Western and Eastern Massage Modalities

Western and Eastern Massage Modalities

WESTERN

Western forms of massage therapy are both traditional and modern. While Sports Massage, Swedish Massage, Deep Tissue Massage, and Trigger Point Massage are popular forms, they are not the only types of Western Massage available. Indeed there are many different variations of Western Massage. Some are straightforward adaptations of the essential Swedish Massage.

Others combine the traditional with a more modern approach. Some unite Eastern and Western elements to create a new entity. Among the many types of Western Massage Therapy are the following:

• Rolfing
• Myofascial Release
• Kurashova Method
• Esalen Massage
• Medical Massage and
• Reflexology.

Western Massage therapists have one major thing in common. They focus on the body. They frequently rely on a completely Western concept of medical knowledge. In most instances, it is all about the physical repair and maintenance of the body. This is certainly true of Rolfing.

Ida Rolf

ROLFING

Rolfing is the product of the work of Ida P. Rolf (1896-1979). The technique is officially the Rolfing Method of Structural Integration. It believes the body becomes worn down and shifts within the myofascial system (connective tissue). Using elbows, fingers, and knuckles, a practitioner helps to align the misaligned body tissue and joints. This is accomplished after ten sessions.

Once considered a painful experience, the methods have shifted and become gentler in their approach. Ida Rolf practiced at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California, before establishing her process and school- the Rolf Institute. Esalen Massage, like Rolfing, is based on Swedish Massage. Its techniques are similar.

Esalen Massage Therapy features the long strokes of Swedish Massage, combining them with rocking movements and deep tissue massage. Esalen does so in what they refer to as a caring or nurturing environment.
The environmental factor owes much to the sensory awareness approach of Charlotte Selver. Nevertheless, the focus is on physical wellness. Rolfing is also related to Myofascial Release Massage Therapy.

The Myofascial Release approach owes much to the work of John Barnes, a physical therapist. The focus here, like in Rolfing, is on the fascia. The fascia are the connective tissues found everywhere around the muscles and joints; surrounding the organs and bones to release tension and restore balance to the physical body, the practitioner massages the affected areas. Fingers, palms, forearms, and elbows are brought into play.

The therapist uses long, gliding, and smooth strokes to stretch and mobilize the fascia. Like Rolfing, Myofascial Release Massage Therapy may be incorporated into other types of Massage Therapy.

MEDICAL MASSAGE

Medical Massage is another adaptation of Swedish Massage. Medical Massage addresses only the issues of healing the physical body. Its approach and techniques tend to vary according to the needs of the patient and the directions/prescriptions of the physician.

Medical Massage practitioners work together with other health professionals to restore health by treating injuries and addressing other illnesses. The most common types of massage address deformities, tennis elbow, sciatica, knee pain, sprained ankles, and repetitive stress disorders. The technique is illness-specific.

The Kurashova Method of massage therapy has its origins in Russia. It is a known form of medical massage introduced to the United States by Zhenya Kurashova Wine. The practice consists of more than 100 strokes. Depending upon the condition requiring treatment, the practitioner uses deep or gentle strokes. In essence, this method of massage combines Medical and Sports Massage elements. It intends to treat physical dysfunctions and enhance athletic performances. It can also help a client relax or re-energize their body. It is genuinely Western in both its medical and philosophical approach.

REFLEXOLOGY

REFLEXOLOGY

Reflexology is often considered an Eastern form of Massage Therapy. It claims to have predecessors in the wall paintings of Egypt and Chinese Acupuncture. Yet, its founders are both Americans. In the 19th century, Dr. William Fitzgerald developed a theory on the interconnection between specific points on the feet, pressure, and the impact on the body organs. He referred to 10 zones on the feet that would influence health if pressed upon properly. This is very similar to the Chinese concepts of meridians or channels and acupressure.

Mrs. Eunice D. Ingham, an American masseuse, adopted Fitzgerald’s ideas in the 1930s. She wrote a book, The Stories the Feet Can Tell, published in 1938. This spawned the massage now known as Reflexology. The intent is to restore physical health by pressing the points of the foot.

Each foot (or hand) has specific ties to an organ or other significant part of the body. Direct pressure releases the pain and helps the healing process. Reflexology naturally finds itself in combination with other forms of Western and Eastern Massage Therapy. Aromatherapy, Shiatsu, Sports Massage, Chinese Massage Therapy, and Yoga other practices may include Reflexology as a technique. In some ways, Reflexology provides the ideal example of West meeting East.

amma

EASTERN MASSAGE THERAPY

The standard form of Eastern Massage Therapy is Chinese or Asian Massage Therapy.

The most standard is acupressure. Its approach is strictly based on the philosophical and medical concepts from the East. It perceives the healing of a body to be realized only with the involvement of the life force. This is the Chi or Qi in Chinese and the Ki in Japanese.

In Traditional Chinese or Japanese Massage Therapy, the practitioner works with the energy or life force to heal the body. It is all about balancing the energy within the body. It is also about creating and maintaining a physical, mental, and emotional balance.

In the traditional form of Asian massage therapy, the therapist strives to restore a balance among all aspects of the body. Moreover, he or she accomplishes this using a system based on a concept of meridians or pathways. A blockage of any of the 12 meridians or 8 channels, according to Acupressure theory, will cause many adverse effects such as disease and emotional trauma. By placing pressure on specific points, the practitioner clears the channels. This allows free flow of energy, balance is restored, and health improves.

Other traditional versions of Western or Asian massage therapy include

• Amma (Japan)
• Tuina or Tui Na (China) and
• Thai Massage.

All these forms of Asian massage rely on the philosophical and medical approaches of the East. Tuina, for example, works with specific acupressure points to stimulate the joints and muscles. Techniques are traditional Chinese brushing, kneading, rolling, and pressing.

Business Mastery

Business Mastery

As you work to make your career dreams a reality, Section 1 of Business Mastery explores how to set a strong foundation. It prepares you to decide your career based on a clear sense of who you are and what you want to accomplish.

 

Chapter 1 looks at ways to increase your self-awareness and make self-knowledge a powerful ally for the work ahead of you. This chapter mainly consists of activities to help you assess your current state, identify your strengths and challenges, and clarify your values. The chapter finishes with an exploration of your ideal future.

 

Chapter 2 helps you transform the insights you gained from Chapter 1 into the activities of goal setting, strategic planning, and follow-through. These three key activities form the common denominator among successful people in all fields. This chapter assists you in developing a mission statement and goals—and translating them into actions vital to your business’s daily, weekly, and monthly growth. We then look at how savvy business people use strategic planning to create a roadmap to success.

 

Chapter 3 helps you define what success means to you and supports you in a fearless examination of roadblocks that may stand in your way. You’ll also find tips on how successful people manage their time, track results, and handle risks wisely.

 

Chapter 4 looks at how to ensure that your career lasts for the long term and grows as you do. It identifies time-tested ways to enhance career longevity and avoid burnout. The chapter also explores ways to develop a strong support system to help you stay on track and true to your vision.

In Section 2 of Business Mastery, the theme of intentional excellence takes center stage. Intentional excellence requires unflinching honesty and courage, and it results from making your integrity central to whatever you do. It’s the result of the consistent and conscious effort made visible in the behaviors, interactions, and relationships you establish within your practice.

 

Chapter 5 focuses on measures of excellence that are different from markers of success like client numbers and bank balances. We start with a look at professional ethics, which exist not to catch people in wrongdoing but to guide practitioners toward greatness and present guidelines for recognizing ethical dilemmas and resolving them. This discussion flows naturally into the key role that a professional image plays in building a successful practice. The last two topics of the chapter consider how goodwill and social responsibility bring excellence into

your practice—as you share your talents, time, and resources to support the causes closest to your heart.

 

Chapter 6 discusses why good communication skills are essential in business and highlights ways to fine-tune key skills, such as active listening and reflective feedback. It looks at the power of first impressions and rapport building, as well as several common barriers to effective communication. It includes useful tips on how to handle the inevitable conflicts and difficult situations that are part of professional life. This chapter also offers practical insights into how to conduct effective client interviews. Excellent recordkeeping is another aspect of good communication, so we discuss SOAP and Wellness formats for documenting client sessions and charting progress. You will also find a wealth of practical tips and resources to develop excellent communication skills and use technology appropriately.

Section 3 of Business Mastery provides an insider’s look into career opportunities in the wellness field. This section provides an overview of wellness career trends and information to help you determine if working as an employee or being self-employed is the best option for you. You’ll also gain valuable insights into different work environments so that you can approach your career choices with credibility and confidence.

 

Chapter 7 starts with a statistical review of complementary and alternative healthcare usage and then follows up with an overview of the trends in wellness careers. It discusses why career focus is essential and the steps involved in clarifying that focus. The topics of employment, self-employment, and independent contractor status are explored, including the pros and cons of each choice. The chapter wraps up with an activity to assist you in defining your ideal career.

 

Chapter 8 provides you with insights into working in spas and salons, whether you are an employee or an independent contractor. It highlights what you can expect to find in these environments, such as the corporate culture, training requirements, scheduling concerns, and seniority issues. It also includes success tips for each of the most common types of spas.

Primary healthcare settings offer a variety of CAM services on both an inpatient and outpatient basis. This translates into a growing number of career placement opportunities.

 

Chapter 9 focuses on what to expect when working in primary healthcare settings and provides suggestions to enhance your experience in this environment.

 

Chapter 10 explores the advantages and disadvantages of group practices. It examines the key aspects of this option and includes overall tips for success in group practice. The chapter then identifies specific concerns and success strategies for working in a wellness center or a specialty center.

 

The majority of practitioners work at least part-time as sole proprietors. Chapter 11 takes an in-depth look at the challenges and opportunities with private practice options, such as working in a home office, commercial office space, primary care provider’s office, fitness center, or on an outcall basis.

Section 4 of Business Mastery provides information on how to find and keep a job. Even if you plan on being an independent practitioner, you never know when you might want to work as an employee, even if it’s just on a temporary or part-time basis.

 

Chapter 12 covers the fundamental aspects of employment. The chapter begins with a section on career success secrets and then describes how to find potential employers, research companies and hone your interviewing skills.

 

Successful job seekers assemble an employment kit with all of the items needed to help procure an interview and get hired. Chapter 13 reviews the key items to put in that kit and focuses on how to write a top-notch résumé and accompanying cover letter.

 

Chapter 14 reviews how to effectively navigate employment contracts and, when the time is right, renegotiate terms (e.g., a raise, booking seniority, benefits, advancement). The chapter concludes by covering ways to excel in a performance review.

 

Studies show that most business failures are due to improper management or undercapitalization, not because the owners were underskilled in the performance of their job duties.

Section 5 of Business Mastery provides the necessary groundwork for a business to grow and prosper. It encourages you to take the time to master the basic business fundamentals so you can maximize your chance of success and owners.

 

Chapter 15 looks at the critical elements involved in a business start-up. It covers how to assess the feasibility of your business idea, find start-up financing, determine the laws and regulations you must follow, choose a business name, and determine client fee structures. The chapter closes with exploring the option of buying a practice.

 

Choosing an appropriate business location can dramatically impact your success. Chapter 16 covers the essential elements to consider when looking for a location, negotiating a fair lease, and navigating zoning, insurance, and licensing regulations. It also explores how to design the interior office space. For practitioners on the move, the chapter closes by discussing how to manage the relocation of your practice, near or far.

Avoid common pitfalls that plague many small businesses.

 

Finally, Chapter 17 provides detailed instructions for creating your business plan—an indispensable tool for mastering both short- and long-term success. The chapter details the significant components of a business plan, including creating a financial forecast to realistically assess the finances required to launch and maintain your business. We also include a guide of additional tips and valuable resources to help you create a solid business plan.

Section 6 of Business Mastery focuses on the nuts and bolts of business operations, including tips and information to help you run your business smoothly and efficiently and how to transition it. While much of the information in this section is geared toward self-employed practitioners, some of the topics are key to all practitioners.

 

Even if you plan to be an employee, this information helps you understand what’s involved in establishing a business and the costs of running it, thus giving you a better appreciation of what an employer offers. This knowledge is also crucial if you plan on moving into management.

 

Chapter 18 focuses on office management. We start with policies. Although not many people thrill at the thought of developing policies and procedures, this chapter shows how they’re like the frame of a house—a necessary part of building a house that lasts and a business that thrives. You’ll find tips on how to write policies and procedures, organize your office, and make smart technology choices.

 

Chapter 19 examines the aspects of actually managing a practice, including complying with HIPAA regulations and handling insurance reimbursement. Also included are valuable insights into contract basics, effective negotiation, and conflict resolution.

 

Chapter 20 presents the essentials of financial management. It provides concrete information to help you keep the books, prepare financial reports, and understand tax laws. You’ll also learn how to use barter to exchange goods and services with others. Finally, the chapter covers the basics of retirement planning and offers several helpful resources to assist you in planning for your future financial stability.

 

Product sales are an excellent diversification method, and the profits boost your bottom line while serving your clients. Additionally, many employees are required to sell products. Chapter 21 explores how to sell products ethically. It covers how to choose appropriate products, provides ideas on selling and marketing products, and closes w