What is integrated massage?

Integrated massage, also known as eclectic massage, is a therapeutic method that combines the principles of massage and bodywork. Like other somatic disciplines, it incorporates physical, emotional, and spiritual elements. In other words, it supports a holistic mind-body approach to wellness rather than resorting to a physiological or environmental point of view.

Different practical techniques are used in integrated massage to promote physiological changes. This is achieved by focusing primarily on the fascial system or the connective tissue of the body. As a somatic therapy, this type of massage often coincides with guided movement and other bodywork techniques to help stimulate atrophied muscles and release compressed soft tissue.

Generally speaking, massage is an ancient practice dating back at least 3,000 years. While it may just feel good, its health benefits are well documented today. In fact, integrated massage techniques have become standard practice in many physical rehabilitation programs. Additionally, it is used as a complementary therapy for a wide variety of conditions, including arthritis, high blood pressure, infertility, and immune dysfunction. Of course, one of its biggest benefits may be stress reduction.

Integrated massage therapy is also helpful in pain management. In fact, the various techniques used are often found in sports therapy programs. In addition to increasing the flow of blood and oxygen to the muscles, it also improves the flexibility of the joints. Practitioners attribute these benefits to an increased production and release of endorphins, the body's natural pain reliever.

This type of massage also has applications in the treatment of depressive and anxiety-related disorders. The release of tension and stress is attributed to the improvement of physical symptoms. However, many massage subjects also report an improved mood. In addition, it has been observed that it promotes better quality of sleep and greater concentration.

An integrated massage therapist may employ one of the more than 250 massage techniques that have emerged over the centuries. However, most of the time, he or she will develop a plan that uses a combination of techniques geared toward the individual. Some of these techniques include well-known therapies such as acupressure or Reiki. In general, however, therapy sessions can be expected to include variations of kneading, tapping, and the application of pressure to specific points.

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