50 Bob Charles Drive, 
Botany Downs, Auckland

Tel 021 95 95 95
or 09 273 7092


July 2004


The New Zealand Herald recently reported on a study currently being run by the Auckland University, with assistance from the New Zealand College of Massage (who provided me with my training).  The study has found that a weekly upper body massage could be the key to reducing migraine attacks.  Subjects received a 45 minutes upper body and head massage once a week for 6 weeks, in addition to their standard medication.  After 6 weeks the group receiving the massage suffered on average 3.5 migraines per month, compared to an average of 5.5 migraines per month for the control group.  Further research is continuing.

What is Swedish Massage?

The style of massage I provide is based on the principles of Swedish Massage.  Swedish massage is credited to Swedish fencing instructor Per Henrik Ling, who invented the technique in the 1830s. It is generally regarded as the most common form of massage, especially in the Western countries. Swedish massage involves manipulation of the muscles and connective tissues of the body to achieve relaxation or health maintenance.

Swedish massage uses five basic massage techniques to relax muscles and body tissues, using the hands, forearms and elbows. The five basic techniques are:

  • Effleurage consists of long, gliding strokes from the neck down to the base of the spine or from the shoulder down to the fingertips.  Effluerage relieves congestion by flushing fluids from the muscles and brings fresh blood to the area.  Effluerage is also used to warm the muscles, preparing them for deep tissue work.  
  • Petrissage generally involves kneading and compression motions - rolling, squeezing, or pressing the muscles.  Another good warming stroke, petrissage helps "milk" the tissue of waste products and assists in blood and lymph circulation.
  • Friction consists of deep circular or transverse movements made with the thumbpads or fingertips.  Used to increase circulation in a localised area and also to break down adhesions within the muscle.
  • Tapotement consists of a series of briskly applied percussive movements, using the hands to strike or tap the muscles.  This is a stroke used predominantly in sports massage to stimulate the muscles.
  • Vibration consists of pressure applied to the back or limbs, and rapidly shaking them for a few seconds.  A more gentle form of friction, or can be used to stimulate the muscles.


Beginning around September, the Hammer Gel range of sports nutrition will be available in New Zealand.  Hammer Gel is a leading brand in the US, and growing in popularity in Australia. 

The NZ website is currently under construction, but in the meantime you can read all about Hammer Gel at www.hammergel.com.au.  If you would like to notified when Hammer Gel is available here in NZ, please email me at rachael@sportsmassage.co.nz .

This months stretch is for the adductors - the muscles that run up the inside of the thigh, from the knee to the groin.

Sit on the floor with your buttocks up against a wall.  Bend your knees and place your heels so they are touching each other.  
Grasp your feet and pull them as close to your groin as is comfortably possibly.
Relax your legs so your knees fall outwards, giving a gentle stretch.  For a stronger stretch, place your elbows on your inner thighs or knees and press gently.

The Levene Half Marathon in Taupo was on Sunday August 1.  Run over an almost flat course, it would have to be one of the prettiest runs on the calendar, and also an ideal first half marathon for the new runner or distance walker.  Taupo turned on a brilliant day - apparently they have never had a bad day yet in the 11 years this event has been held.   Check it out at www.taupohalfmarathon.co.nz.

Ironman Switzerland took place on July 25, and the sole Botany Muscle Therapy client taking part had a great day out!  You can catch Ironman action at www.ironmanlive.com. 

The Okoroire Fun Ride was also fortunate to have great weather, and record numbers took part - over 500 this year.  It was good to see so many of you down there, and my apologies to those who missed out on a massage due to the long queue - post event massage certainly seems to be increasing in popularity as more and more people realise the difference it can make.

Places are still available on the Manukau City Veterans Cycle Club 3 day cycle tour around the East Cape, a fundraising ride for the Gisborne Cancer Society held at the end of September.  Catering for around 50 riders, Its not for the fainthearted, with each day being over 120k of hilly riding, but if you are fit and well prepared, you'll love it.  Check out www.e-ventures.co.nz for further details and I have entry forms here at the clinic.  Once again I'll be on the tour, providing first aid if required (we hope not) and post ride massage at the end of each day.

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Rachael Button
Botany Muscle Therapy
50 Bob Charles Drive, Botany Downs, Auckland