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Therapeutic Bodywork to Release Tension

By: Sarah Knowles BA, MA - Updated: 27 Feb 2012 | comments*Discuss
Therapeutic Bodywork Massage Tension

Many people look for a specific type of alternative therapy that will relieve aches and tensions, while promoting emotional healing at the same time. While many alternative therapies promise these components, not every therapy is right for everyone. The key is to find a therapy that works for you, then stick with it.

Therapeutic bodywork, like the name says, is a therapy that aims to build a strong connection between body and mind, through the use of a special massage that blends together both Eastern and Western philosophies.

Like so many modern-day therapies it is a combination of both ancient and new, and as it relies on touch only it’s considered a non-invasive soft tissue massage-based therapy that works on many levels.

Principles of Therapeutic Bodywork

Therapeutic bodywork works on the main principle that memories exist not only in our brains, but also in the body’s tissues and muscles. That means that any type of trauma, whether physical or emotional, can leave an indelible mark on the body.

With this in mind, it makes sense to treat people on a level that changes the structure of the body, to make changes that affect their emotions.

This is accomplished by a series of rhythmic strokes, carried out after special oils are applied, that carry on from head to toe. This deep rhythm creates a soothing, relaxing pattern that purports to affect an individual’s chemical, emotional, bio-chemical and mental functions.

Soft Tissue Massage

Like other types of soft tissue massage, therapeutic bodywork seeks to treat all the soft tissues in the body, which includes the muscles, fascia, and scar tissue. Other types of soft tissue massage include:

  • Swedish massage. Doesn’t mean that the massage therapist comes from Stockholm. What it does mean is that you will be naked under a sheet while the therapist uses oils to knead your muscles and joints. Known as a “beginner” massage, Swedish massages are generally incredibly relaxing.
  • Deep-tissue massage. Great for areas of the body that are stiff and sore, such as the neck, shoulders and back, as it realigns the deeper layers of connective tissue and muscles.
  • Trigger point therapy. Certain areas, or triggers, are massaged. The idea is that they trigger referred pain in other areas, so getting to the trigger points can, in effect, stop the pain all over.
  • Connective-tissue massage. Works on deeper layers of muscle tissue, and is similar to Swedish massage but deeper and firmer, with slower strokes.

What Therapeutic Bodywork Can Treat

Therapeutic bodywork is used to treat a variety of problems, some of which are physical and others which have deep-seated emotional roots. Some of the problems it treats are:
  • Chronic back pain
  • Sports injuries
  • General stress and accumulated tension
  • Problems with circulation and mobility
  • Inflammation of joints
  • Emotional issues, such as depression
Please note that many other alternative therapies, such as reflexology, are sometimes classified under the general rubric of therapeutic bodywork, as they are therapies that promote deep healing in the body.

The term “therapeutic bodywork” can include many different types of massage as well, and also posture awareness exercise and therapies and other therapies which seek to expand mobility and movement.

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