Renewed appreciation for massage therapy
By Patricia Reynolds
I've spent the better part of the last two years researching and studying structural integration, due in large part to its long-term impact on the physical patterns of the body – and I really value change, not just physically, but internally, environmentally.
By Patricia Reynolds
I believe a huge part of what we do as massage therapists is create change, altering physical patterns, increasing range of motion, pushing circulation, enhancing the excretory process and the digestive process. But how many of our patients grasp the impact that these physical changes have on their mental, emotional and intellectual state?
It’s interesting to note the value we place on physical change — that which is tangible, that which we can see — and how little emphasis we place on our internal or subtle system, that which controls our level of physical well being. We notice right away when someone gains weight or starts earning more money, yet we often have no idea our spouse is having an affair or that our child suffers from depression.
Interestingly, massage therapy can aid in healing all these woes, and more. The truth is, as therapists we often put more value on those of us who can create long-term physical changes and yet, when we go for treatment, what are we as therapists addressing in ourselves?
The past few months I’ve travelled extensively and been booking a massage at the beginning and end of each stop. I noticed that I’ve been calmer, my digestion is more efficient, my immune system is super strong and I’m sleeping like a baby. As a result, I’m able to receive more love in my relationship, be more present to my kids, able to offer strong, steady support to my family and experience my own joy.
My point is that I never valued my ability to give a great massage enough. I’ve been so concerned about having the latest ‘fix it’ that I forgot about the whole person, the inside, that which creates the physical dysfunction.
I’m so glad I’ve had an opportunity to rediscover my passion for therapeutic massage and all that it offers to our whole being. This experience will help me keep with my intention in every treatment and align that with the intention of the patient to create a truly holistic experience for them, and hopefully an incentive to get on the road to becoming a wellness patient.
Patricia Reynolds is a sole practitioner with a studio in the west end of Toronto. She has provided massage therapy for over 17 years and in recent years has added yoga and structural integration to her repertoire. She continues to take an interest in the growth and ethics of the industry and holds health-care integration as her ultimate goal, to see massage therapy be considered an essential part of a health-care team in and out of medical practices of any origin.