Massage Therapy

By Kathleen Christ, LMT, NCMBT

WHAT IS THERAPEUTIC MASSAGE?
Therapeutic Massage is the systematic healing art of soft tissue manipulation (skin and muscles), which results in an impressive range of benefits to your health and well-being.

IS THERAPEUTIC MASSAGE A HEALING ART?
Healing is the sole province of the mind and body, and not the province of doctors, nurses or therapists. We can only be motivators and assistants to the body's own healing process.

ISN'T "FEELING GOOD" THE MAIN PURPOSE OF MASSAGE?
Correct, and this is precisely the aim and goal of every healing art known to man. When all of the body's complex systems are in good working order and in balance with each other, the body is healthy and consequently "feels good." Therapeutic massage can greatly assist in the achievement of all the health benefits that result in "feeling good."

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF THERAPEUTIC MASSAGE?
When used as a consistent, systematic regime prior to emergency conditions, therapeutic massage will promote the body's own natural prevention and healing process:

  • Increases blood and lymph fluid circulation (extremely vital to the body's healing process).
  • Increases efficiency of the immune system.
  • Increases respiratory efficiency through deeper, easier breathing.
  • Substantially reduces the effects of stress and related problems.
  • Reduces blood pressure.
  • Reduces tension-related headaches.
  • Reduces muscles spasm and stiffness.
  • Reduces healing time of pulled muscles, sprains and swelling.
  • Helps to reduce muscular pain and atrophy.
  • Enhances muscle tone.
  • Speeds the removal of metabolic waste products, allowing more oxygen and nutrients to reach the cells.
  • Promotes better posture.
  • Provides complete mind/body relaxation.
  • From these health benefits, you can achieve:
  • Reduction of anxiety.
  • An enhanced self-image.
  • Greater ease of emotional expression.
  • Increased awareness of mind/body harmony.
  • Increased awareness of stress and tension signals.
  • An integrated glowing feeling of well-being.

These in turn promote:

  • Greater capacity for clear thinking.
  • Greater state of rational alertness.
  • Peaceful, more vital approach to living.


HASN'T MASSAGE BEEN MOSTLY A FRONT FOR OTHER ACTIVITIES?
The lure and cover of the legitimate benefits of massage has, indeed, been grossly abused by persons using it as a front for other activities. The dedicated massage therapist is as diametrically opposed to these front operations as the pharmacist is opposed to the drug-pusher. You will discover that your professional massage therapist possesses a strict code of ethical behavior which cannot be compromised or abridged.

WHAT ABOUT MODESTY?
During massage, you are covered by a body drape. In order to provide the maximum range of health benefits, your therapist requires direct hands-on access to all muscle-groups of the body. However, if this makes you uncomfortable, you should wear whatever clothing is necessary to maintain your complete peace of mind. Your therapist understands these concerns and will modify your treatments accordingly, as he or she is only interested in helping you achieve the beneficial state of total relaxation.

In time, though, you will discover that your therapist does not perceive your body as clothed or not clothed, but simply as a whole person who needs to be kneaded.

CAN I BE HURT?
No. A qualified and well-trained massage therapist will never inflict pain. Your therapist will ask if you have any varicosities or vascular disease, diabetes, recent surgery or other medical conditions. These conditions will not keep you from getting a massage, but will assist the therapist in determining the type, depth and speed of the massage strokes used.

O.K. BUT WHY HAVEN'T I HEARD OF THIS BEFORE?
Due largely to abuse, misinformation and misunderstanding of massage therapy, it has yet to become an integral part of our American culture. Consequently, we have turned into a society of drugs and violence in search of relief from the destructive stress and tension of our daily lives. Therapeutic massage provides a safe, healthy, drug-free, violence-free avenue to that relief and a better, longer life.

SO, TELL ME ABOUT THE MASSAGE ITSELF?
You will lie upon a specially designed table built for complete supportive relaxation. Soft, relaxing music will fill the air. You will be fully covered with a body drape to preserve your body's warmth. Only the part of the body being worked on will be exposed. Your therapist will perform a systematic variety of strokes for each part of the body. Your muscles and connective tissue will stretch and loosen. Sensory receptors will activate the brain to release endorphins, the body's natural pain-killers. The natural healing process will escalate to new heights and stress and tension will lift and vanish.

MASSAGE IN HEALING WATERS
Freeing the body, mind, emotions and spirit in the weightless environment of water is an incredible return and remembering of inner peace, harmony and balance. Especially beneficial to anyone with orthopedic and neurological problems or any of the following diseases: Chronic Pain, Arthritis, Neuromuscular Disorders, Chronic Headaches, Chronic Fatigue, Hyperactivity, Autism, Sleep Disorders, Anxiety Disorders, Cerebral Palsy, Multiple Sclerosis, Spinal Cord Injuries, Polio, Rhett's Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Abuse Issues, Depression, Addictions, Parkinson's Disease and Brain Injury.

WHAT IS WATSU?
In Watsu (warm water shiatsu massage), the client is floated in skin-temperature 95°F. water, continuously supported by the buoyancy of the water and the practitioner's arms. Profound relaxation, rebalancing, and a deep meditative state are the result as the person is gently rocked, stretched, arched, cradled, twisted, pulled, folded and swirled.

WHAT IS WASSERTANZEN?
Wassertanzen was developed in Switzerland in 1987 and takes the flow of Watsu and moves it to the underwater realm. Clients experience movement in a new, playful and exhilarating way and also enter more deeply into peace and tranquility. Waterdancing is considered an advanced aquatic technique which incorporates elements of Aikido, dolphin movements, rolls, inversions, massage and dance. Clients wear a nose plug during this therapy.

GIFT CERTIFICATES
For birthdays, special thank-you's, gifts to your parents, spouse, boss, secretary or co-workers. It's truly the gift that keeps on giving.

ABOUT OUR MASSAGE THERAPISTS
All the massage therapists with the St. Louis Aquatic Healing Center are thoroughly trained, certified, insured and fully practicing and experienced massage therapists. We are very proud of the unique specialties and a wide range of experience that we are able to bring to the St. Louis area. You are in very good hands, indeed!