|Posted on August 6, 2017 at 5:30 PM|
So welcome to the first of many entries to my blog. As I said on the beginning of this page I have been asked too many times to count that I should publish my thoughts, feelings, and opinions on massage and the many related topics in the field.
Please know up front that these thoughts come from 18 years of expience as a massage therapist and bodyworker as well as an educator... Also remember that these are my personal professional opinions, I encourage all of you to go out and experience the amazing world of bodywork for yourself and form your own opinions.
So where do we begin? Well why dont we start with the most basic, Swedish Massage. Swedish or Relaxational massage is probably the most well know style of massage out there and believe it or not is also the one that is most misunderstood by the public and even by therapists.
Swedish has been given a bad reputation as everything from a "fluff and buff" to a rub down. The fact of the matter is Swedish Massage is just like meatloaf, or curry. Everybody has their own personal receipe for making one and not everyone likes what everyone makes.
Relaxational massage for most therapists is a hodge podge of different strokes from various styles of massage that they have learned through out their experience. The intent behind the massage is to relax the body and promote wellness.
Which if you think about it from a health standpoint, is probably the most important, thing you can do for yourself. Helping the body relax actually disengages the body's fight or flight reactions, which the majority of us are operating in 99% of the time, and engages the body's rest and digest reactions. Studies have shown that stress itself is one of the leading causes of many of the conditions and disorders that we develop.
Unfortunately most people who book an appointment for massage come in when their body needs more specific work because they have stressed out their physical body too far and the body is in pain. Kind of like when you run your car too long with out changing the oil and then your engine starts making noise and eventually will seize up.
When this happens the massage therapist has to work longer and deeper in more specific areas to release the deep held stress to help the body heal itself. This is why therapists tell clients, "Hey come back in for an appointment next week, so we can continue your treatment." Of course the vast majority of clients may think it is the therapist trying to get them back in to spend more money. Actually it is just the opposite, the therapist is not trying to take advantage of the client they are actually trying to help them get out of pain and get them back to living their lives.
Most clients think that Swedish massage doesnt "do" anything for them that is why so many clients request deep tissue. They may have had a bad experience where they felt the therapist wasn't working deep enough for them. The funny thing is when a therapist asks a client how the pressure is, the client answers "it's fine". So the client will lay there, and possibly fall sleep, then at the end feel like they didn't get the work they wanted.
Some therapists also feel that swedish isn't a "real" massage because they aren't digging deep into their clients musculature. Some therapists enjoy going deep into the layers of tissue, not realizing that if they go too deep they can actually be damaging the tissue, not helping it.
Swedish when it is done right is an amazing massage. It has a fluidity to its flow and movement that other types of massage dont have. It allows the therapist and client to connect through breath and touch. It allows the body to unwind without forcing the tissues. Thats why it has been around for over 100 years, and is still the most widely practiced type of massage. Well that's all for this first installment.
Stay tuned for more Energetic Adventures in Massage and Bodywork...