml carrier oil).

TIP : 1ml of E.O. is about 20 drops.

A few Synergies

Try not to blend more than 3 different essential oils together. Keep it simple for children under the age of 12.


Lavender 10 drops / Chamomile Roman 3 drops / Sandalwood 3 drops
Add to 250ml of your favorite carrier oil, or lotion. Mix well and allow to rest a minimum of 1 hour prior to use.
You can also add the same number of drops to a diffuser and it is also effective to help calm.

Rosemary 4 drops / Juniper 3 drops / Lavender 5 drops / Chamomile Roman 4 drops
Add to250ml of your favorite carrier oil or lotion for a full body massage. You can also add the same number of drops to a pound of sea salts, my favorite for this combo is dead sea salt used in a nice hot bath.

Children under the age of 12 and infants up to it's always best to keep it to simple. Do not go over the drops recommended per application.
Lavender (lavendula angustofolia) goes a long way for children.

Irritability due to fatigue - Lavender 1 drop diluted in 5ml of cold pressed vegetable oil. Massage child's back and neck.

These oils are safe to children Roman hamomile (chamaemelum nobile) • Geranium (pelargonium graveolens) • Lavender (lavandula angustifolia) • Mandarin (citrus reticulata)* • Melaleuca-Tea Tree (melaleuca alternifolia) • Sandalwood (santalum album)

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