One of the most common questions I get when I have tables at events is "What is Reiki?" Many people have heard of it, or know someone who gets Reiki treatments, but they don't really know anything about it. Today, I want to share a little bit more about what Reiki is and what it can do.
Basically, Reiki is a form of energy therapy. The Reiki practitioner helps to facilitate your healing by affecting you energy and energy centers rather than manipulating muscles and tissue like in a massage therapy session. Reiki originated in Japan, and has since spread all over the world. Reiki is pronounced like "ray-kee", and comes from the Japanese Rei- meaning spiritual and Ki- meaning energy. The kanji pictured at left are how the Japanese write the word Reiki.
There are a great many people who believe that massage is something you get as a treat now and then to pamper yourself. I would like to challenge those of you who feel this way to look at it as something that can be so much more.
A couple of months ago, I wrote a blog series about the benefits of massage therapy. I focused on benefits for the body and mind, as well as on benefits of prenatal massage, postpartum massage, and infant massage. In the series I mention several times that the benefits are more prevalent in those who receive regular massage. This means coming in more than just once, and developing a schedule of massages. If you want to read more about some of the specific benefits of receiving regular massage, please refer to one of the above posts, as I won't really be talking about specific benefits in this post. Today I want to talk a little bit more about developing a good treatment plan to incorporate massage therapy into your routine in order to reap more of those benefits.
Those of you who frequent my site, may have noticed that I have a couple of new services. One of them is Bengkung belly binding. Since many people are not familiar with belly binding, I want to talk a little bit about what it is, and why it is good for you.
What is Bengkung belly binding?
Bengkung belly binding comes from Malaysia and is traditionally used to aid women in healing after childbirth. It is done by wrapping and twisting a long piece of cloth around the abdomen in a manner that helps to provide proper pressure and support.
If you have ever received a massage, the massage therapist probably offered you water afterward, or at least instructed you to drink extra water that day. But why is it so important that you drink water after a massage?
Sometimes the therapist will give you a short explanation about flushing toxins that were released. I even heard one therapist say that it will cause your body to feel the benefits of the massage for longer. That made me wonder how many massage therapists are telling people to drink water without knowing why. The explanation about the toxins is the closest to correct, but still not quite accurate. What are all of these toxins that are being flushed out? Many MTs can't tell you. No need to worry. Your body isn't suddenly releasing a whole bunch of toxins into your system when you get a massage. If that were the case, massage therapy wouldn't really be all that good for you. So let’s break down exactly what is happening and why it is a good idea to drink water.
For the next installment in my Benefits of Massage Therapy series, I want to talk a little bit about infant massage.
As an infant massage instructor, I teach parents and caregivers how to massage their babies. Infant massage has many benefits, not only for the babies, but for the person doing the massage.
Part 4 of the Benefits of Massage Therapy Series is about the benefits of receiving postpartum massage. Earlier posts have been about how regular massage therapy can benefit your body, mind, and pregnancy, but let's look at why you should receive massage after baby.
I find that while prenatal massage is becoming more popular, many moms stop coming in after they give birth. While I understand that there are the stresses of recovering from birth while taking care of a new baby which makes it hard to find time for yourself, it is important to remember that those things make it all the more important that you DO take care of yourself.
So, to continue my series on the benefits of regular massage therapy, I would like to turn my attention to massage during pregnancy. Over the past couple of weeks I have looked at how regular massage therapy can benefit the body and the mind. These are benefits that can apply to most people. Over the next couple of weeks, I am going to focus on benefits for specific groups of people, in particular groups that I work with.
Prenatal massage has gained a lot of momentum over the past several years. Many women will seek massage specifically for their pregnancies even if they wouldn't have incorporated it into their schedules before. So, why is prenatal massage so important? In addition to all of the benefits outlined in the previous blog entries, prenatal massage has some benefits specific to pregnant women.
Last week I wrote this post about the benefits of regular massage therapy for the body. This week, I want to talk about the benefits of massage for your mind.
As many of you are probably aware, the majority of our aches, pains, and illnesses are at least partially due to stress. Stress is a mental state that partially manifests as physical pain such as back pain, neck pain, headaches, digestive upset... the list is seemingly endless. You can absolutely go to a doctor and get medications or procedures to treat these physical symptoms, of course that is likely to lead to a whole host of other problems due to side-effects of the treatments. However, if you only treat the physical symptoms, the stressed mind will just cause these or other physical symptoms to come back. If your physical problems are caused by stress, it makes sense to treat the stress along with the physical symptoms. Massage is a great option for treating both. While your body is reaping the physical benefits of the massage, your mind also has a chance to let go of some of that stress.
Everyone has a different idea of what massage therapy is and what it is for. Some people view it as a luxury, or way to pamper oneself. Others may view it as a way to rehabilitate an injury. These are both legitimate reasons, however, I want to take a look at how massage therapy can benefit everyone if added to their health care routine.
There are so many benefits of massage therapy, I am splitting this blog post into a series. The focus of today's post will be about massage for your body, or the physical benefits of receiving massage.
Most people in our society seek treatment when something hurts, or when they begin displaying symptoms. Massage therapy is a great way to treat these symptoms, but it can also be used as a preventative measure to avoid being in pain in the first place.
One of the services that I offer as part of my doula packages is help in writing a birth plan. Some people may have providers who encourage them to make a birth plan, or encourage them not to. Others may feel like they don't need one because they are flexible. In today's post I want to clear up some common misconceptions about birth plans so that you can decide if it is something that you would like to do.
Meet the Author
Amanda Tarver, (LMT, CEIM, PES, RMT) is a massage therapist and birth worker in the Chicago area. She is dedicated to using a combination of bodywork and education to help people live a better quality of life.