The word "holistic" comes from the Greek word "holos" which means whole. The aim of holistic massage is to account for the whole person and not just the physical symptoms or problems that they may be experiencing. In this way, holistic massage also focuses on psychology, nutrition, and environment. Holistic massage treats each person according to their individual needs so that the body can restore its natural balance.
Holistic massage uses touch, movement and energy in the therapy. It may also use relaxation techniques, calming music, essential oils, and other methods along with the massage itself.
Holistic massage has many benefits including:
When you first go for a holistic massage, the therapist will sit down with you and go over your medical history, your family history, and your lifestyle. This information means that the therapist will be able to tailor the massage and any other treatments so that they work best for you. The number of treatments that you have is completely up to you but the therapist will draw up a treatment plan that they think will work best for you. This plan consists of a number of massages performed weekly or fortnightly.
Each massage lasts for around one hour and is performed over the whole body. While a whole body massage is often performed, sometimes a focus area will be agreed upon between the client and the practitioner as part of the treatment set (if a specific area of your body is causing you concern and problems for example). The first session will take longer because of the detailed history taken beforehand. After the massage, the therapist may advise you on other things that you can do to help maintain your body's natural balance. This could be through things such as yoga, nutritional changes, a change in your environment, and so on. Often, the practitioner will give you some gentle stretching to do, or some gentle exercises that you can perform, as well as tips for improving or maintaining the treatment given by the practitioner. This means that you have some control and responsibility for improving the state of your health.
Massage in general has a fantastic range of health benefits but holistic massage in particular is capable of creating a significant improvement in your whole body because of its all encompassing approach. Some forms of massage, while still being beneficial, are carried out solely by the practitioner with a set routine of strokes. Holistic massage also gives you some tools in managing and maintaining the state of your own health, such as the correct nutrition for you, and helping you to find which environment you function best in (stress management and so forth). If these tools are used appropriately, you can extend the benefits of your actual massage for a longer period of time, making holistic massage perfect as not only a treatment tool but a preventative tool. Think of holistic massage as a way of reaching your optimum health potential.
Often, a holistic massage therapist is cross-trained in a number of disciplines and will have gone through a period of personal development in their own journey, giving them the ability to specialise in an area from immunity care, sports, mental health, to relaxation, to massage.