MASSAGE THERAPY

Massage therapy addresses a variety of health conditions, the most prevalent being stress-related tension, which, experts believe, accounts for 80%-90% of disease. Massage has been proven beneficial in treating and aiding headaches,sleep disorders, high blood pressure, back pain, immunity suppression, postoperative surgery, age-related disorders, depression, repetitive strain injuries and sports related injuries to name just a few.

Here's why:

Bodywork offers a drug-free, noninvasive approach based on the body's natural ability to heal itself. Massage has many physiological effects, such as:

  • Increasing circulation, allowing the body to pump more oxygen and nutrients into tissues and vital organs.
  • Stimulating the lymph system, the body's natural defense, against toxic invaders.
  • Relaxing and softening injured and overused muscles.
  • Reducing spasms and cramping.
  • Increasing joint flexibility.
  • Reducing recovery time for strenuous workouts and eliminating subsequent pains for a athlete at any level.
  • Releasing endorphins, the body's natural painkiller. For this reason, massage is being incorporated into treatment for chronic illness, injury and recovery from surgery to control and relieve pain.
  • Reducing post-surgery adhesions and edema and reducing and realigning scar tissue after healing has occurred.
  • Improving range of motion and decreasing discomfort for patients with low back pain.
  • Relieving pain for migraine sufferers and decreasing the need for medication.
  • Providing exercise and stretching for atrophied muscles and reducing shortening of the muscles for those with restricted range of motion.
  • Contributing to shorter labor and reduced tearing for expectant mothers, as well as lessening the need for medication, minimizing depression and anxiety, and shortening hospital stays.
The Importance of Touch
Massage also provides another therapeutic component largely absent in today's world: tactile stimulation, or, more simply, touch. In 1986, the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami published groundbreaking research on the effects of massage on premature babies. The premature babies who received massage therapy showed 47% greater weight gain and six-day shorter hospital stays than the infants who were not receiving massage. But is this study evidence of what loving touch can do spiritually as well as on a physiological level? Regardless, babies are not the only benefactors.
Must I Be Completely Undressed?
Massage and CST techniques do not require every patient to be completely undressed. It is entirely up to you what you want to wear or not wear. You should undress to your level of comfort. You will be properly draped with a top sheet during the entire session and your therapist will only expose the region that is being treated. A pure CST treatment does not require a patient to remove any clothing.
Will the Practitioner Be Present When I Disrobe?
The practitioner will leave the room while you undress, relax onto the table, and cover yourself with a clean sheet.
What Parts of My Body Will Be Massaged?
You and the practitioner will discuss the desired outcome of your session. This will determine which parts of your body requires massage. A typical full body session will include work on your back, arms, legs, feet, hands, head, neck, and shoulders.
What Will the Massage Feel Like?
It depends on the techniques used. Many massage therapists use a form of Swedish massage, which is often a baseline for practitioners. In a general Swedish massage, your session may start with broad, flowing strokes that will help calm your nervous system and relax exterior muscle tension. As your body becomes relaxed, pressure will gradually be increased to relax specific areas and relieve areas of muscular tension. Often, a light oil or lotion is used to allow your muscles to be massaged without causing excessive friction to the skin. The oil also helps hydrate your skin. You should communicate immediately if you feel any discomfort so that another approach may be taken. Massage and bodywork are most effective when your body is not resisting.
Are There Different Types of Massage
There are numerous types of massage and bodywork; various techniques utilize different strokes, including basic rubbing strokes, rocking movement, posture and movement reeducation, application of pressure to specific points, and more. The most effective treatments incorporate a variety of treatment modalities to best treat each individuals needs.
How Long Will the Session Last?
The average full-body massage or bodywork session lasts approximately one hour. A half-hour appointment only allows time for a partial massage session, such as neck and shoulders, back or legs and feet. Many people prefer a 60- to 90-minute session for optimal relaxation. Always allow relaxation time prior to and after the session. Hot tubs, steam baths and saunas can assist in the relaxation process.
What Should I Do During the Massage or Bodywork Session?
Make yourself comfortable. The practitioner will either gently move you or tell you what is needed throughout the session (such as lifting your arm). Many people just close their eyes and completely relax. Others like to talk during their session. Feel free to ask the practitioner questions about massage and bodywork in general or about the particular technique you are receiving. Some deep tissue treatments may be uncomfortable or painful. It is very helpful to the process for a patient to focus on deep breathing during the treatment to allow the lungs to convert the air to oxygen in the blood stream to help decrease the tension and pain. If at any time the treatment is to painful let the therapist know so any adjustments can be made.
How Will I Feel After the Massage
Most people feel very relaxed. Some experience freedom from long-term aches and pains developed from tension or repetitive activity. After an initial period of feeling slowed down, people often experience increased energy, heightened awareness, and greater productivity which can last for days. Since toxins are released from your soft tissues during a massage, it is recommended you drink plenty of filtered water following your massage.
Are There Any Medical Conditions That Would Make Massage or Bodywork Inadvisable?

Yes. That's why it's imperative that, before you begin your session, the practitioner asks general health questions. It is very important that you inform the practitioner of any health problems or medications you are taking. If you are under a doctor's care it may help your therapist to have to a referral to describe your medical condition so your healthcare providers can work together as a team to treat you most effectively.