Holistic Massage – What Is It, And How Can It Help You?
It is no secret we live in stressful times. Each generation believes they might be worse off than the previous one, and while past eras are often impossible to compare, it’s true that the last two years have presented us with unique concerns.
Holistic practices and therapies can help us address these stresses and anxieties: in particular, a holistic body massage is a safe and gentle way to get to know holistic work in order to receive possibly life-changing help on both a physical and emotional level. Let’s find out more!
What is holistic massage?
A holistic massage is a treatment targeting stressed or compromised areas of the body in a similar fashion to that of a standard massage, with the added impact of benefit to a patient’s overall wellbeing. This helps relieve the physical body of stress, balance the client’s meridians or energy channels (the same studied by and used in acupuncture and shiatsu) and bring comfort and calm to the emotional and spiritual body.
What does holistic mean?
As it’s gained traction in popular culture throughout the last few years, the word holistic might also have received an unfair and slightly intimidating reputation. In reality, all the term refers to is “the whole of something or to the total system instead of just to its parts,” as per the Cambridge Dictionary. Holistic medicine, it follows, aims to treat the whole person, “including mind and body, not just the (single) injury or disease.” By addressing an individual’s physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health, the holistic approach can help us feel happier, calmer, healthier and more complete.
Regular vs holistic massage
On a physical level, a standard massage works by improving circulation and lymphatic drainage, while aiding in the release of any muscular tension. It’s a relaxing and calming experience, and it can prove extremely beneficial after a particularly straining session of physical exercise or a long stretch of time spent sitting at a desk, on a train, on a plane, and so on.
A holistic massage is exactly the same, only with added attention to the patient’s overall feelings and comprehensive emotional alignment at any given time. Combining physical manipulation with a gentle, inclusive personal approach, a holistic massage can reduce stress and anxiety, improve circulation and increase energy levels, all the while working on standard parameters like mobility and flexibility.
Holistic massage benefits
As a more general, overall benefit, we know that the more we commit to thinking of and treating our body as one with our mind, as per holistic philosophy, the more we can get to know ourselves and our needs. Focusing on single and targeted issues, whether physical or emotional, can lead us to erroneously believe we can “solve” one problem at a time: instead, we should be looking at our lifestyle and health as a whole, and learn to be in tune with our body and intuition.
Is it also believed that holistic practices like a body massage could help flush toxins present in the body and boost the immune system, but further studies are needed to confirm this. Other unconfirmed benefits include lowering high blood pressure, improving skin elasticity and alleviating digestion issues like gut and intestine imbalance.
Holistic massage: what to expect
The first thing you should notice as you walk into the treatment room for your holistic massage is how relaxed you feel –the atmosphere should be comfortable, soothing and the air filled with sweet oils, scented candles, incense, or any other elements of aromatherapy. This is often the case in places like spas, but it’s especially important when it comes to holistic practices, as they lead us to pay particular attention to our feelings and overall comfort.
The practitioner will ask about your lifestyle and habits, so that they’re able to understand your conditions and direct their efforts with more purpose to meet your needs. Disclosing as much as you’re able of your medical history is also important, so they will know what not to do and what areas to treat more carefully.
A holistic massage therapist will be skilled in varying the depth, speed and intention of their touch to pay attention to your sensory and nervous response. The experience is a masterful dance of touch and response, spanning from classic techniques to deep pressure and healing holds, all aimed at customising your hour on the heated mat in the way that makes sense for you and your body.
After your holistic massage, you will be offered a glass of water or a green tea to help eliminate any toxins the treatment helped release. For a few hours afterwards, you might feel slightly dizzy or tired as a result of the work done on your tension and stress levels, but this will subside after a good night’s sleep!
How to choose a holistic massage practitioner
An ever-growing number of people in 2022 is on the lookout for holistic care and, it follows, practitioners who can help them address physical as well as more general concerns. When searching for holistic practitioners, it’s important to make sure their education and background is readily available and their credentials are easy to check. If you have a social group of like minded friends, you could try asking for word of mouth recommendations.
Searching the name of the practitioner and “reviews” or “testimonials” is also a good idea, and remember –never ignore your gut instinct should something feel off, your safety and comfort are your first priorities!