THE TRIPOD UPON WHICH THERAPY IS BUILT
Honesty: The therapist is honest with the
client about the therapist’s training, the
therapist’s intentions and the therapist’s
approach and plan of therapy. The
therapist refers the client if the therapist
thinks another health care practitioner can
better serve the client. It the therapist is in
a dual relationship with the client, the
therapist acknowledges and openly
discusses the dual nature of the
relationship with the client.
Awareness: The therapist is totally
present with the client. The therapist is
aware of how he/she is touching the client,
of how the client is responding to the
treatment, of draping, of room temperature,
of the sounds, of the smells, and of the
client’s state of comfort and overall wellbeing. The therapist takes responsibility for
being in a state that allows the therapist to
be fully aware and at service to the client.
The client feels that the therapist is
responding to the client’s body and is
aware of the client’s likes and dislikes
Compassion: The therapist is being with the
client in a supportive caring way. The therapist
actively creates a space of healing—a space in
which the client experiences: a sense of trust, a
sense of being taken care of, a sense of being
listened to and a sense of being with a therapist
who is totally there for the client. The therapist
works from his/her heart and from a vision and
commitment to heal and serve.
WHAT IS MASSAGE THERAPY?
Massage therapy is about being in a therapeutic relationship with a client. The student
must accomplish this before initiating the program they are in. It is the foundation
upon which the structure of the program is built. Without this foundation, the student
is merely a technician and not a true therapist.
The distinction of “being” is learned in relationship to “doing.” Beingness is the
foundation upon which doing is built. Before the student learns Swedish
Massage, Shiatsu, Acupressure, Deep Tissue Bodywork, Sports Massage, Trigger
Point Therapy and all the rest of the modalities taught, the student must first learn how
to “be” with the client in a way that communicates trust, healing, caring and
Anyone can learn bodywork modalities. The real bodyworkers—people that have
satisfied clientele, love the work and become healers—have learned and practice
“being” as distinguished from “doing” and “knowing.” It’s difficult to explain in words
because it is an experience. It is totality of attention. It is caring. It is service to the
highest degree. It is getting out of the way. It is being with another person through
your hands, through your heart and through your soul. It is a shared sacred space of
respect, total awareness and healing. If a student lives with the question. “What is
being?” in relation to bodywork, the experience can be transformational. It can change
the student’s life and turn him/her into a master bodyworker.
WHAT IS SEATED MASSAGE?
A seated massage is a
massage that is given
in a specialized chair
that is designed to be
taken from location to
location. The massage
typically consists of
three sections: a
beginning, a middle
and an end.
The client remains clothed.
Oil or other lubricants are not used.
Average length of time is 15 minutes.
It is portable and can be set up anywhere.
Privacy is not required.
It is a wonderful introduction to other forms of
It is affordable.
It is performed by a licensed massage therapist.
It is convenient.
TRIGGER POINT THERAPY
Trigger point therapy is a highlyeffective technique used to alleviate
chronic pain and dysfunction.
Trigger point therapy can be used in
several therapeutic settings as a
therapy be itself or integrated into a
session with complementary
techniques. Clinical settings like a
chiropractic clinic, for example, may
need a therapist to provide a session
of strictly trigger point therapy
whereas a sports clinic or private
practice may intergrade trigger point
therapy into a full body massage.
A trigger point is a
firm, palpable, highly-irritable spot in
a taut band of muscle fibers or fascia
characterized by exquisite
tenderness referred pain, and loss of
range of motion.
Several syndromes as well as
joint, muscle and visceral pain are
exasperated by active trigger
points. A few examples:
Chronic Myofascial Pain
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
The massage therapy
profession is growing rapidly
and becoming more widely
integrated into the health care
mainstream. As this growth
massage therapists will work
more and more closely with
other health care
professionals, such as
therapists, chiropractors, osteo
paths, and physicians.
Because these various health
care practitioners use the
language of anatomy as a core
vocabulary in their various
professions , it is important that
professional massage therapist
to have a strong basic
MASSAGE THERAPIST AND OTHER MEDICAL PROFESSIONS WORKING
vocabulary of anatomy.
HOT ROCK MASSAGE
Using rocks for healing is an ancient
practice by many native people.
Rocks are very grounding and can
be very nurturing. The simple
weight of a rock on your abdomen
or low back can bring the client’s
awareness to the area and promote
relaxation and calm. Add some
Swedish massage to the session
and you have a wonderful healing
and nurturing experience. The rocks
are smooth and when used properly
the client won’t even know the
difference from the therapists hands
and the rocks. The energy of the
rocks can be measured, rocks carry
a negative charge that acts like a
magnet to draw out and neutralize
energy in the body.
A SENSE OF SHIATSU
The origins of Shiatsu are
founded in Ancient China.
As European medicine was
introduced to Japan by
commercial traders in the mid1800’s, surgery and western
methods of treating infectious
disease were adopted by the
aristocracy which soon
forbade the use of native
oriental therapies. All that
remained was a degenerated
form of massage that catered
to the pleasurable indulgences
of the rich.
Despite a lack of acceptance by
the ruling class, the use and
development of hand
techniques continued covertly.
To avoid stigma, these hand
techniques were give a new
name, shiatsu, which means
For our scope of practice as it
applies to massage therapists
in the United States, a more
accurate definition would be:
A form of soft-tissue manipulation by
thumbs, finger, and palms, without the use of
instruments, mechanical or otherwise, to
apply pressure to the human skin to correct
internal malfunctioning, promote and
maintain health, and affect specific diseases.
CRANIAL SACRAL THERAPY
Cranial Sacral Therapy is a gentle,
hands-on approach to bodywork.
It deals with the bones of the
head, spinal column, sacrum, and
the underlying structures. The
main objective of this work is to
find restrictions and/or
compression in these areas and
use specifically designed
techniques to release these areas.
Once a therapist determines areas
of compression or restrictions,
gentle, non-intrusive techniques
are applied to release those areas.
Cranial Sacral Therapy can be
used alone or incorporated with
other bodywork techniques and
can be useful in relieving the
Chronic pain, especially in the
neck and back
(tension, migraine, cluster)
Colic, inner ear problems, or
in infants and children
OTHER FORMS OF MASSAGE THERAPY
Russian Sports Massage
Deep Tissue Massage