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How long can a massage therapy session or any healing modality really last you?




As a massage therapist and natural health consultant for over 15 years I have been asked many times how long will the effects of a session last by my clients? I too have wondered and contemplated this question myself. Any discerning mind with a busy schedule and no time to take shots in the dark to obtain efficient and timely relief from suffering would likely ask and want to know the answer to this. As broad and general of a question as it is, still, what can one expect after any healing modality session?


There are key factors in how long and how deep a session will last. First how long has the issue been present in you? How deeply buried has it been compressed. How much of your life have you molded around and compensated for it? How aware are you of the actual levels of tension present in your body? An example that comes to mind: Someone comes in with neck/ shoulder and upper back pains. They have always had some tension and pains on and off over most of their adult life (Chronic issues) but it recently became too much (Acute issue) and they were in pain enough or desperate enough to try something as unconventional as massage, acupuncture or energy work like Polarity therapy.


The acute pain only recently arose in the client’s awareness. It became a nuisance , even dangerous; restricting a range of motion that got in the way of looking fully both ways before crossing the street or looking in a side view mirror in their car. This was “the straw the broke the camel’s back” and got them to come in. As the practitioner is working to resolve this acute situation they can almost instantly tell from palpation of the muscles and the posture that is firmly set in the client. It:s root could be said to be a chronic issue and that this is the symptom of a much larger issue. The higher level practitioner may address this by finding the underlying tension and issues be it purely physical-postural or mental/ emotional. The lower level practitioner may just trod on with their routine hoping for the best from a time honored practice that has thousands of years of practitioners’ work behind it, adding to the art that is taught to them in school and now being administered upon you the client on the table. It:s not bad, but those who have a sense know their can be more, there is always more.


How attached are you to the issue /tension/blockages? How much of your identity is fixed on this issue? Do you receive attention that you subconsciously desire from others that you might not get otherwise because of this issue? Do you see this issue as potential doorway into greater health and healing or an issue among a long list of many that just makes your life frustrating? Questions like these may help to determine how much you actually can get out of any healing session and how long the effects can last you. I have seen people come in with over ten years of pain and complacent acceptance of a limiting condition only to be reversed within a mere ten minutes of body work. Conversely I have seen people with a new injury turn into a chronic issue for years because the injury was the tip on a iceberg which brought out a much bigger issue that needed to be addressed, and as most deeper issues do, they tend to take time for the person to fully grasp and appreciate it’s reach and ramifications within the body. Like most things there are layers upon layers, upon layers, one more subtler than the other; the proverbial onion. One more elusive and scattered than the layer before it.


Of course lets not forget the therapist’s role in this question/ equation. If you have a practitioner who has not developed their skills (i.e. sensitivities to body mind and emotional/ energetic states, a good and especially intuitive sense of the physical anatomy) what could you expect from a therapist without these skills honed through experience or some inborn intuition? Not much I imagine, save for the once in a blue moon karmically derived lucky touch or divine synchronicity. Typically we’d like to know what we are getting ourselves into and place ourselves in the care of a highly skilled and passionate healing practitioner who will impress upon us a more than notable healing experience. This is the ideal I think most of us would want if given the choice between an expert and a novice or a wizard and a competent practitioner. We want the most for our exchange of energy or hard earned money. Who doesn’t?


So how long can a good healing session last? “A good session can last a LIFETIME!” This is what I would always say to get a laugh but also to get people to think about it. And if you take a minute to contemplate this it IS the reality of the consequences of a deep and meaningful and informative healing session. Once informed of the amazing inner workings of your bod- mind and energy/spirit while you are being worked on, this new knowledge is more likely to imprint itself deep into your mind- body and energy. Deep enough that when you are alone and in need of help in removing a blockage, a pain, or an issue you can summon the experience you had on the healing table and have it well back up into your immediate experience and have it permeate your body, mind and energy/spirit.

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