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Dynamic Body Use In Massage

Massage is about movement, both within the client and also in the therapist (that’s me). A key to a good treatment, is using your body in a way that feels safe and easy for your client.

In essence, massage is physical activity where the connection between therapist and client is mediated through touch. Any communication, on its most basic level, is at the level of tissue and touch.

A synthesis of elements between Eastern and Western approaches to health, leads to a massage therapy that can offer an invitation to let go and allow a reprogramming of somatic patterns, whether they have been induces through, physical, emotional or energetic stress.

Massage can become a process, not a routine. A professional massage needs not only an understanding of anatomy and physiology, it needs a dynamic of ‘being with’ the client rather than ‘doing’ to them.

This approach can create space for the client, to be still within their bodies, relaxing their busy thoughts and coming to attend to their discomfort, breathing out pain.

As a therapist I imagine my hands in light touching and finding sore places, using skills and movement to release this.

 

UNDERSTANDING EMOTIONS & THE BODY

Touch is the first sense to develop in humans and the brain devotes a large part of its senses to touch. There are approximately 5 million touch receptors on our skin and 3 million on our fingertips, making touch one of the most powerful sensations in the body. Touch releases certain hormones, namely oxytocin and endorphins, which is why a mother’s hug can literally make everything feel better.

Oxytocin is known as the ‘cuddle drug’ and actually binds opiate receptors for pain relief and it’s involved in the healing of pain. One of its other functions involves social bonding and oxytocin encourages you to share your feelings.
It seems we have seven primal emotions, and they are either positive or negative, as you will see in the chart below.

Our brains make use of vital neurochemicals. One of them is neuropeptides. Mood, energy, pleasure, pain, weight gain, cognitive reasoning, ability to form memories, and immune system regulation are all tied in with neuropeptides. What makes peptides so interesting are not only their chemical properties, but also their ability to carry an electrical charge which can change a cell’s chemical composition. It seems, “our experience of feelings is the ‘vibrational dance’ that occurs as peptides bind to their receptors; the brain interprets different vibrations as different feelings.”
(Taken from a workshop on “Emotions & The Body” given in Johannesburg).

Anger is an interesting emotion to examine, and if we have been angry for a long time, cellular receptors learn to accept only the ‘anger vibrations’ and reject those receptors that cause us to be happy. It seems that even on a cellular level our emotions can negatively affect our health in the long-term.

IMPORTANT PARTS OF THE BRAIN
Frontal Lobe: The frontal lobe is the area of our brains responsible for higher cognitive functions. These include:
• Problem solving;
• Spontaneity;
• Memory;
• Language;
• Motivation;
• Judgement;
• Impulse control;
• Social & sexual behavior

Prefrontal Cortex: Controls personality, concentration & higher cognitive function (behavior & emotions)

Left & Right: The different sides of our brains also perform different functions.
The Left brain is involved language and related movement, helps convert thoughts into words; and is involved with positive thoughts.

The right brain is concerned with order and planning, non-verbal abilities and negative thoughts.

Given the complexity of our emotions and how they affect us all at a cellular level it’s important to encourage your clients to train themselves to veer away from angry and negative thoughts. This includes high levels of stress, which as you know floods our bodies with cortisol.

What is interesting is the role fascia plays in response to stress. It becomes thicker in response to real or perceived threats, as well as any other activation of the sympathetic autonomic nervous system.

By doing a thorough body reading on your clients, you will be able to deduct the extent to which their bodies hold negative emotions.

10 THINGS YOUR MASSAGE THERAPIST WOULD LIKE YOU TO KNOW….

Often a client will come in for a massage and even after you finish a medical history, the person won’t always tell you about past injuries, medications they are on or just how much their muscle hurts.

As a therapist, I’d like you to know.

  1. Your injuries, sprains, strains, breaks matter to me because your body holds muscle memory and a massage might feel deeply sensitive in a particular area of the body.
  2. “My legs are hairy,” is often heard as a client takes of their clothes. Honestly? It doesn’t matter. I’m interested in how best to help you.
  3. I don’t care if you are fat or thin, man or woman. I do care you feel safe, respected and nurtured when you come into a therapy session.
  4. Please switch off your cell phone. It’s obvious, yet so many clients have their phone go off just as they are relaxing  – totally jarring.
  5. Please wash your feet before you lie down – if possible. Otherwise I’ll do it for you.
  6. Give me feedback! Best not to lie silently if you feel you need to tell me something. Am I working too hard? Do you want me to work harder? Please let me know – I beg you.
  7. Breathe, just breathe. This is the one anchor in life that is totally free and can help you relax. Deep breathing at the start of the massage, will help relax a busy mind.
  8. Drink Water. I urge anyone to please hydrate after a massage because you will lessen any detox effects.
  9. Your comfort matters. Please let me know if there is a sensitive area you don’t want me to massage and I’ll avoid working on that spot.
  10. I honour and respect each person who comes for a massage. I use all my skills and knowledge during our session to make your massage a memorable one

The Place of Feet

As a therapist I start with the feet. Why? Working on feet helps a client relax, feel safe and offers me a deeper understanding of what might be happening in a person’s body. It is a place of a safe greeting for the body.

I end with the feet as well…. because once a client is relaxed, working deeply into the reflex points on the feet helps the person on a deeper level.

Reflexology is based on Chinese Medicine. In my studies I learnt about Meridians, and the 5 Elements. An understanding of this deeply interesting method of healing has helped me help my clients open up and cleanse typical reflex points that hurt.b

What is Reflexology?

It is a therapy in which pressure is applied to distinct areas of the feet which facilitates healing throughout the body. It is also a gentle art and fascinating science that is based on the knowledge and skill of the practitioner.

How does it work?

When the body is out of balance, it is not functioning efficiently. By stimulating the reflexes of the feet, an involuntary response is elicited in the organs and energy pathways connected to these specific reflexes. This sets up a chain reaction which causes physiological changes throughout the body.

Who can benefit from Reflexology?

Anyone, regardless of age or sex can benefit from this wonderful technique. There are a few instances when it would be advised not to have a treatment, but in all instances pain can be relieved and healing facilitated in the body.

If you want to find out more, I would love to offer you a discounted first treatment either in Cape Town, Somerset West or Pringle  Bay.

Put your feet in my hands.

Opening a Space for Meditation

Coming to a quiet space, where you won’t be disturbed, take a few deep breaths and invite your mind to a space of quiet. Take an observer’s view of your life, as if you are seeing it from a distance and consider these ideas:

1. Non-judgement:   Become aware of and stand back from the constant stream of judging and reacting to inner and outer experiences which trap us.

2. Patience: Patience is a form of wisdom that shows us to accept how events unfold in their own time. Why rush through this moment in order to get to ‘better ones?’ Being patient means being open to each moment, accepting its fullness, knowing that, like the butterfly, things can only unfold in their own time.

3. Beginner’s Mind: This is a willingness to see everything as if for the first time. It allows us to be receptive to new possibilities and stops us from getting stuck in the rut of our own experience.

4. Trust: Develop a basic trust in yourself and your feelings. In practicing mindfulness, you are learning to take responsibility for being yourself and trusting your own being. The more you cultivate trust, the more other people will trust you.

5. Acceptance: This means seeing things exactly as they are in this moment. You need to accept yourself as you really are before you can change.

6. Letting Go: In India they have a clever way of catching monkeys. If the monkey could unclasp its hand from the nuts laid for it in a trap, then it would be free. Letting go is non-attachment.

7. Commitment: A strong commitment to working on yourself and having the self-discipline to persevere in the process are essential to developing a strong meditation practise and a high degree of mindfulness. Like an athlete you can train your mind with discipline and determination.

 

There you have it. It’s bums on seats each day if you want to grow in mindfulness practise.

 

Massage Saves Your Posture

So many of my clients tell me how massage is such a ‘treat’ and how rarely they take the time to get a decent, professional massage. I want to clear this up. If you choose to, massage can form part of a healthy lifestyle and can prevent a host of injuries, specifically if you are active.

With ongoing massage chronic patterns of poor posture that cause unnecessary discomfort can be addressed. A great deal of stored emotional memories can be released with a deep tissue massage.

In his book, “BodyMind,” Ken Dychtwald addresses how different parts of the body store emotion. An instance of this is the lower back. “Most people with lower back trouble report they first experienced difficulty with their backs as a resulf of some injury or back-straining activity… Yet it seems to me that the back disturbance does not begin at the time of the acute injury, but rather that the injury occurred because the muscles and emotions of the back had been chronically held and contracted for some time, thereby predisposing the area to injury.” He goes on to point out that the degree to which a person holds tension in the loewr back is often an indicator of how compulsive or impulsive the preson is in day-to-day activities.

This is all good and well, but how can you solve the problem. Ongoing massage (usually twice a month) can gently and persistantly begin to resolve lower back issues. With your willingness to be aware of where you hold tension and combined with a good exercise programme, lower back pain should become more manageable.

Just remember, massage is not just a ‘feel good’ treat – it can become part of how you take care of your body.

TRANSFORM MIND & BODY with ReBalancing Massage

REBALANCING massage has its roots in Rolfing postural integration, liquid bodywork and is a fascinating body/ mind treatment system, incorporating technical precision with an artistic meditative approach.

Rebalancing was developed in the 1980’s by a group of health practitioners of different disciplines, such as Rolfing postural integration, Heller Work, cranio sacral balancing,  tragering, physiotherapy and massage. They were working together at the multiversity in Pune India and USA under the guidance of Osho to develop Rebalancing Deep tissue massage therapy.

Essentially the idea was to create a new form of bodywork that would take the best of the presently existing modalities and imbue them with a deeper perspective than was currently available. The main component of this new approach was to make awareness compassion and meditative breathwork a central feature of the work.

Rebalancing utilizes a combination of deep tissue massage, joint release and energy balancing, to counteract chronic holding patterns that contribute to pain and illness. Rebalancing views the human body as much more than its physical components . It recognises the emotional, energetic and spiritual aspects are of as much importance to our totality.

This highly restorative form of massage brings people back into harmony with themselves, so they can live their essential unity of body, mind and heart. It works with a unique synthesis of body reading, connective tissue manipulation, joint release, energy and breath work, body awareness training as well as emotions and their expression.

As the body releases muscular tension and relaxes, energy is set free. At the same time old and unconscious emotional and mental attitudes and patterns, which imprison us, come into awareness.
This helps us to a better understanding of ourselves and of our hidden potentials. We come closer to our innermost core, which enables us to live life more spontaneously and gracefully.
The essence of Rebalancing is a loving, sensitive touch. I combine 10 years of deep tissue massage work to deliver a truly transformative form of massage designed to meet your lifestyle needs.

Bodywork is one of the finest arts and therefore not only a question of technique but at first an expression of love. Rebalancing sees the body as a priceless gift and not as a mechanism that needs to be” repaired”. In this sense Rebalancing meets the uniqueness of each human being.

The treatment usually includes a series of 10 sessions. Though each session is complete in itself and one session is perfectly ok. A series of sessions has a powerful synergetic effect and allows the whole body to be systematically included. In this way it is suited to the individual history of the person, to their needs and to the challenges of their actual life situation.

THE BENEFITS OF REBALANCING

  • It recognises the body and mind as an integrated unit.Through work on the physical we can influence and regulate the balance of the whole person.
  • It is a powerful method to release deep-seated tensions in the body, mind and feelings.
  • It releases tensions through deep slow and skilful strokes, carried out with great ease.
  • It encourages deep breathing, to connect to whatever he is exploring at that moment, in an invitingly gentle way.
  • It educates us  to become more free and upright. Living in the body becomes a pleasurable stress less experience.
  • It is a process of transformation that allows freer energy flow and movement.

REBALANCING is traditionally done in a sequence of 10 treatments lasting approximately an hour. In each treatment the focus is on one body segment, bringing life and awareness to the areas we never notice.

The effects of REBALANCING are long lasting and a complete series of sessions will alter the way you feel and relates to your mind and body.

 

Live out Loud!

A life lived well and counsciously, is taking yourself to the next level of your incredible potential. As your consciousness coach, I can support you with your relationships, career, financial stability, health and creativity. I can see how great you are, and using powerful questions I ignite you into a new way of thinking and being in your life. What you thought impossible, becomes possible and doable.

It can lead you to achieve great results in a shorter period of time. Each session builds on from the next, and together we explore new possibilities and a greater vision for your life.

GREAT BENEFITS

Create new possibilities and live into them

  • Be inspired in every moment
  • Improve communication with self and others
  • Achieve goals that inspire and motivate you
  • Live into your vision
  • Leave a legacy  of greatness
  • Create clear intentions
  • Access personal power
  • Make major breatkthroughs
  • Align your highest self with your goals
  • Tap into joy, prosperity and abundance

VISION

To support others in realisiing their full potential and to be the cause and effect of transformation.