What is Holistic Massage Therapy?

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  • Written By: B. Miller
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 21 January 2020
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Holistic massage therapy is the use of massage to balance the entire body, including physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual aspects. The word "holistic" means "whole," and many people find that holistic massage is of great benefit to them in different aspects of their lives. Those trained in holistic massage therapy are typically trained in not just massage, but in nutrition, anatomy, and physiology as well.

Before an appointment for holistic massage therapy, many practitioners like to meet with their clients for a brief assessment of their health and well being. The massage therapist may ask questions regarding work environment, activities, the types of foods eaten, family history, outlook on life, and other lifestyle questions to help determine where work is most needed. These types of assessments may happen more than once, as the client progresses through the holistic massage therapy and begins to improve.

For many holistic massage therapy sessions, the massage will last about an hour, but they may also be longer or shorter. The massage therapist will employ different techniques and different amounts of pressure depending on the specific needs of the client. Massage therapists primarily use their hands, forearms, and elbows to apply pressure to muscles, allowing the muscles to relax, relieve tension, and release any build-up of toxins. Endorphins are released during a massage, which have been shown to improve mood as well.


Massage therapists assert that holistic massage therapy has other benefits as well. Massages can speed up the healing process in the body, increase circulation, lower blood pressure, improve skin tone, assist with digestion, encourage better sleep, reduce anxiety, and promote feelings of well being, just to name a few potential benefits. The basic goal of massage is to bring the different aspects of the body and mind into balance, and help it to heal itself in a natural way.

Another benefit is that massages are safe for virtually everyone, and can benefit people of any age, including young children and the elderly. Those with medical conditions should check with their doctors before receiving a massage to be certain there will be no adverse affects. In addition to the weekly or monthly massages during holistic massage therapy, the client may be asked to address their problems in other ways. Meditation, healthy eating choices, gentle yoga or other exercise, and cutting back on alcohol, caffeine, and sugary drinks in favor of water are all options that can extend the benefits of massage in between appointments.



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