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Massage is one of the oldest methods of healing in existance, and it's very powerful in its ability to go beyond the surface of tension and get to the root of the pain. This is accomplished not only by the mechanics of the massage contact itself, but also by the energy flowing through the practitioner to the recipient of the massage. Massage is a very effective means of working with the physical body, but it's also very effective in the emotional and spiritual realms, making it an excellent tool for holistic healing.
There are many forms of massage, each with it's own attributes for improving health. LightTouch massage, for instance, identifies and corrects postural imbalance through very light manipulation of specific points, resulting in reduction of tension and pain. Deep Tissue massage, on the other hand, focuses on specific joints, muscles or muscle groups, with the practitioner accessing deeper layers of tissue. TriggerPoint Therapy applies pressure to areas of muscle which refer pain sensations to other parts of the body, leading to improved muscular function and immediate tension release.
The list goes on and on! There are literally hundreds of types of massage...Swedish, Thai, Neuromuscular, Breema, Shiatsu, Nerve Energy Alignment Technique (N.E.A.T.), Hot Stone Massage and so many more! The type of massage I like best, however, is the aromatherapy full-body massage, ala-Vibraceous! It's a little bit of Lomi Lomi thrown in with a whole lot of me. It's just what comes naturally!
Lomi Lomi massage is a traditional form of massage used in Hawaii. I didn't even realize that's the form of massage I was using until I saw it labeled as such on a video I watched, and then on others that I watched after that. I don't wear the traditional Hawaiian dress, and I don't do much of a hula dance when I am performing massage, although my body does sway and move rhythmically while I'm giving the strokes.
The main thing I see in common is the technique of the hands and also the basic intent of the massage. The Lomi Lomi masseus (or masseur) sees her or himself as a channel of healing energy which they are passing on to the recipient with love. That's the same way I see the work that I do. I take a moment of silence before beginning every massage in which I open myself up as a channel for healing good. Every massage that I give is slightly different, as I ask for guidance in where healing is needed and then I let intuition guide all my strokes.
As to the technique that I use, I perform full body strokes, with the forearms being used quite a bit. The strokes are smooth and flowing, and different parts of the body may be massaged at the same time. This creates an extremely relaxing affect on the body and mind. The mind cannot focus easily upon two separate parts of the body being massaged at once, and so it simply releases control and lets go, imparting a sense of inner harmony and peace. I incorporate a number of right/left brain integration techniches into the massage to take the mind deeper and deeper into a more relaxed state. Lomi Lomi massage also pays special attention to the internal visceral organs, focusing a portion of each session upon the abdominal region, helping to improve body function inside the body, as well.
The word Lomi Lomi actually is translated to mean, "massage," and it is considered to be one of the most profound forms of massage, as it reaches into the inner spirit where true healing occurs. Another name for this type of massage is the "Loving Hands Massage." This is because the intent of the practitioner is fixed upon giving love to the recipient and infusing it into each movement and stroke of the hand. To those such as myself who hold the spiritual belief that everything can be healed by Love, this is the most powerful massage in the world.
This type of massage is very effective in removing mental and emotional blocks to our healing, such as deep rooted negative beliefs, resentments, fears, and scars from past traumas which keep us from being well. Wellness is the natural state of our being. When the blocks are removed and techniques are used to restore a state of internal balance, then it is natural for the body to manifest wellness, given the proper nourishment and nurturing it needs.
Wellness depends upon many factors, and proper nourishment the body is something which can drastically improve ANY condition you're in! As a doctor of naturopathy, I can assist you in designing a nourishment plan for your good health, if you'd like, to include whole healthy foods and the proper use of food supplements to optimize your level of health.
Herbs are the original food-source of all vitamins, minerals, and other vital nutrients. I often recommend herbs when working with anyone in an effort to help them make the most of their health. Herbs are not drugs, they are food. They work in the body in such a way as to enable it to function according to its natural and perfect design.
In addition to providing nourishment, plants are also powerful healers. Plant medicine can easily be applied during massage through the use of essential oils. Essential oils are pure plant essences extracted through the process of distillation, and applied to health through inhalation or direct application, where the plant constituents are absorbed into the blood through the skin.
The main purpose of an aromatherapy massage is the application of essential oils to relax the body and mind, as well as to impart the specific effects of the oils being used. In my massages I use essential oils which are generally very relaxing, uplifting, and pain relieving. If more targeted results are desired, I am available for clinical aromatherapy massage, too. This is where I gather information from you to assist me in choosing the oils which would be most appropriate to target your particular condition of health.
It is commonly thought, even amongst many experienced massage professionals, that in order for deeper healing to occur that the deeper parts of the body structure need to be directly massaged, rather than just a lighter massage. The use of heavy oil is often seen as a detriment when giving a deep tissue massage, as they cause the hands slide a great deal, making it difficult to dig in really deep. When performing the type of massage that I use, however, it is not necessary to work deep in order to achieve good results. The essential oils go deep into the body to do much of the work, and the effects last much longer than without using the oils. Also, a more permanent effect can occur over time with consistent exposure to essential oils.
The carrier oils that I use also play a big role in the effects of the massage. I use high quality oils which still have their nutrient properties intact. I choose oils which are very nourishing and replenshing to skin as well as to muscles. It's important what type of oils that you use if you want to enhance the massage! A lot of practitioners use oils which are not beneficial, and many use oils and lotions which carry synthetic or harmful ingredients into the body. Remember...what you put on, goes in! If you wouldn't eat it, you should not put it onto your skin, particularly during a healing massage.
Healing music also takes the effect of massage to deeper levels. Music has the power to relax us and bring our being into harmony through it's rhythm and harmonic chords which resonate inside the listener, ushering peace and tranquility in. Even music which is meant to stimulate is very relaxing when it resonates within the deepest parts of ourselves.
And again, when giving a massage with the mind centered on love, there is no need to have to go DEEP with your muscles, if you can go deep with your mind and your heart! This is what to look for in choose a practitioner...someone who's able to freely give of themselves and devote the time to being a channel through which healing energy is able to flow. This goes deeper into the tissues than any amount of deep tissue work can possibly go.
Naturally Yours in Good Health!
Mary Jo Eshelman, ND, CTN, CNHP, D.D.
The information presented is the author's personal and professional opinion, and is intended for educational purposes only. Nothing printed here is designed to take the place of a physician's advice. If you are experiencing problems with your health, it is recommended that you consult with a licensed health care professional. All Natural HealthWorks! is not responsible for any damages or ill-effects resulting from the information presented herein, nor do we make any recommendations regarding your health. We are simply here as a resource for you in making your own choices for your health yourself.