By Jacqui Mulholland
You may have heard of the term “holistic” sometimes spelled “wholistic” when referring to certain health modalities and practices. Here we will explore what holistic means and how it applies in a remedial massage context, and why I choose to approach my treatments in this way.
What Does Holistic Mean?
Holistic means that the patient is treated as a whole person, taking into account physical, mental, emotional, societal & even spiritual aspects. Seeing all these aspects of a person all playing a function in disease, symptoms and the quality of the human experience. Believing that all of these parts are interconnected and interdependent and make up the whole of you.
How Does it Apply to Remedial Massage?
Viewing a person holistically in a massage treatment provides a wider lens from which to view and address the pain or symptoms. Whilst working to provide practical relief and improved function within the physical body, the therapist is aware of the potential to impact multiple layers of a person's well-being and health. The practitioner works within the scope of a remedial therapist in line with their training and experience with an understanding and appreciation of the complex human experience and the correlation of all of the aspects that relate to mind-body health.
This does not mean that we have the ability to diagnose or recognise illness, or mental health conditions nor the ability to treat specifically to those issues. However we are aware of the impact that our regular treatments can have on these aspects of your health, and how our treatments can provide continued support to you and complement other treatments you may need.
Often the holistic massage therapist will have an interest and possibly some training in supporting natural healing modalities that give them further understanding and experience of a broader range of possible impacts to your whole health. Eastern medicine and ancient philosophies and practices can provide some further support and insight into your health.
Whilst your therapist may be aware and trained in these alternative modalities, they often require a separate treatment or referral to another practitioner. While the focus is on providing a remedial massage treatment with your massage therapist, we may also be able to recommend another form of therapy or practice that we believe may be beneficial for you.
These may include modalities such as meditation, yoga, pilates, nutrition, naturopathy, chinese medicine, acupuncture, reiki, psychotherapy, holistic counselling and so many more! Often a combination of therapies can help give you a greater understanding of what works for you and how you would like to support your holistic health and wellbeing. These options are particularly helpful if you are curious about approaching your health from a more holistic perspective.
If you are interested or believe the holistic approach to your health might benefit you, You could start by asking yourself some of these questions:
How is my physical health?
How is my mental/emotional health?
How is my spiritual health?
How is my gut health?
How is the quality of my sleep?
Am I present? Or am I mostly focused on thoughts of the future or the past?
How are my intimate relationships?
How is my libido?
How are my energy levels?
Am I moving my body enough?
Do I make time to rest?
Am I too harsh or critical of myself?
Do I tend to put others' needs before my own?
Am I struggling to keep up with the endless and ever-growing to-do-list?
Do I feel constantly drained, depleted, lacking energy and vitality?
Am I feeling disconnected and detached from people, work or relationships?
Do I feel burnt out?
Have I lost faith in the decency, kindness or humanity of others?
I could go on and on! As you can see, there are varied and complex feelings and influences on our whole-being health. This human experience can be challenging and confusing at times. Knowing that you have more choices than you think to support yourself is empowering!
Which is why opening up your awareness and exploring some holistic modalities can support you in a variety of ways. Start with something you might feel more comfortable with and go from there.
If massage is your thing, I would love to be able to meet you and support you on your holistic health journey. Sometimes initially it can help to ask questions and get some recommendations so you can feel more confident about which path to choose.
Book a holistic remedial massage with me and let's discover what works for you to achieve your holistic health goals.
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