Holistic Medicine & Massage Therapy: Body Mechanics & Positive Habits

A group of men and women participating in holistic yoga, massage therapy.

It can be difficult to know the right way to keep your body healthy, but the first step is knowing what is available. There are a lot of misconceptions around natural wellness practices such as holistic medicine and massage therapy. Likewise, this kind of misleading information can prevent people from applying healthy, positive habits in your life that could benefit your health. Let’s take a look at what these practices are, and how you should and should not use them to keep yourself healthy and happy.

Massage Therapy

To begin, the strategic manipulation of muscle and soft tissue groups to relieve physical tension and ease stress describes massage therapy. There are various methods and techniques that can make this process more intensive, and there are various ways to approach massage therapy, but a massage therapist uses their hands to work out minor problems in a client’s muscles and soft tissues while helping to gradually increase mobility and range of motion.

How Massage Therapy Should Be Used

To Relieve Muscle Tension and Discomfort

Throughout the course of any given day, your body sustains wear and tear. Even desk jobs create pressure and tension on muscles that can affect your comfort. Regular, professional massages from a certified massage therapist can help to avoid the prolonged effects of active and sedentary lifestyles. A massage therapist will also likely be able to help their clients identify specific trouble spots that are a reoccurring problem. This will help you decide whether you need a more frequent massage therapy schedule. You may also see if there are lifestyle or work changes that you could make to help correct the problem.

To Release Minor Toxins and Stress Chemicals

During a massage therapy session, the massage therapist concentrates on relieving tension and un-knotting problem areas. However, throughout that process there will be toxins and stress chemicals released from your muscles.

The soft tissues and muscles manipulated during an appointment will release chemicals and toxins that will flush through your blood and lymphatic system. Many massage therapists advise that their clients drink plenty of water following their massages to help the efficiency of the post-massage toxin flush.

To Help Ease Stress

Even if there isn’t a clear physical reason for you to “need” a massage, it can still be a good idea to get one periodically. For example, taking an hour or so out of your schedule to relax and get a massage can be a great idea. Regular and even semi-regular massage therapy appointments can help you avoid injury, while also supporting self care. Being relaxed can lead to greater productivity and allow your body to reach its full potential.

How Massage Therapy Should Not Be Used

As Treatment for a Serious Muscular Injury

While working the muscles and soft tissues can do absolute wonders for stress and strain, it is not intended to repair or treat injuries. Turning to massage therapy for medical treatment can be harmful for a number of reasons. Furthermore, massage therapists aren’t equipped or prepared for intense diagnostics. While they can give their clients an idea of how to help with soreness, they are not able to tell their clients the depth of an injury or to predict recovery times.

For Treating Mental Health Issues

Stress release is an important on-going part of self care. Massage therapy is an important part of stress relief. However, it will not help with severe mental issues. Using massage therapy is not intended to help combat serious depression or anxiety disorders. Massage is part of care management, not as the basis of or as a mental health alternative.

As A Remedy for Toxic Habits

It is true that massaging muscle and soft tissue groups can help the build-up of toxins and chemicals, but it cannot fix bad lifestyle habits. You can’t erase a night of heavy drinking and smoking with a massage the next day. Getting massaged by a professional massage therapist is not an excuse to neglect the other areas of your health.

Holistic Medicine

There are a lot of assumptions and opinions about holistic medicine. For example, some people picture Chinese herbal remedies and acupuncture, while some think of crystal healing. However, holistic medicine is simply an approach to health that considers the entire person: mine, body and spirit. How holistic medicine looks and what it entails depends on the preferences and comfort level of the person in question.

How Holistic Medicine Should Be Used

For Overall Mood Improvement and General Wellness

Most importantly, holistic approaches are important for balance. A balance of mental health and natural living can help make you more attuned to your body and aware of differences or changes in your mood. Being alerted to changes that are troubling will likely help you catch them earlier than you would have otherwise. Using items, tools and products that you connects to on a personal level will lead to keep your awareness up and your priorities straight.

As Go-To First Response Remedies for Personal Health

Natural based home remedies and holistic healing practices are tremendously effective when used responsibly. For example, making a trip to the pharmacy at the first sign of a cold may seem appealing for symptom relief. However, there is a fine line between needing medicine to help get over an actual illness and leaning on it for every symptom.

Having some muscle aches? Instead of heading straight for the medicine cabinet, you might want to consider a physical solution such as a yoga practice or a massage therapy session. Perhaps if you are going through a stressful period at your job, you could consider acupuncture or aromatherapy.

To Help You Stay Mindful of Your Body

Only caring for yourself when something is wrong, and can result in missing things that could have been caught earlier. Holistic medicine can be seen as a whimsical and irresponsible approach to healthcare by those with a limited exposure to a knowledge about it. However, if a crystal or essential oil is what reminds you to take care of yourself, then it is a useful tool. If holistic medicine and natural tools help you become mindful and present in your body, then holistic medicine is useful. If taking time out for acupuncture or meditation helps to regularly check in on your emotional and mental state, then it is beneficial.

How Holistic Medicine Should Not Be Used

As a Substitute for Professional Medical Help

There are wide sweeping rumors that holistic medicine can treat disease and cure illness. Which, if perpetuated by professionals in the industry, can do serious amounts of harm and long-lasting damage to clients. Holistic medicine can be a very useful preventative tool, and it can be incredibly beneficial in maintaining awareness about the changes, or lack of changes, occurring in the body. Practicing a holistic approach to health and enlisting the help of holistic professionals can help further your awareness. Alternative holistic options can be a valuable partner to traditional medicine, but holistic medicine should not serve as a replacement for it. Medical issues need medical attention and trained medical professionals.

As the Primary Foundation for Your Health Decisions

The all-inclusive approach of holistic health can help inform the decisions you makes for your self-care and general health. However, data and information should be apart any of the major decisions made about your health. Keeping your emotional and mental state in mind when making decisions can be helpful, but how you feel about something in your spirit doesn’t necessarily affect the reality of the situation. Rather than thinking of holistic medicine as a replacement for traditional medicine, it may be a good idea to have a holistic approach to health that uses and includes medical and health information as part of the mindfulness and awareness practices.

Want to learn more?

Did this information about holistic medicine interest you in becoming a massage therapist? If you are interested in the healing powers of massage, you can begin your career in massage therapy at Minnesota School of Cosmetology. Our short-term massage therapy training program is designed to be completed in as little as 5 months with full time enrollment*. Our massage therapy training program is designed as a holistic program that will prepare students to focus on body mechanics of their clients as well as develop positive habits for the therapist. Together, those two areas will provide a foundation that can lead to longevity in the career field.

Contact us today to learn more about becoming a hairstylist and starting a rewarding career in the beauty industry.

*Completion time for this program is defined by 35 hours per week.

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