Therapeutic Massage – FAQs
Different kinds of work will focus on different organs and different tissues, but the large intestine and liver will always be addressed in order to help the body release toxins and eliminate them when the bowels move. The work can feel both gentle and firm, and you should always be able to feel the specific tissues that are being worked on with your practitioner.
Sometimes people will feel sleepy and doze off during the work, and that is just fine. Other times you will be very awake and aware, but comfortably enjoying the session. Many people will feel some amount of discomfort in certain areas of the belly where there are areas of tension or old holding patterns that are releasing. Be sure to let your practitioner know if the work is too deep, or you just need things to go slower for a while.
For 2 hours prior to session:
- Refrain from eating a lot to avoid a full stomach.
- Avoid caffeine.
For 1 hour prior to session:
- Now is a great time to eat something small to cap off your hunger and avoid low blood sugar.
For the 15 minutes prior to session:
- Start relaxing and letting go of the stress of the day. Try to arrive early so that you may sit down for 5-15 minutes prior to the session in the comfortable waiting area to listen to the water fountain and calm your nervous system. Know that you are coming in for a wonderful therapeutic experience and life is about to get better.
- You may receive your massage with or without clothes on.
- Sheets and blankets will be used to ensure your privacy and comfort if you choose to not wear clothes.
- If you would like to wear clothes then please wear loose fitting clothes, especially around the waist.
- Please make sure to wear clothes that you do mind getting wrinkled.
- Massage oil is used during sessions. If you are wearing clothes, oil may get on your clothes during a session. As well, the oil on your skin will come in contact with your clothes when you put them on after the session. You may ask for the therapist not to use oil, however this will affect the massage and some techniques will not be possible without the use of oil, eg. cupping.
- We do have tan colored T-shirts that may be purchased for $5 if for any reason you are concerned about oil getting on your shirt.
Belly massage is indicated for the three following conditions:
- Abdominal trauma which can include surgery, chronic inflammatory conditions and chronic pain syndromes. All of these conditions will produce adhesion within the belly which if not addressed can decrease the functioning of the digestive system, produce bowel obstruction and pain, and can also affect muscular holding patterns and the way that we breathe. Belly massage assists the patient with finding more awareness around these holding patterns and breathing pattern changes, helps create more elasticity in scar tissue and other connective tissues that surround all of the organs, and increases the circulation of blood, lymph and energy in order to feed all of the organ systems more effectively.
Belly massage is also an excellent way to prepare for surgery by increasing circulation to all of the organs and decreasing recovery time, pain and inflammation. It is indicated to wait 4 to 6 weeks after surgery to resume this work to soften scar tissue, move congested lymph and detox the liver from anesthesia buildup.
- Assist with a full body detox. The choice to undertake a light or deep cleanse is so important in this modern culture where we come into contact with environmental toxins, heavy metals, air and water pollution, medications, and hormones in our food supplies on a daily basis. The liver processes these toxins and either eliminates them with the bile production, renders them inert with certain chemical processes or the body stores them in various tissues. By helping to drain the liver, move lymph and increase blood circulation to all of the organs, belly massage can assist the body’s own clean up process.
- Relax and de-stress. Belly massage is an excellent way to access and relax the nervous system through breath work, changing muscular and fascial holding patterns and simply slowing down and paying attention to all of the amazing things that abdominal organs do for us everyday. Swedish massage, cranial sacral work, myofascial releasing, and other forms of bodywork applied to the belly will assist with this process.
These are all good things. Old familiar pain patterns will also sometimes emerge from this work with the navel. This is an excellent opportunity to gain more awareness about the way the body has been compensating over the years.
Holding patterns in the deep core muscles, as well as the superficial muscles of the trunk and spine can make one feel twisted and compressed and often manifests as lower back pain, and a hard impenetrable belly wall which constricts the breath and the general motility of the organs.
Sometimes gas will be released while receiving this work, but this is much different. It is a good idea to just let the gas pass on out.