In this article, I’m going to answer a question a lot of people interested in different forms of massage therapy have – “what is holistic massage exactly?”
Although holistic massage therapy isn’t commonly talked about, or even widely available from my experience. It’s actually a very effective form of massage that has as wide range of health and wellness benefits.
The word ‘holistic’ means to look at the ‘whole’ of something.
This means that this form of massage therapy is designed to treat the whole of a person. Not just physical issues, not just certain mental aspects, but the spiritual and emotional well-being of the client too.
This also means that holistic massage is good at establishing the cause of any health problems you may be experiencing. Not just tackling the symptoms.
What to Expect from a Holistic Massage
Before a therapist even lays hands on you, they will make an appointment to sit and talk with you. They will ask a lot of questions, covering your medical history, lifestyle, what you’re looking to achieve with the therapy, and more.
This is important with holistic massage in particular as tailoring the session to each individual is very important. The therapist will be working with you, possibly even communicating if the need arises.
The massage draws from a wide range of massage techniques. Therapists trained in holistic massage have typically been through a much wider training curriculum and have a lot of different skills to utilize.
The core principles are similar to a Swedish massage. The goal is to improve circulation, stimulate lymphatic drainage, and work on any areas of tissue that need some attention.
However, the therapist can put some added emphasis on creating a relaxing environment if working on a client’s emotional stability. Or concentrate on specific pressure points and meridians to resolve related health issues.
Don’t forget to drink plenty of water afterward to ensure you’re hydrated. It’s normal to feel a little lightheaded too, especially after your first session.
This is largely due to your body starting to flush toxins. This can take a toll on your energy levels at first, and can also lead your muscles feeling tired.
Once you’ve had a couple of sessions however you should start experiencing levels of natural energy like you’ve never felt before.
Holistic Massage FAQ’s
Do You Have to Be Nude for Holistic Massage?
No, you don’t. No massage therapist should ever make you do anything you’re not comfortable with.
Typically you will be covered with a towel and the therapist will only reveal areas of the body they are working on.
If you’ve specified that only certain areas need to be worked on, like your back for example. Then you can keep clothes on and just remove your top half, that’s another option to help you feel more comfortable.
Why Is It Important to Disclose Medical History?
Obviously, you’re not obliged to reveal anything you don’t want to. But the more information you can reveal about your previous and current state of health. The more information the therapist has to work with to tailor the massage to your personal needs.
How Long Is a Typical Session?
Typically you can book 30, 60, or 90-minute sessions with most therapists. I always recommend the 60-minute session, as 30 minutes tends to be a little too short more often than not.
Unless you are only focusing on one area of your body of course, like legs, or back. This is one of the many questions that is best answered by your therapist after they have planned their session.
Are Aromatherapy Oils Used in Holistic Massage?
You should be able to request certain aromatherapy oils if you want them used, but typically massage oils will be used.
Personally, I like blending fractionated coconut oil with essential oils. But sesame, almond, and grapeseed are all perfect, and they should be hypoallergenic and nourishing so your skin is left feeling and looking great.
I’m a MA, (CMT) Certified Massage Therapist, Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT), and Reiki Master — I’m a licensed massage therapist with over 10 years of experience in the industry.