One of the first questions I get asked about holistic massage is "What does holistic mean?" Holistic means 'whole' (it has Greek roots for those interested in the Etymology!). So this form
of massage deals with you as a 'whole'. Like other therapies, it is not just looking to treat the symptoms, but to establish the cause, whether it be internal or external. The aim is to rebalance the body so it achieves homeostasis or balance. The training
for the therapist is quite extensive, as it not only covers massage, but also anatomy and physiology, nutrition and general health.
What Happens When I Go For A Holistic Massage
At the first consultation with
your therapist, you will be asked to complete a detailed health questionnaire. This will take about 45 minutes as it goes over every aspect of your health, family history and lifestyle, what goes in your body and yes, what comes out the other end! From this
information the therapist can put together a profile for you and tailor the massage to suit. The therapist keeps a note of each treatment, which for you means that after a few visits you can come in, 'flop' down on the couch and the therapist knows what you
What Are The Health Benefits Of Holistic Massage Therapy
Massage benefits are both mind and body. It is rare that we take an hour to lie down, close our eyes and just 'be'. An hour's peace and quiet away
from ringing phones and demanding children has a definite restorative effect.
For the body, the massage
helps taut muscles learn to relax and this, combined with strokes to aid lymphatic drainage, helps to release toxins. The benefits can be felt by all ages, backgrounds and lifestyles. According to the Massage Association, research has verified that office
workers massaged regularly were more alert, performed better and were less stressed than those who weren't massaged. It is not just office workers who benefit. Stress affects different people in a myriad of ways, physically and emotionally. Stiffness and soreness
in muscles can be due to a wide range of physical factors from an overly energetic session in the gym or carrying too much shopping home, to poor posture through being seated at a desk all day or excessive time behind the steering wheel. The causes are not
always physical however. Emotional tension and the day to day stresses that life throws at us can manifest in headaches caused by a stiff neck and shoulders and the body generally tensing up in response to stress, especially if there is not the opportunity
to release. Massage can help people to deal with emotional problems such as grief and depression. Some massage therapists specialise in pregnant women ('doula' massage), attending the birth to enable a drug free delivery. Young babies and children benefit
from massage – stroking and touch are a great way for parent and child to bond. Children with autism have been shown to respond well to cranial massage.
Older people benefit too. For the elderly it can be difficult to get around, resulting in lack of exercise and muscle atrophy. Massage will stimulate blood flow and help the release of those feel-good endorphins
that make us feel smiley inside.