Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Fire and Ice...and Wood and Metal and Earth...

So I had a great conversation with my wife Keisha last night in regards to what we, in the bodywork business, refer to as Energy Work. For those of you who think you don't know what that is, it just so happens that you do! Ever hear of Acupuncture? Shiatsu? No? Not so much? Not even a little?

The beauty of Energy Work is that it takes a lot less muscle/coordination/moving than your average cookie-cutter massage. Unfortunately, it takes a whole lot MORE focus on the therapist's part. It is a lot harder than you think (at least for me it was) to make certain that you are completely focused on the energy you are creating.

Energy Work gets a bad rap around the medical community. People don't believe that energy, referred to as "Chi" is real. They don't believe that simply holding points, putting pins in these same points, or softly manipulating the bones of the skull with about as much pressure as the weight of a coin in your hand can really rid someone of chronic migraines, get rid of pain, and even release pent-up emotions. Some people do believe in it, but not nearly as many that should.

So now you might ask "But Steve! What kind of things are considered Energy Work? Do you know any of them?" I would smile and nod, saying "Yes. As a matter of fact I do." Unfortunately I'm not near as good at them as I am Injury, Trigger Point, or Structural Integration. Now then, in answer to the first question, I have created a list...It won't have all the types for sure, because I only know a few. But there is a world of energy out there...

Acupuncture- Acupuncture is the method of hooking small needles through the top layer of skin above specific points called "Acupoints." You can actually break it down even more into smaller classes of points like "Tsu Points" or "Bo points." This is a modality that is incredibly old, starting very early on in ancient oriental history. They used it to heal and also relax...and they CONTINUE TO USE IT TODAY! Sometimes people even light the little needles on fire! Pretty cool stuff. That's as much as I know on that subject.

Acupressure- Acupressure is a bit different than Acupuncture. Acupressure does not use the little needle gizmos; it gains its energy from the therapist themselves. The therapist supplies the energy by focusing their Chi, which in and of itself is not easy. They then use a light touch on the same "Acupoints" and simply hold them for a while. It is from the same background as Acupuncture, and it is amazing. I love to receive it. Anyway, it is used to help people relax, get rid of pain, even help in the delivery of a baby!

Note: Different problems correspond to different areas to work, which lie in the midst of what we call Meridians. The Meridians are named after the elements; Fire, Water, Wood, Metal, and Earth. There is also personality traits that correspond to those same five. I can put up a test sometime if you want to see what you are...

Shiatsu- Shiatsu is Japanese for "finger pressure." It also works with the Meridians, but it's not really similar other than that. You do this work on the floor, adding stretches and compressions to different areas. It's used to increase mobility and flexibility through your entire body. It is pretty freakin' sweet! I happen to rock the world at Shiatsu. I even own a nice Shiatsu mat to use!

Cranio-Sacral Therapy- This is used to manipulate the bones of your skull through doing simple lifting and compressing of certain areas on the head. This one is actually used by chiropractors (sometimes) and massage therapists alike. It can do some amazing things. It is used a lot for headaches, which is why it is so valuable for MT's like myself. We see A LOT of people with headaches. It is also very relaxing, and has been known to put people to sleep. Being an insomniac, I can reassure you that it works!

Now, after all of that background, I can fill you in on my talk with my Beloved. She tends to excell in this area of massage; I don't. I can do it, but I just don't have the connection to the energy like she does. We got talking, and would like to start implementing it into our practice. If you are interested in trying any of these out, we'd be happy to oblige...provided you are not currently a student at UCMT, either of us can work on you. If you are a student, then Keish still could, but I signed a non-fraternization clause that would conflict with my working on you.

Do yourself a favor. Take me up on this. I'll make it worth your while. For every client that you refer to us that repeats (returns at least once) , I will give you a free 30 minute massage. Not bad yeah? We also offer Hot Stone massage as well as Structural Integration, Trigger Point, Deep Tissue, Reflexology, and Sports massage. You scratch my back, and I'll make yours feel amazing.

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