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massage therapy, disability, and alternative medicine
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2013-01-11 02:39 am (UTC)
1) Illness is sort of a mixed bag. It really depends on what you're ill with and where you are in the illness! It can be very helpful, but it can make you a lot worse too, because massage dumps a lot of toxins into the bloodstream and the liver has to handle all of that and your body may already be overworked from managing/fighting the illness. Post-massage hydration, as always, is super key. And if you're contagious (ie, coughing liberally and/or feverish), it's best to spare your massage therapist even if you're feeling better generally. Proper measures on the therapist's part reduce the risk of spreading things a lot, but they don't eliminate it.
Good times to get a massage are pretty much any time barring illness! Assuming you know how you react post-massage anyway; some people get a nasty massage hangover (see: toxins, processing, etc.) and need to have a light day the day afterwards. But also, in my experience: right before travelling does wonders for me not limping off the plane a useless wreck for the next day. Also, right after travelling, but getting one before makes a more marked difference in functionality for me. (Again with the hydration warning, of course. I can never emphasis hydration enough when it comes to massage.)
Bad times include any time you're already under heavy toxin loads: that's why illness is such a mixed bag, that's why you will probably regret it if you're hungover (doesn't matter what you're hungover from, be it alcohol or any other sort of drug) already. Massage can also knock loose emotional crap that's been being held in your muscles, which means that if you need to be 100% together for something (conference, important meeting, whatever) and you've been stressed or repressing anything emotionally, massage is something to consider carefully. It's very individual, that, but it can be rough. I mean, it's good to process the emotions but sometimes it's not the right time.
2) Um. Frankly, there's not really a good way to talk about energy work without sounding like hippie woo-woo! I mean -- demonstrably there are effects, but describing the mechanism, well, I can't really talk about the physical mechanisms without talking about woo-woo stuff that's not well described by science. But actually you have reminded me that I want to put together a series and/or book called the Half-Assed Guide to Energywork. (Because I've rolled my own when it comes to energywork, and I haven't got a lot of patience with some of the modalities that get awfully dogmatic and This Is The One Truest Bestest Way, and because i have zero desire to position myself as anyone's guru (in the appropriated Western sense, which I can't think of any other words that catch the right nuance at the moment), so the name is about as serious as I want to be about myself as a teacher (as opposed to as serious as I want to be about the
.)) Um. So this is not really exactly an answer, but a promise that really one of these days I will write the answer? *wry*
3) Myofascia is the layer of connective tissue that encases all muscle and loosely connects to skin. If you've ever picked up a roll of skin on the back? That's mostly myofascia that you're feeling (under the skin itself, of course). A lot of crap gets stored in there and can seriously affect the tension and alignment of the muscles under it -- a lot of structural work focuses on the myofascia. Getting the myofascia cleaned up can do a lot for letting the body hold good posture on its own.
Hopefully I have answered you helpfully? Let me know if you have any more questions, of course!
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