Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Massage Therapy

A major part of touch therapy is massage. As John Harvey Kellogg, physician, and natural-breathing pioneer from the Battle Creek Sanatorium wrote, "The first healing gesture of the mother is to reach out with soothing touch--massage. The first healers of the human race, thousands of years before the beginning of what we call medicine, used hands-on healing--massage. Massage is the most ancient healing art."

In The Healer Within: Using Traditional Chinese Techniques to Release Your Body's Own Medicine, Roger Jahnke writes, "As people begin to choose natural healing methods for their health care, massage emerges as one of the primary therapeutic modalities. Hospitals and even corporations are hiring massage therapists to enhance health, help increase productivity, and prevent the negative impacts of stress.

"Most of the newer comprehensive cancer treatment programs have begun to offer massage. Many forward-looking hospital systems have nurses on staff who practice 'therapeutic touch,' a special form of therapy using healing hands.

"Many millennia ago Hippocrates, the father of Western medicine, relied on massage as a key tool for healing. Both ancient and current master physicians in the Asian cultures frequently make massage their primary healing specialty.

"Massage is available in every hospital in China. while it is particularly satisfying to receive massage from a trained professional or even a family member, it is possible and very effective to do it for yourself as well. The best part is that this can be done at any time of the day or night, no appointment is necessary, and there is no cost."

FYI...I've been reading this book and learning how to do this self-massage, and it really does work. It doesn't compare to a massage I had in a bathhouse in Istanbul when I was 22 (that's another story), but it does help me relax.

10 comments:

Mariposa said...

I am a sucker for massage...I can have it everyday!!!

And I'm so interested about this giving ourselves a massage concept...I will search for this book and will make some research on this.

Wellness Writer said...

If I could afford it, I would have it every day too. This self-massage is quite different and not nearly as pleasurable!

However, as a way of reducing tension and getting rid of areas of pain or helping me relax, it does work!

catatonickid said...

Have you ever tried acupressure? I am currently learning how to do it, slowly. It's much easier to do on yourself than other massage techniques I've tried.

You've inspired me to go get a 'real' massage though. It has been on my to-do list for a few weeks now.

Gianna said...

when I worked in hospice there was one man who asked me to massage his feet everyday I was there.

that was so beautiful for me because he would simply look ecstatic getting those foot massages on his death bed.

Beautiful intimate moments...

I get shiatsu massage whenever I can afford it...it's an amazing japanese style acupressure massage. The skill of the masseuse is important...I've never found anything else as transformative as shiatsu in the world of massage...

and yes, self-massage is great...as I told you here once before, I believe, my qigong teacher taught me "auto-massage."

I gave you the tip at the time of massaging your ears...did you ever try that...I simply go to the moon when I gently tug out on the sides and then down on the earlobes!! ha! I'm sure it sounds rather ridiculous!

Wellness Writer said...

Dear Catatonic Kid,
I'm not exactly sure whether the self-massage in "The Healer Within" is a form of acupressure, but I'll get a book out of the library and compare.

I have always loved getting massages, although I can only afford them periodically now. A great massage is truly a peak life experience!

Susan

Wellness Writer said...

Gianna,
Yes, you did tell me about doing self-massage, and yes, I did do my ears, which Jahnke also writes about in The Healer Within. It wasn't as great for me as it was for you, but it still feels good.

Thanks for sharing the story about the foot massages you did for the man at Hospice. How kind of you!

Susan

Jazz said...

Susan--
Massage sounds lovely...I've never had one from a professional before. Maybe that's something I should try.

Wellness Writer said...

Jazz,
To say you end up as relaxed as a "noodle" is true, but it doesn't do it justice. In addition, it feels so good it should be illegal (just kidding)!

Susan

Morgan said...

We are two massage therapy students looking to get a client's perspective on the effects of massage therapy for clients with bipolar disorder. We are looking to develop a more comprehensive approach to treatment and would love any feed back regarding your experience (good or bad) with massage therapy.

We look forward to this evolving conversation and greatly appreciate any insight you might have.

Thank you very much,
Morgan and Sarah

Wellness Writer said...

Dear Morgan and Sarah,
This is an old post and I don't think people will respond. I'm on hiatus right now but if you send me your email address, I won't publish it, but I'll get back to you.

Susan