Archives for posts with tag: alternative therapy

With so many types of massage and alternative therapies available today, it can be difficult to understand just what services a massage therapist is offering to you when you book an appointment at your local day spa. Although you don’t need to understand the intricacies of every type of massage out there, a basic understanding of any service you are about to receive is important for you and the therapist. The key to massage is clear communication between the therapist and client so your needs are met and the therapist can adjust treatment for your specific goals and requirements.

Reiki massage does not actually exist as a type of massage therapy. Reiki actually refers to the usage of spiritual energy to heal a person’s aura or situation. Massage can be incorporated into massage therapy however and many massage therapists receive training to combine the two practices and promote spiritual and physical well-being. But what should you, as a client, expect during your visit?

A typical Reiki massage will begin at the head and the therapist will cover the seven chakras or energy centers of the body. Reiki massage would be very different for someone expecting a traditional massage that involves kneading and muscle work. A therapist performing Reiki will actually keep their hands still during the appointment and the healing energy is sent through channels from the practitioner to the client.

A massage without muscle work may not seem like a massage to you so let’s take a look at what the benefit of Reiki massage offers to clients. Reiki is used to treat many different conditions including TMJ (sometimes called lock-jaw), muscle pain, tension, stress and injury healing and pain management (just to name a few).

Reiki massage does not require skin-to-skin contact and as a client, you should experience no ill side effects from this type of treatment. Reiki therapists are taught meditation and hand placements for the seven areas of the body. Reiki therapists transfer energy to the body and remove negative energy – treatment for different conditions or concerns may be fast or occur over a period of time. This is true of any type of therapy as severe conditions may require extensive treatments to obtain maximum benefits.

Reiki massage is certainly not for everyone and this article is not meant to encourage reiki as an alternative to more traditional therapies for medical conditions. Understanding treatments offered is the first step towards becoming a more knowledgeable client and make your massage therapy beneficial. If you don’t believe in or support Reiki try working with your massage therapist to find a type that is more aligned with your needs and goals.

As Western culture seeks new and more holistic methods for treating certain ailments, there are many that have been brought over from China and Japan and slowly introduced into United States culture. Always consult with your primary health care physician before utilizing any alternative therapies to know if they are safe and recommended. Some medical conditions are not conducive to receiving massage and any known medical problems should be reported to your massage therapist prior to your session.

Chronic headaches are becoming an epidemic in the United States. Headaches occur to all people at some point in their lives and although sometimes they are related to physical illness such as a cold or flu, often they can be traced to tension, poor posture, jaw problems, constriction in blood vessels or just stress. The average headache can usually be easily remedied with a basic over the counter head medication but what about those suffering from chronic head aches? What options are available to not just relieve their head pain but perhaps prevent it from reoccurring?

Before understanding the benefits that can be provided by massage therapy, it is important to understand types of headaches and why they are occurring. Understanding the source of your pain is the first step towards making changes in your life to end your suffering. Although not all problems can be easily gotten rid of, there are several techniques you can try to not let outside influences leave you suffering in their wake.

What Kinds of Headaches Are There?

Tension Headaches: This is an extremely common type of headache that most people will encounter at some point in their lives. It is usually a dull pressure or ache on both sides of the head and sometimes the neck. This type of headache can range in duration from half an hour to up to a week! Imagine trying to take OTC medication for that long without suffering some ill effects!

The Migraine: Perhaps the most unpleasant to encounter because of the sharp, throbbing sensations sometimes located on just one side or the head or spread across both sides. Most migraines last between 4 to 72 hours and are usually accompanied by other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and increased sensitivity to light and smell. A migraine, especially frequent migraines, can be very interruptive to a person’s life and ability to function.

The Cluster: This could also be referred to as a sinus headache as well because it is a sharp, throbbing pain that is typically isolated around or behind the eye. It can come on very quickly and be very intense for the entire duration (15 minutes to three hours). Other symptoms can include runny nose, watering eye(s), redness in the eyes and agitation.

Now as was previously stated, there are many reasons for chronic head pain and they should not be taken lightly. If you suffer from severe headaches on a regular basis, consult with your doctor to make sure there are no underlying conditions. Frequent headaches can be the first indication of some very serious health problems.

Once you have established that there are no other medical conditions causing your headaches, it is time to seek treatments that will reduce or prevent your headaches from coming back. There is nothing harder than trying to work, play or rest when a throbbing or dull pain is running through your head. Although medications can work to a point, they are merely blocking the pain until it subsides, not offering a cure.

Massage therapy is a field that can provide a variety of health benefits beyond the traditional pampering experience it has become associated with over the past few decades. Treating oneself to a massage may seem to be a self-indulgent practice but just imagine not feeling sore and tired every day. Picture a life without headaches and then try and tell yourself it’s not at least worth a shot.

What Kind of Massage Therapy Should I Try?

Once you have identified the source of your headaches, it is time to seek the appropriate therapy for that problem. Not all massages are the same and if you are seeking specific relief for an existing condition it is important to let your massage therapist know this in advance. They are trained to help you in choosing the correct massage that will provide the greatest benefit and meet the goals you are setting.

Deep Tissue Therapy is an intense massage designed to free connective tissue that has built up in the muscles because of stress. It may surprise you to learn that although we may clear up a tense moment or problem in our daily lives, the stress it created in our muscles remains long after. Your muscles tighten and this incredible tension can lead to frequent head and body pain. Deep tissue massage will help to alleviate that built up stress.

Integrative Bodywork this is a specific combination of techniques designed to improve posture and alignment. Poor posture leads to the head and spine not distributing weight correctly across the muscles and can build up tension in the neck, shoulder and back muscles. This type of therapy will target soft tissue to and work to remove stress and strain of those areas of the body.

Swedish Massage is perhaps the best known type of massage available. If you suffer from chronic tension headaches, this type of massage specifically designed to release tension and promote a feeling a relaxation may go a long way towards helping you reduce or prevent their occurrence entirely.

Final Thoughts

Headaches may be a daily part of your life but they don’t have to be. Don’t resolve yourself to a life of pain when there options available that can promote relief and bring you the relaxation you are looking for. Remember to seek out those influences in your life that may be the source of tension or stress and try to avoid them if possible. If not, learn new ways to approach these stresses so that the build up will not end up in your muscles and head.