Balance Blog

Sep 24th

Massage Therapy is Changing – What Does it Mean for You?

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Statistics show that the number of people receiving massage therapy is on the rise in the U.S.  You may be one of the people who have experienced the benefits of massage – relaxation, pain relief and emotional balance, among others.  Massage therapy can help heal many aspects of our selves – physical, emotional, mental, and often energetic or spiritual.

Here in Louisville, our clients who have had massage for pain and injuries already understand the benefits of therapeutic massage and how well it can complement Western medicine.  Sometimes, a skilled massage therapist can even help a person avoid medical interventions such as surgery.  Clients and massage therapists have long known of the profound healing benefits of touch; getting the Western medical establishment on board has proven to be more challenging.

Some Louisville insurance companies will pay for massage therapy, but typically only if it’s been prescribed by a doctor.  Growing the number of doctors who support this type of bodywork would help grow the number of insurance companies that would be willing to cover it, allowing more and more people access to the healing benefits of skilled touch.

The massage profession has changed direction dramatically in recent years, veering away from the approach less likely to gain mainstream acceptance –  holistic and energetic approaches, components that may have in the past tagged massage therapists

as “new age”.  In order to gain acceptance in the mainstream, the profession overall has veered away from the more holistic approach, focusing more on “research-based” massage.

Allowing more people, especially those who may otherwise not be able to afford bodywork, access to massage through their insurance is a worthy cause.  However, this shift in focus toward “medical” massage tends to lead massage therapists to let go of the aspect of our work that so many of our clients need – the touch of kindness, the message that this is a whole person, not simply a body to be “fixed”.  The nervous system responds best to kindness  – to hands that can quietly respond to the body’s subtle messages, finding just the right pressure and speed, allowing deeper relaxation – and it’s in that deeply relaxed state that a person is able to best receive the full benefit of massage therapy.  Massage meditation?  Exactly.

When looking for a massage therapist, consider someone who combines excellent technical training and research with a holistic approach.  During your session, try becoming quiet, breathing deeply and slowly and allowing yourself to sink into the experience.   You may be surprised by what a difference this can make in your healing.

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