I think massage should be used as an ongoing way to help you stay supple and healthy. I usually recommend harmonic massage after the more specific treatment for pain or injury. Read on and let me explain why this may well be the best style of massage in Edinburgh, if not the entire UK.
Most massage therapists will perform almost the same routine on everyone and without you moving or moving very little. If you think about it, the aim of most massage sessions (outwith a spa) is to reduce tension and free up movement in your body to allow you to move more easily without pain or restriction. So why is it done in a static position?
When I perform a harmonic massage session, which is generally after I have resolved any pain issues (see below on why a general massage may not be enough for your pain) I include 2 aspects that you won’t find elsewhere. I incorporate movement into all my techniques and I adapt my techniques to your specific requirements.
The importance of incorporating movement into massage: harmonic massage
Movement helps with assessment. All medical orthopaedic assessments involve some form of movement. The movements are deliberate and very specific because they are assessing for a specific injury or problem. By incorporating movement into a massage session I am continuously assessing where your stiffnesses are coming from and which structures are in need of more attention. I am also more aware of how effective I am being. If the overall goal is to remove stiffness and increase suppleness then by incorporating movement I can assess in real time how beneficial the techniques are being and adapt them accordingly.
Movement helps with the release of tension and stiffness. Most of the time stiffness and tension is a holding behaviour. Static massage may relax the muscles while they are still but it won’t change the behaviour, which is the real reason you are stiff. By incorporating movement into the massage session I am encouraging you to get used to not being in that holding behaviour. You will become more aware of your own movement behaviour.
The structures I am working on are designed to move. The body responds to the demands you put on it. By encouraging movement the tissues will respond by allowing movement. They will naturally become more pliable, less sticky, less knotted and less tense.
The importance of adapting techniques as we go along:
There are loads of types of massage available. The most common being Swedish Massage, which uses gentle, full body strokes with lots of oils. More advanced being Trigger Point Massage or Myofascial Release, which target specific structures in your body. You will generally ask for and receive one or another. This is fine but limited. Different parts of your body will require different techniques. We need to decide what is the end goal of the massage and I will continuously adapt my techniques to achieve this end goal. Different techniques have different effects and as your body responds to the massage I need to adapt to this accordingly.
This is true during a single session but also during more than one session of a treatment plan. Between sessions your body will adapt to the last session and to all the behaviours you perform in that time. Some of the benefits of the previous massage may have reversed. In order to achieve the end goal I need to be mindful of these factors and adapt accordingly. If I followed a rigid treatment plan through several sessions, as is the case in some forms of massage therapy, I will not be able to respond accordingly.
Massage as an art and a science
Most massage therapy is taught as an art and the therapist perfects it by practising the art. The science is rarely taught and therefore neither is how to apply different techniques to different situations and why some techniques are more effective at some times and less so at other times. This is why most massage is performed the same each time and variation will only depend on the type of massage requested. A Swedish massage is the same wherever you go. A myofascial massage is more or less the same whoever performs it. The therapist is performing the art of the massage, much like an actor is performing the art of acting. The only difference will be how skilful each therapist is in that art form. By understanding the science as well as perfecting the art I can better adapt my techniques according to your demand. Having trained as an Osteopath and been in practise for over 16 years I have an expert understanding of the science of all forms of bodywork.
The proof is in who uses my style:
Massage therapists will know who to go to for their own massages. Many have been and continue to use my style and many of those have requested to learn my style. This is why I started the harmonic release training courses
"What I didn't realise was that I would completely change my approach to treating clients and I have been a therapist for 15 years! The feedback from my clients has been mind-blowing! " - previous attendee.
So why don't you come and try a session of harmonic massage in my Edinburgh clinic and see for yourself. 07725844000