Massage is a highly personal service, because each client’s needs are unique. What one person loves, the next may not. Knowing what to ask prior to booking, being prepared for your appointment, and communicating with your therapist during the session improves the chances that you’ll be happy with the massage you receive.
Someone may tell you it’s all in your head. Yet you know it’s not, because you’re feeling it, in excruciating detail, in your body. Movement education pioneers F. Matthias Alexander, Moshe Feldenkrais and Milton Trager agree that it may have started in your mind — way back when your body and your brain were learning together how to crawl, stand and walk — but it didn’t end there. Movement education theorizes that when the body establishes responses to its emotional or physical environment, those responses are carried forward long after the original stimulus is gone.
Jonathan Clark teaches children with developmental and communication disorders. He is also a certified massage therapist with a dream. “There are so many different things that massage helps adults with,” said Clark recently from his office at The Matthew Reardon Advanced Academy in Savannah, Ga. “I know it relaxes me to the point I can focus. I thought maybe it could help a child focus.”
Research into distant healing requires us to have new eyes. Furthermore, it may require a leap into the collective consciousness. And therein lies only one of many challenges facing researchers in their quest. Even the term “distant healing” reflects a response to the obstacles and objections within this field, for what we’re really referring to is spiritual healing, or prayer. The utterance of the words “spiritual” or “prayer” in conjunction with scientifically-based research is enough to raise the hackles of some scientists and doctors.
When I go into my garden with a spade, and dig a bed, I feel such an exhilaration and health, that I discover I have been defrauding myself all this time in letting others do for me what I should have done with my own hands. — Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1849
It’s difficult to find a gardener who doesn’t agree with Emerson. The reward, avid gardeners say, of cultivating the earth is nothing short of sublime. So what exactly is going on in the backyard plot that has captivated more than 85 million Americans? Well, in a word, healing.
In massage and bodywork, there is an elephant on your tables and chairs, in your spa rooms, and, in fact, everywhere you take the profession. Not the trunk and peanuts kind. No, this animal is metaphorical in nature, yet an animal, nonetheless. Strangely paradoxical, this elephant is the backbone of many modalities and to many of our lives, yet is often avoided in the name of privacy, sacredness, and because we just don’t know how to talk about it. The subject of which I speak is none other than spirituality.
Too much on your plate? Millions of Americans know how you feel.
Stress has become a “given” in our modern world, and a primary cause of physical and mental illness for millions of us. Small amounts of stress can be a good thing, keeping us alert and on-task. But unrelenting stress, whether from overbooked schedules, financial strain, too little sleep or too much bad news, can lead to a breakdown of body, mind and spirit. When an overextended life puts you on a collision course with disaster, there are simple steps you can take to recover a sense of balance.
For thousands of years, the Chinese have known the power of its healing properties, incorporating its use in their traditional tea ceremonies. Now green tea has found its way into the heart of Western medicine as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant agent capable of blocking the cancer-causing effects of free radicals in the body.
Santosh Katiyar, Ph.D., who has figured prominently in investigating the relationship between green tea and skin, says the tea has an “antioxidant activity superior to that of any other naturally occurring antioxidant known.”