Wednesday 24 November 2021

Count Me In For A Massage


Professor Robin Dunbar (b.1947) is seen as the originator of ’Dunbar’s number’. This is 150. It is the suggested limit to the number of people with whom one can maintain social relationships. Another person seems happy that he can maintain a combined total of about 100 contacts actively on Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, etc.

Now in this, whether your friendly massage therapist has 150 clients is his business. Other numbers suggested, and calculated somehow, are the lesser numbers of 5, 15, and 35, and the greater numbers of 500 and 1500. This may be OK with the greater numbers, if you have almost all day, every day, to be on the Internet!


A lot of people may reply, ‘Chance would be a fine thing; I should like to have the time!’

Many people surely, and maybe your masseur too, find one of the lesser numbers more manageable to handle, relating to the use of social media. There is then time for actual massage and other treatments in person. In this we may play bingo, as it were, as these are not the only numbers. We may have a number of stable social relationships between 35 and 150. What happened between that gap, I don’t know.

Professor Dunbar linked some of his suggestions with research into primates. An old comedy film has a Principal advising the Matron of a girls school to ‘tell them about the behaviour of the birds and bees, with a passing reference or two to monkeys!’ So some of this numbering may be a bit obscure, if relating humans with primates in some areas. We might end up looking as befuddled as the Matron did after the advice she had been given.

If the 150 figure is true, in some ways possibly, we know that we shall not be able to maintain the same level of relationship, friendship, actual contact, etc, with all of the 150, unless we do nothing else but socialise, party, go to festivals, etc, all of our lives. Some relationships may be deep, some light or superficial, and some middling.

This is a somewhat tentative link with massage, but come along as and when you can. For the masseur it will be good, though exhausting, if having 150 bookings, but hopefully there won’t be 150 people on a waiting list for massage or whatever other treatment they request. Count yourself in for massage or whatever treatment, and the masseur will count you in as a client too.



Wednesday 17 November 2021

Massage: The Human Touch


It’s said that the human touch is good for us. This can include massage and associated treatments. Another aspect can be giving hugs, e.g. to friends, pets, and as parents to babies.

With the normal human body temperature being 98F,  psychologist, Alexander Bain (1818-1903), (below) asked why a cushion kept at this same temperature would not be a useful substitute, if no one was around to hug.


But it’s not the same, is it? Even though a soft silky cushion was specified. A cushion, or non-living object, cannot be pleasing in the same way, as in tactile expressions between humans. 

Some things may give us some pleasure though, such as ‘go hug a tree’. Objects cannot respond to us, yet if we do hug a tree, maybe the tree will feel good and feel like growing taller. Or, say nice things to your computer, printer, etc, and it may behave better. This is rather anthropomorphic though – giving human qualities to non-human things.

If making a phone call to your friendly masseur, there is another Alexander Bain (1810-1877), pictured below, who invented, among other things, a telegraph able to transmit up to 1,000 words per minute.


Not that you need 1,000 words to arrange an appointment, unless you go into infinitesimal details of your requirements. But visit again soon, or for a first visit for massage, if you wish and if you can.