Thursday, February 17, 2011

Touch of Health Massage Artistry

In order to start this post on my therapeutic massage experience, I have to give you some background.  Twenty or so years ago, I was driving to work on I684 in Westchester when suddenly my entire left side became paralyzed.  This was extra scary as I was driving 75 mpg.  I made it to work but I could not walk.  I hailed a co-worker who called my parents.  I was diagnosed with advanced Lyme's Disease.  (I figured I was bitten by the evil tick the year before, when I was working as a grape pruner/picker at North Salem Vineyard.)  After extensive treatment I still did not feel well.  I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia - an unfortunate side-effect of very advanced Lyme's Disease.

Up until about three years ago I was in constant pain.  A chronic dull pain, but it was enough to slow me down.  This is one of the reasons that I jumped off of the corporate ladder and engineered a very simple life for myself.

Three years ago I was prescribed a medication to help with the nerve pain associated with Fibro.  This helped greatly - along with exercise, chiropractic and massage.

At first, I treated massage as an indulgence, but as time went on I saw that, for me, it was necessary for my overall well-being.  What started out as a half hour here and there is now one and a half hours every month.

My massage therapist (and now good friend) is Marisa of Touch of Health Massage Artistry.  I started out with Swedish Massage - a comfortable and relaxing experience.  Both Marisa and I were worried that a Deep Tissue Massage might be painful for me.  Eventually, we were able to move up to a moderately Deep Tissue Massage.  This keeps me relatively loose until my next massage. (The problem with my Fibro is that I tighten up and sometimes I feel like I'm made of cement - in addition to the nerve pain.)

I have grown to trust Marisa, on many levels, and have tried other forms of Massage Therapy.

I tend to hold extra stress in my jaw, so Marisa started Myofascial Release (MFR) on my face.  This is a technique that is like a super slow-motion pressure kneading of my face.  Marisa describes this as a slow stretching of the fascia and that I can think of fascia as something like plastic wrap above the muscles and below the skin.  Sometimes, the plastic wrap gets wrinkled and needs to be stretched out.  This can be done on all parts of the body.  My jaw feels great lately!  The other effect of MFR (for me) is an emotional release.  Physically, this technique is releasing toxins.  Emotionally, for me anyway, it releases pent-up feelings.  Sometimes I twitch when toxins and feelings are coming out.  Sometimes I think about things that I need to let go and use this as an opportunity to do so.  I am very open to emotional healing.  MFR, for other people, does not always have an emotional aspect.

Along with the MFR we tried Craniosacral Therapy.  This is a gentle manipulation of my head and neck and it helps lessen stress on my central nervous system.  This is very relaxing.

Lately, I have been experiencing Reiki treatments.  This is very cool.  No massage with this one.  It is mostly a hands-off treatment where Marisa silently chants and holds her hands above or on my Chakra Points.  I can feel the heat (sometimes very hot) coming from her hands and the energy releasing from me.  I can sometimes also see colors.  For example, I saw a purple/blue color when Marisa was holding the back of my head.  I've seen yellow, orange, darkness and blues at different Chakra Points.  I'm glad that I am open to this.  At first, I thought it was a religious thing and I was resistant - but it's really mostly about energy and I like that.

So now I am daydreaming of my next appointments.  I have decided to have 2 one hour appointments in the next two weeks.  This week, a Hot Rock Massage with lavender essential oil.  I will surely BLISS OUT while my body is being repaired.  Next week, I will do Myofascial Release, Craniosacral and Reiki Therapy to finish the healing.

Massage Therapy is a very pleasant and blissful experience that helps to keep me a happy and productive person.

Check out Marisa's website:

Also please check out my other blog for rates, hours and more information on Touch of Health Massage Artistry.

1 comment:

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