Day 12: Bodywork
Therapeutic Massage and the Healing of Touch
“It is in the mind, it is not the body: my job is reaching the mind.” - Milton Trager
“The sense of touch is the massage therapist’s main avenue used to affect another being and is the body’s main method of gathering information about itself. In contrast, an artist uses the sense of vision, and a musician uses the sense of hearing to communicate with others. Touching can affect us physiologically, cognitively, psychologically and emotionally.” - Susan Salvo, Massage Therapy Principles and Practice.
Welcome to Day 12!
How are you doing today? Do you feel like some bodywork such as a massage would be the right thing right about now?
At this point in the Feast, you might want to treat yourself to a professional massage, or some type of bodywork at home.
Brush aside any thoughts that massage is only a luxury splurge that has no real health benefits. To the contrary, hands-on healing helps you unwind, lowers blood pressure, moves lymphatic fluid (which carries the bulk of the toxins released from your tissues during a Juice Feast), promotes muscle relaxation and boosts your immune system. During a massage session, massage therapists use their hands and fingers to press and manipulate your skin, tendons, ligaments and muscles.
The strokes gently move your blood, oxygen and lymph to various tissues and organs in a way that normally doesn’t happen in the bodies of most people. As a result, the person who is receiving the massage experiences a level of physical and mental renewal that is hard to surpass.
Massage therapy also assists with releasing endorphins into the body, which can help with pain relief.
It is able to lessen depression and anxiety while improving the condition of the skin, which is the largest organ of the body.
Hidden Health Benefits of Human Touch
Today, numerous well respected studies indicate that massage therapy doesn’t only feel good, it also may be good for you. Take a look at the health benefits below and discover the power of human touch:
+ Stress & anxiety relief
+ Muscle relaxation
+ Blood pressure control
+ Better circulation
+ Pain reduction
+ Boosting immunity
+ Enhanced cancer treatment
+ Improved quality of sleep
But there’s more – a study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine suggests that individuals who undergo massage therapy experience measurable improvements in their immune response.
Mark Rapaport, M.D., and his colleagues from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center followed 53 healthy adults who were divided into two groups: The participants received either 45 minutes of Swedish massage or the same amount of time of light touch massage, which is much milder and served mainly as a comparison to the more vigorous Swedish massage. After examining their blood samples, the scientists found that people in the Swedish massage group experienced a decrease in cortisol and a significant increase in lymphocytes, cells that keep our immune system strong.
“More research is ahead of us but it appears that a single massage may deliver a measurable benefit,” Rapaport said in a news release.
Massage is far more potent therapy than most people realize. In fact, it can (and should) replace analgesics as a treatment for tension headaches. As it turns out, it takes only a 30-minute massage on cervical trigger points to boost autonomic nervous system regulation and alleviate the symptoms. Patients also report an improvement in their psychological and physiological state, which goes hand in hand with the reduction in stress and anxiety associated with such a disturbing condition.
The Field of Bodywork
FOR CENTURIES, the therapeutic use of touch has been applied to heal the body and reduce the tensions of daily life. Today, there are over 100 schools of bodywork that break down into the following categories and subcategories.
Therapeutic Massage: Lymphatic Drainage, Sports Massage, Deep Tissue Massage
Structural Bodywork: Rolfing, Hellerwork, Myofascial Release and Aston Patterning that employ deep tissue techniques to restructure the body.
Movement Re-education Therapies: Feldenkrais Method, Alexander Technique, and Trager Approachhelp realign the body through the correction of postural imbalances to promote more efficient function of the nervous system.
Pressure Point Therapies: Reflexology and Shiatsu apply pressure on various areas of the body to relieve pain and restore proper energy flow.
Bioenergetic Systems: Acupressure, Polarity Therapy, Therapeutic Touch, and Reiki, help balance energy in the body and bring about enhanced health and well-being.
Bodywork approaches within the field of somatic psychology: Bioenergetics, The Rosen Method, and the Rubenfeld Synergy Method focus on the interrelationship between body (soma) and mind (psyche). The majority of bodywork practitioners employ a combination of bodywork methods.
GIVEN THE LARGE ARRAY OF PRACTICES, we interviewed Juice Feasting Consultant Kelly Ordway in Montana to help us discern a bit what some good entry-level bodywork practices are that we can access during a Juice Feast. For even more detailed information, please see today’s file.
Treat yourself to your favorite juice today, and do something that makes you laugh! After all, one of the main reasons that you are Juice Feasting is to feel fantastic!
Finding a Bodywork Practitioner
To find a practitioner in your area in the U.S., see the American Massage Therapy Association’s search engine.
For a group of International Listings, see the Online Articles section below for links.
As you will see in today’s Download on Bodywork, there are almost as many types of bodywork as there are reasons for receiving it. If you feel that something in this file resonates with you at this point in the fast, or later, get you in touch with an excellent practitioner.
Consider some bodywork to help your Juice Feast along – particularly a lymphatic drainage massage!
See you in The Green Room!
Researchers in Cedars-Sinai’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences have reported people who undergo massage experience measureable changes in their body’s immune and endocrine response.
Researchers at the University of Granada — in collaboration with the Clinical Hospital San Cecilio and the University Rey Juan Carlos — have shown that the psychological and physiological state of patients with tension headache improves within 24 hours after receiving a 30-minute massage.
The investigation conducted by the Group Health Research Institute in Seattle involved 400 patients who had low back pain, the majority of which were middle aged, Caucasian and female. Researchers found those who were given a series of relaxation massage or structural massage were better able to work and be active than those who were given traditional medical care, such as pain pills, muscle relaxants or physical therapy.
Massage is a common alternative treatment for chronic low back pain, but most recent studies have found little evidence that it works. A group of researchers designed a study to see if they could find a difference between back pain sufferers who got massage and those who did not.
Those who received massage scored significantly better on both symptom and function tests, and they spent less time in bed, used less medicine and were more satisfied with their current level of back pain.
Exciting and proven benefits of massage begin with the very young. In one study, preterm infants gained 47% more weight, were discharged six days earlier (at a hospital cost savings of $10,000 per infant), and become more socially responsive. If the 470,000 preemies born in the U.S. each year were to receive this simple, soothing, and natural treatment, that would translate to annual savings of 4.7 billion dollars.
Preschool children who receive massage right before bedtime fall asleep sooner and stay asleep longer.
Read on for impacts on adults with migraines, hypertension, and much, much more…
International Bodywork Listings
Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals (ABMP)
American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA)
American Medical Massage Association (AMMA)
American Organization for Bodywork Therapies of Asia(AOBTA)
American Reflexology Certification Board
Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation (COMTA)
International Association of Infant Massage
International Association of Structural Integrators
International Institute of Infant Massage
International Massage Association
Massage Therapy Foundation
National Association of Nurse Massage Therapists
National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB)
Pennsylvania Body Therapy Association (PaBTA)
The Spa Association