As you lie on the table under crisp, fresh sheets, hushed music draws you into the moment. The smell of essential oil aromatherapy fills the air and you hear the gentle sound of organic coconut oil being warmed in your therapist's hands. The pain of age, the throbbing from your over-stressed muscles, the sheer need to be touched kindly--all cry out for the therapeutic hands to start their work. Once the session gets underway, the problems of the world fade into an oblivious blur of minutes filled with sighs, pain relief and relaxation. Knowing hands find knot after tender knot of ischemic tissue desperately in need of attention. You lose count as you feel each one melt away...taking with it all the tension and the stress of the day. At the end of your session, all you can comprehend at that moment is not wanting it to end.
But what if that massage did more for you than just take the pressure of the day away? What if that gentle, Swedish Massage helped you combat cancer? What if the deep yet gentle bodywork helped you recover from a strained hamstring in half the time? What if the headaches, backaches and joint pain you experience on a daily basis could be treated without surgery or heavy pain-killers? What if your sleep, digestion and mood all improved with massage and bodywork? What if these weren't just "what ifs"?
New (and old) Evidence is showing that there is more to massage than once was thought. Research has and still is proving that touch therapy coupled with sound science can do much in the realm of pain management and stress relief. Combined the hard facts with a therapist who understands AND has compassion.... and well that is where the magic happens. Here's why.
Massage, as a healing tool, has been around for thousands of years in almost every culture. Touching is a natural human reaction to pain and stress, and for conveying compassion and support. Think of the last time you bumped your head or had a sore calf. What did you do? Rubbed it, right? Who doesn't like to have his/her back or feet rub after having a bad day? Most people like to be comforted with a hug, pat on the back or even just holding hands through a tough time? Touch is reassuring. Touch is soothing. The same was true of our earliest ancestors. Healers throughout time and throughout the world have instinctively and independently developed a wide range of therapeutic techniques using touch. Many are still in use today, and with good reason.
We now have scientific proof of the benefits of massage, benefits ranging from treating chronic diseases and injuries to alleviating the growing tensions of our modern lifestyles. Having a massage does more than just relax your body and mind- there are specific physiological and psychological changes which occur, even more so when massage is utilized as a preventative, consistent proactive therapy and not simply a mere luxury. Massage not only feels good, but it can possibly cure what ails you.
The Consequences of Stress. Experts estimate that 80 percent to 90 percent of disease is STRESS-related. Massage and bodywork is there to combat that frightening number by helping us remember what it means to relax. Do you remember how to relax? The physical changes massage brings to you body can have a positive effect in many areas of your life. Besides increasing relaxation and decreasing anxiety, massage lowers blood pressure, increase circulation, improves recovery from injury and surgery, helps you sleep better and can increase your concentration. It reduces fatigue, risk of injury, need for surgery/medication and gives you more energy to handle life, work, family and stressful situations. Who couldn't benefit from that?
Massage is a perfect elixir for good health, but it can also provide an integration of body and mind. By producing a meditative state or heightened awareness of living in the present moment, massage can provide emotional and spiritual balance, bringing with it true relaxation and peace. We call it Table Meditation. Can you remember the last time you were aware of your own breath....your own heartbeat?
The incredible benefits of massage are doubly powerful if taken in regular "doses". Dr. Maria Hernandez-Reif, from the Touch Research Institute (TRI) at the University of Miami, is known for her massage research, along with colleague Tiffany Fields. Together, they and other researchers have done outstanding work proving the value of massage. While their studies have shown we can benefit from massage even in small does (15 minute chair massages or 30 minute table massage), Hernandez-Reif says they know from their research that receiving bodywork 2-3 times a week is highly beneficial. And if we lived in a fantasy world, Hernandez-Reif has the answer. "I feel a daily massage is optimal." Just ask Bob Hope and many other massage enthusiasts who made every effort to enjoy a daily massage.
It's undoubtedly a wonderful thing when your therapist begins unwinding those stress-tightened muscles, and your day's troubles begin to fade away. But it's the cherry on top to know this "medicine" only gets better with consistency. Just like working out or eating right. Massage is a natural addition to any health care maintenance program.
So what are the benefits of massage? In an age of technical and, at times, impersonal medicine, massage offers a drug-free, non-invasive and humanistic approach based on the body's natural ability to heal itself. So what exactly are the benefits to receiving regular massage and/or bodywork treatments?
Increased Circulation, allowing the body to pump more oxygen and nutrients into tissue and vital organs.
Stimulates the flow of lymph, the body's natural defense system, against toxic invaders. For example, in breast cancer patients, massage has been shown to increase the cells that fight cancer.
Increased circulation of blood and lymph improves the condition of the body's largest organ- the skin.
Relaxes and softens injured and overused muscles.
Reduces spasms and cramping.
Increases joint flexibility.
Reduces recovery time, helps prepare for strenuous workouts and eliminates subsequent pains of the athletes at any level.
Releases endorphins- the body's natural pain-killer and is being used in chronic illness, injury and recovery from surgery to control and to relieve pain.
Reduces post-surgery adhesion and edema and can be used to reduce and realign scar tissue after healing has occurred.
Improves range-of-motion and decreases discomfort for patients with low back pain.
Relieves pain for migraine sufferers and decreased the need for medication.
Provides exercise and stretching for atrophied muscles and reduces shortening of the muscles for those with restricted range of motion.
Assists with shorter labor for expectant mothers, as well as less need for medication, less depression and anxiety, and shorter hospital stays.
Give the elderly and terminal ill comfort and compassionate means of care when they need it most.
As a society, we are touch deprived and this can lead to disease or emotional dysfunction. From the cradle to the nursing home, tactile stimulation and the emotional assurance of caring touch brings about a sense of well-being and security. Remember the last time you had a good hug? Did you sigh and melt into it? Did it make you feel loved and cared for? Compassionate and caring touch helps on all levels- emotionally, mentally, spiritually and physically. It really is the perfect gift to yourself and the people you love.
At Kneaded Energy Therapeutic Massage, our goal is to provide excellent hands-on expertise with the intent to help you address your areas of pain, stress and dysfunction without unnecessary hurting you in the process. Our motto is "Hands with a Heart" because we believe both smart hands and a compassion heart are needed to be effective in this touch based "medicine".
Andrea has and is still obtaining more training and certifications so that she has a vast array of knowledge at her mental fingertips. This training and Continuous Educational Units (CEUs) have and will cover topics such as Anatomy, Physiology, Kinesiology, Pain Management, and a barrage of different modalities and techniques. 2016 promises to be an exciting year, the start of her 5th year in practice. It started with her move to Main Street where she will start a series of instructer-led workshops for other licensed massage therapists while obtaining her CEU Provider Certification. As a provider she will be able to offer her training of massage modalities and techniques to other massage therapists so they too can further their knowledge. It is even possible she will eventually, in the years to come, produce her own training courses and distance learning training via the internet. Exciting times indeed.
Although Andrea has a wealth of knowledge at her fingertips, she does not have an abundance of time. At this time Andrea is not taking new clients into her select group of loyal patrons of whom the majority have remained with her since she was a student. Andrea thanks you for your time, and hopes that when she is once again taking new clients that you will consider her service.