You may be aware of holism, the concept that everything in our life is connected and in order to heal one part we must look at ourselves as a whole. But how does this translate to massage?
Every massage therapist will be slightly different but when you book a holistic massage treatment with me, this is what you can expect...
Before the Massage
Holistic massage takes place in my treatment room. Prior to the massage we will discuss your particular needs on that day. If this is the first time we've met I will take a full history from you. This means that we will chat about your past, any old or current health issues, any issues that bother you at the moment. We'll discuss your sleeping routine, your usual diet and exercise habits. Generally, I let the conversation flow and see what issues matter to you most and let you focus on those. Of course we also discuss what brought you to holistic massage in the first place.
If you feel that you need a massage to fix a sore neck you might think to yourself "Why does this woman need to ask all these questions about me? Just massage my neck!" Rest assured - your neck will get worked on! I want to focus the session on your priorities but I also want us both to think about what might cause the sore neck in the first place. Sometimes the answer is simple - (you hold your phone between your ear and your neck on long calls) and the answer might also be simple (get a handsfree kit?) But sometimes the answer isn't so obvious. We all have negative emotions and when these aren't tended to we can store these emotions as physical tension and pain in our body.
"Shouldering too many responsibilities is a pain in the neck. If you suffer from neck and shoulder tension, it’s likely that you're overly burdened. Rather than ask for help from others, you’re likely to do everything yourself. This most often leads to neck and shoulder tightness. Learn to delegate, ask for support, decide what is really worth taking on, and for goodness sake, share responsibilities with others."
Sean Grover. Psychology Today
The above quote is taken from this article in Psychology Today and is well worth a read.
Getting Ready for the Massage
After we have completed the initial consultation we'll be ready to start the treatment. I'll explain to you in detail what you need to do to ready yourself at the time so don't worry about memorising this!
I'll leave the room to give you space to get changed. In most cases I'll ask that you just leave your underwear on (pants, not bra) but if this makes you uncomfortable you are welcome to leave on any clothes you wish. Just be aware that I won't be able to massage the areas covered by clothes. At all times during your massage you will be covered by a towel or sheet and only the specific area that I'm working on will be exposed.
You will then lie on the couch and cover yourself with the blanket or sheet. I will give you a shout before coming in and I wait to hear your response before I enter.
During the Massage
Every treatment is different but usually we will start the treatment with a few deep breaths. We take a moment to gather ourselves and I ask that you use this moment to tell your body, mind and spirit that this is now your time and it is ok to let yourself relax.
Depending on what we discussed during the consultation I will use a variety of techniques throughout your massage. I use a lot of techniques you may recognise from Swedish massage. If this is your first massage then don't worry, I use light to medium pressure and different strokes and techniques, usually with my hands and arms to start to increase your general circulation and allow the body to release its tension. Massage is a catalyst that allows your body to start healing.
After the Massage
Once your treatment is complete I let you know that we've finished and I usually tell you to take your time before you sit up. Once you are ready to sit up I suggest that you give yourself a minute or so to allow for the blood flow to change. If you jump up off the couch too quickly there's a slight chance of dizziness or even black outs as your body isn't ready for your low blood pressure. Please never feel rushed after the massage. Trust that there is ample time for you to reset and gather yourself.
As before, I leave the room for you to change. There is water in the room for you. Please help yourself - I always recommend drinking more water than you normally would on a day that you have massage!
Once you're dressed I will let you know before I come back in and we can have a quick chat
about how you feel after the treatment.
This is a great time for you to give me any feedback you have (unless you can do this during the treatment). Feedback may feel awkward to give sometimes but it is invaluable for me to tailor your massage to your individual needs so please feel free to be honest with me.
At this stage, just before you leave to get on with, what I hope is a restful day, I may give some aftercare advice. This may be a particular stretch that might benefit you or some wellness suggestions that I feel may be of interest. You are then free to go off on your way, hopefully feeling like you are walking on a cloud!