Shantala massage is a massage form that is appropriate for everyone: young and old, healthy or with a chronic illness, special needs or not. It is a rhythmic, relaxing massage that is easy to learn and pleasant to receive.
The skin is one of our most important sensory organs; it houses our sense of touch. Thanks to the skin, we experience unique sensations every day. We feel the rain, the sun, the wind, a pleasant temperature or a caress. By touching or being touched with awareness, you come in contact with your feelings. You come in contact with not only the sad and painful feelings, but also joyful and loving ones.
Massage stimulates the production of oxytocin, a hormone that has an important role in enhancing feelings of tenderness and connection. It promotes attachment, which is important for being able to function in a balanced manner later in life.
Shantala massage is originally a form of total body massage that is performed in India as part of a baby’s daily care. The French physician, Frederick Leboyer, who is known for his groundbreaking work in obstetrics and infant-friendly deliveries, came across a mother, Shantala, during a visit to India; At the time, Shantala was massaging her baby just as she had learned from her mother. He was enthusiastic about what he observed and learned. He was of the opinion that parents in the West, in addition to observing all the hygiene rules of the modern era, should give their children this experience of warmth and security so that they could grow into emotionally balanced individuals.
In the Netherlands, Rita Bovekerk and Nance de Lange further developed and adjusted the techniques for adults and persons with functional limitations. This led to the establishment of the Shantala Massage Partnership. With the help of many experts, the members of this partnership developed training programs for both Babymassage and Speciale Zorg.