Massage & Bodywork


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SAVVY SELF-CARE best practices I've been doing more massage lately and I can feel it in my thumbs, wrists, shoulders, and the sides of my body. It's been really fun though, so I keep saying yes to appointment requests. Spending this extra time in my office with my hands on clients has me thinking about the art of muscle manipulation. The more I work, the more important it becomes that I pay attention to how I am working. I'm finding that the more artistry I bring to how I apply pressure and move tissue, the better the outcome for my clients and myself. I always wanted to be an artist. Self-expression is such a beautiful thing. The massage school I attended is called The New Hampshire Institute of Therapeutic Arts. Art—the word is right there in the name. Now, as a massage therapist, I definitely consider myself a clinician, but I also consider myself an artist. To me, bringing art into our work as massage therapists and bodyworkers is where the elixir of healing comes in. It is possible to manipulate muscle tissue day in and day out without adding much creativity and still manage to do some good for people. But in my experience, it actually hurts to do that after a while. The Art of Applying Pressure By Jennie Hastings Stancu 30 m a s s a g e & b o d y w o r k s e p t e m b e r / o c t o b e r 2 0 1 5 Bringing in our own sense of artistry then becomes essential so we can be the effective healers we are meant to be, for our sake and for that of our clients. I've realized, for instance, that more pressure is not always better. When I first started practicing, I listened to what people told me they wanted, and what they often said was, "I think I need you to go really deep today." It was like they were telling me, "the harder you press, the better." I wanted to give them what they were looking for so I would work as deeply as my joints could bear, often to my own detriment. Then I realized that what my clients were really saying was, "I think I need a really effective massage today." To them, deeper meant more effective, but as I worked, I started to realize that working deeply was sometimes counter-effective, and that the biggest releases could come with hardly any pressure at all.

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