Indulgence or Therapy?

Indulgence or Therapy?

Tell the truth, what do you think of when you picture a massage?  White terrycloth tables, soft music, cucumbers placed on your eyes?  For many, massage is seen as indulgent pampering. But it can be more than just comfort; it can be treatment.  According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, “The benefits go beyond feelings of relaxation and wellness that people may recognize after a massage.”

Chrissy Boucher and Rhea Van Lingen, both Licensed Massage Therapists here at Interlocks, recently attended a special course for massage treatment of the back and neck. They were pleased to advance their training, learning more specific therapeutic techniques to “pinpoint” a client’s very specific complaints and chronic problems.

The 16-hour course spanned two days, with one full day each devoted to the back and the neck.  Both Rhea and Chrissy noted that the course expanded on the fundamentals they had learned during their original certifications.  They were also impressed with the breadth of advanced techniques for treating chronic and acute conditions.

“This has taken my practice to another level,” Rhea says. “With the incorporation of these techniques, I can see instant results in the muscle.”

Chrissy adds that the approaches she learned have helped her to better apply basic massage strokes.  She explained, “This class provided me with great background information and real examples of how and when to use cross fiber friction for specific complaints.  When we practiced the technique, I could see how it released tension and broke up adhesions to activate the sensory neurons.”   Rhea adds, “Sometimes people can be hesitant to get a massage.  If they are in pain, they’re afraid we are going to hurt them more.  We want to be the relief and the curative factor for our clients – massage should be thought of this way.”

Both Rhea and Chrissy feel that it’s important to talk to your Massage Therapist about goals for your session.  “The modalities that we learned helped us to identify tension spots,” notes Rhea, “and showed us how to address this within the tendons to get them to release and relax.”  Chrissy also points out the need for good communication with her clients. “We also learned about the contra-indicators, such as high blood pressure, heart conditions, or even specific medications,” Chrissy says.

They say it’s extremely important to know that a Massage Therapist will not provide a diagnosis.  They agree that in order to get the most out of your massage session, clients should indicate which problems are chronic or new, and if they have been given a diagnosis from a physician.  Chrissy says, “Our goal is to identify points of tension to alleviate pain.” Both feel these advanced techniques could provide relief within a short session, in as little as a half hour.

No matter what reasons we have for getting a massage, whether pampering, restorative, or therapeutic, massage is a proven ally for your continued good health.  Interlocks offers a variety of massage services from half-hour to two-hour sessions.

Additional resources on the benefits of Massage:
Touch Research Institute
Massage Therapy [dot] com
Medline Plus
Massage Therapy Foundation