A holistic approach to massage therapy
From the beginning of my RMT education we were taught to approach massage from the stand point of ‘you have ailment x, so I will use treatment x’, which totally works if all you are looking for is treatment for a specific issue.
What 19 years in the profession, plus continued learning, has taught me is that rarely does anyone come in to my clinic with ‘just one issue’, not to mention the fact that we have an epidemic of chronic stress happening.
In order to provide effective treatment to clients I needed to shift my thinking to what they are experiencing on the whole.
Where are their aches & pains; what is the cause of aches and pains; what is their stress level; how do they handle stress; where do they feel their stress/emotions; how are they feeling emotionally; how is their sleep; what is there energy level like; etc.
So, while we used to talk about a ‘therapeutic massage treatment’ vs a ‘relaxation massage treatment’, I came to realize that all of my therapeutic treatments had to have a relaxation component, and all of my relaxation treatments inevitably have a therapeutic component.
In trying to better articulate how I treat clients, I stumbled across the word holistic.
Holistic is “characterized by the treatment of the whole person, taking into account mental and social factors, rather than just the symptoms of a disease”, according to the oxford dictionary.
The other definition also fits, “characterized by comprehension of the parts of something [someone] as intimately interconnected and explicably only by reference to the whole.”
Intimately interconnected … such beautiful words to describe how the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual levels of our beings are inseparable from one another.
With these words in mind the term ‘Holistic Massage Therapy’ began to roll around in my head, and my heart.
I realized that this was actually the approach I have been using to treat clients for a while now, I just didn’t have the words to articulate it.
To put it all together for you … holistic massage therapy is a therapeutic massage that affects the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual wellbeing of the body to optimise health and wellness.
Sounds pretty good doesn’t it?
When is your next massage going to be?