There was a time when I thought getting a massage was just a way for people that could afford it to pamper themselves. I was wrong. Through the process of formal education, preparing for state (Ohio and Texas) licensing exams, teaching massage, practical application by way of owning a massage business, along with continuing massage therapy education, I learned that a massage or human touch therapy is so much more. One of the essential lessons that I learned is that massage has many modalities that include, but are not limited to, deep tissue, Swedish (relaxation), Ayurveda, hot stone, thermal palms, pre-natal, and therapeutic massage may address mental, physical and emotional concerns,such as depression, stress, high blood pressure, diabetes, headaches, pain and so much more. Accordingly, the right type of massage becomes important depending on an individual’s circumstances or health needs. In addition to massage therapy, I also learned there is a separate category of human touch therapy which I refer to as bodywork therapy. Bodywork therapy includes, but is not limited to, craniosacral manipulation and lymph drainage therapy. In other words, there are many ways to achieve heal the body by way of touch.
That’s right, these methods of touch are critical to helping the body heal from significant traumatic events. Some of the common physical events that come to mind are car accidents; back, shoulder, and neck injuries; muscle aches and pains; chronic headaches; chronic sinusitis; and diabetic neuropathy. There are also many emotional events that create excessive stress and can lead to mental challenges such as depression. Thus, massage and bodywork therapy should not only be viewed as a way to pamper yourself, but also as a way to help heal your body from traumatic injury or chronic illnesses and to maintain a peaceful balance between life’s stressors and a healthy existence.
It is important to note that although many states require massage therapist to meet certain licensing requirements, massage therapist are not doctors. They do not diagnose physical and emotional illnesses and injuries and prescribe medications. Massage therapist do, however, assist medical professionals in obtaining healing and rejuvenation of the body’s systems in a team effort along with acupuncturist, chiropractor or physical therapist. Efforts are still being pursued to bridge the gap between touch therapy and the medical community to totally embrace the benefits of massage and bodywork. Those benefits include, but are not limited to, improving posture; promoting deeper breathing, improving circulation, enhancing skin health, increasing or improving joint flexibility, reducing anxiety, promoting mental alertness, helping the body heal from traumatic injuries or illnesses, and satisfying the need for human touch.
Given the far reaching benefits of touch therapy, I invite all to the experience a massage or bodywork therapy. Understand that you will not only be taking the time to relax and release stress, but to also heal the body. In fact, the more frequent the touch therapy, the more healing that will take place. Depending on your needs, a trained professional can help you decide which method is best suited for your situation. Clearly, the help you so desperately need might be one massage away. If you didn’t know, now you know. Try it. I seriously doubt you will be disappointed that you did.