Natural Awakenings’ Bodywork Guide
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HEMME Approach: Derived from elements of physical medicine, chiropractic, osteopathy and physical therapy, HEMME (history, evaluation, modalities, manipulation and exercise) was developed in 1986 by Licensed Massage Therapist Dave Leflet to treat soft tissue injuries and impairments. Pain relief results from restoring alignment and improving myofascial dysfunction. Learn more at HemmeApproach.com.
Hoshino Therapy: Professor Tomezo Hoshino’s technique integrates the principles of acupuncture with the art of hand therapy. Accredited as a doctor of acupuncture, he found that in cases of arthrosis (osteoarthritis) and other painful ailments associated with soft tissue aging, acupuncture afforded only temporary relief. Hoshino Therapy is often used to ease soft tissue disorders such as bursitis, tendonitis, muscular tension and back pain.
Hot Stone Therapy: (See LaStone Therapy Stone Massage)
Integrative Therapeutic Massage: (See Neuromuscular Therapy)
Jin Shin Jyutsu: A form of acupressure refined from ancient Japanese traditions, jin shin jyutsu acts to harmonize the life force within. Practitioners evaluate pulses, body conformation and symptoms to customize sessions designed to alleviate discomfort while addressing its cause(s).
Utilizing the hands as jumper cables to reawaken bodily energy, sequences of vital energy-points are held to guide, redirect and reestablish harmony in spirit, mind and body. Learn more at jsjinc.net.
LaStone Therapy Stone Massage: This soothing form of massage employs smooth heated or cooled stones to elicit physical healing, mental relaxation and a spiritual connection with Earth’s energy. Stones are placed at different spots on the body for energy balancing or may be used by the therapist on specific trigger points. Warm stones encourage the exchange of blood and lymph and provide relaxing heat for deep-tissue work. Cold stones aid with inflammation, moving blood out of the affected area and balancing male/female energies. The alternating heat and cold of thermotherapy helps activate all of the body’s healing processes with a rapid exchange of blood and oxygen and an alternating rise and fall of respiration rate as the body seeks homeostasis. Learn more at LaStoneTherapy.com.
LooyenWork: This painless, deep-tissue approach works with the connective tissue and fascial components by combining the techniques of Rolfing, postural integration and Aston patterning to free tension, remove adhesions and improve freedom of movement. It was introduced in 1985 by Dutch-born bodyworker and counselor Ted Looyen after he received treatment for a serious back injury and decided to develop a massage therapy that would promote recovery from injuries without aggravating the initial trauma. LooyenWork can also address the release and processing of intense emotions.
Manual Lymphatic Drainage: This gentle, non-invasive, rhythmical, whole-body massage aims to stimulate the lymphatic system to release excess fluid from loose connective tissues, thus helping to remove toxins. Lymph glands are part of the body’s defense against infection; blockage or damage within the system may lead to conditions such as edema, acne, inflammation, arthritis and sinusitis. By stimulating one of the body’s natural cleansing systems, it supports tissue health. It’s also been effective in assuaging lymphedema following mastectomy surgery. Learn more at VodderSchool.com and LymphNet.org.
Massage: At its most basic, this ancient hands-on therapy involves rubbing or kneading the body to encourage relaxation, healing and well-being. Today, more than 100 different methods of massage are available, most of them in five categories: traditional; Oriental or energetic; European; contemporary Western; and integrative, encompassing structure, function and movement. Massage offers proven benefits to meet a variety of physical challenges and may also be a useful preventive therapy. Learn more at amtaMassage.org.
Metamorphic Technique: This noninvasive practice can help individuals overcome limiting beliefs that may keep them stuck in particular patterns manifested in physical, mental or emotional problems. During a “Meta” session, the practitioner uses a light touch along spinal reflex points on the feet, head and hands of the individual. Some people prefer to lie down and may fall asleep during a session, while others prefer to sit up and chat. The practitioner does not attempt to direct energy or outcomes, and sessions do not address specific symptoms or problems. Rather, they help individuals connect with their own life force. Learn more at MetamorphicTechnique.org.
Myofascial Release: This whole-body, hands-on technique seeks to free the body from the grip of tight fascia, or connective tissue, thus restoring normal alignment and function and reducing pain. Therapists use their hands to apply mild, sustained pressure in order to gently stretch and soften fascia. Developed in the late 1960s by Physical Therapist John Barnes, myofascial release is used to treat neck and back pain, headaches, recurring sports injuries and scoliosis. Learn more at MyofascialRelease.com.
Neuro-Emotional Technique (NET): This mind-body therapy seeks to restore well-being by removing certain biochemical and bioelectrical charges stored in the brain and manifested as illness or imbalances in the body. NET combines techniques and principles from Traditional Chinese Medicine, chiropractic and applied kinesiology to remove blocks to the body’s natural vitality, allowing it to repair itself naturally. Chiropractor Scott Walker formulated NET in the late 1980s. Learn more at NetMindBody.com.
Neuromuscular Therapy (NMT): Specific massage therapy and flexibility stretching help balance the musculoskeletal and nervous systems, emphasizing the interwoven roles of the brain, spine and nerves in causing muscular pain. Its goal is to relieve tender, congested spots in muscle tissue and compressed nerves that may radiate pain to other areas of the body. (Also see Trigger Point Therapy.) Learn more at MyofascialTherapy.org.
Ortho-Bionomy: A gentle, non-invasive system of healing, ortho-bionomy reminds the body of its natural ability to restore balance. British Osteopath Arthur Lincoln Pauls developed the technique to stimulate the body by using gentle movement, comfortable positioning, brief compression and subtle contact to relieve joint and muscle pain and reduce stress. Learn more at Ortho-Bionomy.org.
Osho Rebalancing (or Rebalancing): This offshoot of Rolfing focuses on compassionate, gentle touch, combining deep tissue massage, joint tension release, energy balancing and verbal dialogue to relieve tension and physical pain, enhance relaxation and facilitate emotional healing. Rebalancing is usually done in a series of 10 to 12 sessions that work synergistically, although each session is complete in itself. Learn more at Osho.com.
Pfrimmer Deep Muscle Therapy: A highly refined system of corrective treatment, Pfrimmer is designed to aid restoration of damaged muscles and soft tissues throughout the body. Fully trained practitioners use specified movements to stimulate circulation and help regenerate lymphatic flow, promoting detoxification and oxygenation of stagnant tissues. Registered Massage Therapist Therese C. Pfrimmer developed this therapy in the mid-20th century and applied it to recover from her own partial paralysis. Learn more at Pfrimmer.org.
Physical Therapy: Traditional physical therapy evaluates difficulties with mobility or function to focus on rehabilitation that entails restorative treatment and instruction on how to make efficient use of the body in daily activities. Physical therapists use massage, exercise, electrical stimulation, ultrasound and other means to help the patient regain functional movement. Learn more at apta.org.
Point Holding (Body Electronics): This variation of acupressure requires multiple practitioners to hold acupressure points, sometimes up to two hours, to remove energy blockages, balance the flow of energy within the body’s meridians and help the client achieve associated emotional release.
Polarity Therapy: Combinations of therapeutic bodywork, nutritional guidance, yogastyle exercises and counseling aim at heightening body awareness. Polarity therapy asserts that energy fields exist everywhere in nature and their free flow and balance in the human body is the underlying foundation of good health. Practitioners use gentle touch and guidance to help clients balance their energy flow, thus supporting a return to health. The practitioner’s hands do not impart energy, but redirect the flow of the receiver’s own energy. The receiver then recharges himself with his own freed energy. Learn more at PolarityTherapy.org.
Postural Integration (PI): This psychotherapy method simultaneously integrates deep tissue and breathwork, body movement and awareness with emotional expression. Practitioners use gentle manipulation, bioenergetics, acupressure and Gestalt dialogue to help individuals increase their sense of emotional and physical well-being. Learn more at icpit.info.
Raindrop Therapy: Based on a healing ritual of Lakota Native Americans, in which warm fluid substances are dropped onto the spine, the intention is to relax and open the body’s energy centers. Modern raindrop therapy also blends aromatherapy, soothing heat and gentle massage. Essential aromatic oils are allowed to methodically drip onto the spine from a height of five or six inches. The oils are then gently brushed up the spine and lightly massaged over the rest of the back, followed by application of a hot compress to facilitate oil absorption and muscle relaxation.
Reflexology (Zone Therapy): Reflexology is based on the idea that specific reflex points on the soles of the feet and the palms of the hands correspond with every major organ, gland and area (zone) of the body. Using fingers and thumbs, the practitioner applies pressure to these points to treat a wide range of health problems. Zone therapy, an earlier name for this natural healing art, sometimes refers to a specific form of reflexology. Learn more at Reflexology-USA.net.
Reiki: A healing practice originated in Japan as a way of activating and balancing the life-force present in all living things, Reiki literally means “universal life-force energy”. Light hand placements channel healing energies to organs and glands and work to align the body’s energy centers, or chakras. Various techniques address emotional and mental distress, chronic and acute physical problems or pursuit of spiritual focus and clarity. Today Reiki is a valuable addition to the work of chiropractors, massage therapists, nurses and others in the West. Learn more at Reiki.org.