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  words from the heart ...

by Harriet Clifford

Therapeutic Massage about more than alleviating muscle pain

                                                        Ziggy getting a massage!

Massage Therapy can help other issues, hands down. Many think of easing muscle aches and pains and mental stress when they hear the word "massage." But so much more can be addressed. Some modalities (styles) may also only engage certain body physiology systems, for instance.

Lymphatics massage, for example, addresses the (excess) fluids within and surrounding the cells. The strokes used to achieve this are very different than what's used for deep muscle or straight relaxation. That's why it's good to say "therapeutic" before massage and bodywork. It's a therapy to help body, mind plus the soul.

The term bodywork does have a deeper meaning than a simple muscle massage. The first part, "body" means just that. Other areas of the body (that can be addressed) besides or in addition to the muscular system.There's the connective tissue, for example (myofascial release is good here), and the tendons and ligaments, as well as interstitial fluid (cellular fluid). Or the circulatory system (blood flow), for another example, which is the primary system addressed with a Swedish style of massage. Or even our emotions, such as grief and sadness, can be touched upon.

And "work" means just that. It's a method or process used that "manipulates" or rather assists the body. So this does cover a wide base, wider than just "pressure" or "release" of muscle knots or letting go of stress induced thoughts. This is because of the many "tools" (learned techniques) that may be needed to address a particular body system to achieve the wished for result which is why getting a larger picture is more effective. The "body" is quite intricate!