The term Holism was coined by J.C. Smuts in the 1920’s to designate the;tendency in nature to produce organized “wholes” (bodies or organisms) from the ordered grouping of units.
Holistic Massage is fundamentally based around oil-based Swedish massage, but an array of techniques are incorporated to ensure that the client receives the best possible treatment. The treatment deals with the client as a whole. The aim is to rebalance the body so it achieves homeostasis (balance).
Some techniques that you can expect to experience during an Holistic Massage session include:
- Swedish Massage techniques such as efflerage, petrissage and tapotement
- Swedish massage, also referred to as “classic massage” uses five styles of long, flowing strokes to massage. The five basic strokes are effleurage (sliding or gliding), petrissage (kneading), tapotement (rhythmic tapping), friction (cross fiber) and vibration/shaking. Swedish massage has shown to be helpful in reducing pain, joint stiffness, improving function in patients with osteoarthritis and poor circulation.
- Deep tissue manipulation
- Designed to relieve severe tension in the muscle and the connective tissue or fascia. Deep tissue techniques focuses on the muscles located below the surface of the top muscles. It is excellent for individuals who experience consistent pain, are involved in heavy physical activity (such as athletes), and clients who have sustained physical injury.
- Shiatsu pressure point work
- Shiatsu is a Japanese therapy that uses pressure applied with thumbs, fingers and palms to the same energy meridians as acupressure and incorporates stretching. It also uses techniques such as rolling, brushing, vibrating and grasping..
- Mobilisations of limbs and joints
- Joint mobilisation is a type of passive movement of a skeletal joint. It is usually aimed at a ‘target’ synovial joint with the aim of achieving a therapeutic effect. When applied to the spine, it is known as spinal mobilization.
- Breath work
- Breathwork refers to many forms of conscious alteration of breathing. There are many psychological and physical benefitsProponents believe the technique may be used to attain alternate states of consciousness, and that sustained practice of breathwork techniques may result in spiritual or psychological benefits.
- Manual lymphatic drainage
- Manual lymphatic drainage techniques encourage the natural circulation of the lymph through the body. The lymph system depends on intrinsic contractions of the smooth muscle cells in the walls of lymph vessels (peristalsis) and the movement of skeletal muscles to propel lymph through the vessels to lymph nodes and then beyond the lymph nodes to the lymph ducts which return lymph to the cardiovascular system. Manual lymph drainage uses a specific amount of pressure and rhythmic circular movements to stimulate lymph flow.
- Energy holds
- Energy holds allow blood to flow to the area. It also serves to allow the release from the muscle manipulation to settle.
- Rockin and Vibrations
- Rocking allows muscles to release tension on a very deep level.
Some Benefits of Holistic Massage
- Mechanical cleanser (increase the interchange of tissue fluids emptied into the capillaries and lymphatic system)
- Improves circulation
- Brings about a state of general relaxation
- Relieves muscle spasms
- Improves muscle tone
- Produces an alpha state in which the body and mind are totally relaxed
- Promotes good digestion
- Helps release negative and pent-up emotions
- Helps remove toxins from the skin
- Stretches tight muscles
- Relieves tired and sore muscles
Precautions and Contra-Indications
- In areas of septic foci (because of the danger of spreading infection).
- In contagious or infectious skin conditions.
- Over the abdomen during pregnancy.
- Over the abdomen during the first 2 or 3 days of menstruation.
- In cardio-vascular conditions — except with medical advice, e.g. thrombosis, angina pectoris, hypertension.
- Over recent scar tissue.
- Over areas of unexplained inflammation and pain
- In any condition being treated by medically qualified person, unless they agree.