The strokes and the intention make the difference between them.
Relaxation Massage is just that, time-out to relax and allow stresses to melt away. The room is warm, the towels are soft, the music calm. You can talk if you wish or not. Some times the practitioner encourages you to be conscious of feel of the touch on your skin, to focuses your thoughts towards relaxing your own muscles. The strokes follow a particular ‘dance’ created by the practitioner, and the intention is to give your body an hour of complete relaxation. It’s really a meditation.
Relaxation Massage is fabulous for people who are always busy and find it hard to stop, for those who find it hard to let go of stresses. It’s a great way to maintain self after Bodywork.
Some people don’t often take notice of their bodies until they hurt. Integrative Bodywork is excellent for them; it is also designed for those with chronic pain, or for those who have over extended themselves; or those who repeat the same activity all through the day.
Integrative Bodywork targets specific muscle groups with the aim of reducing tension towards a particular area of the body. The strokes are slower and deeper than Relaxation Massage and are designed to stretch the fascia that surrounds the muscle, giving it more space to relax. Trigger points are also targeted to help contracted muscles let go.
The practitioner also encourages the client to listen and recognise what their body is telling them about their pain and help them discover ways in which they can make changes in their body habits or lifestyle for long-term pain relief.
This is not a relaxing time-out experience and it’s for people who are serious about getting rid of their pain, sometimes clients have to work through their pain to make it go away, but the results are generally long term and people always feel freer and more at ease when they get off the table.
By Evie Housham