By Teresa Eisenlohr
When you hurt and go get a massage, you just want someone to make the pain go away. The last thing you want is more pain! Sometimes, though, on the way to healing, that’s what you get. When pain stuck in one place is released, it can reveal a greater pain lodged deeper within our body’s structure. This is discouraging for both you and the massage therapist. If we can be patient when this happens, the healing relief can be greater in the long run. And if we can get ahead of that pain instead of just following it with maintenance massages that keep you going, in the long run you’ll have less pain and have to have less massage. In the meantime, more frequent massage for a couple months and Epsom salt baths, along with other natural measures, can help you through the pain of a healing transition.
Sometimes the additional pain that arises during a massage is an emotional one. It can be surprising when we suddenly burst into tears on the table. Years after I’d buried my first husband, I got a massage and found myself sobbing great gobs of snot on someone else’s table. Not given to emotional displays of grief that I thought was as resolved as grief ever gets, I was embarrassed by my perplexing tears.
I now know that this is a rather common reaction. Our emotional memories are just not stored somewhere in our brains, but throughout the nerve centers in our bodies. Our nervous and muscular systems permeate one another, so it’s no wonder that the release of chronically tight muscle can also release concomitant memories and emotions we didn't even know were an issue. When this emotional release happens, there’s no need to be embarrassed. It doesn’t mean you’re falling apart. It just means you’re human.
So if you start crying or laughing with a release of muscular tightness, just know that it’s perfectly natural, and just let it go. Ask for a tissue when you need one. We’ll help you hold the emotional heaviness until it lightens up, just like we do with your head for an atlas-occipital release. We're a compassionate witness of your pain. If you want to talk about it, you can. Though we’re not psychological therapists, we’re pretty good listeners. If you don’t want to talk about it, we'll honor that and follow your lead. When someone’s having an emotional release, I simply hold them in the Light as I gently continue massage--after handing them a tissue, if needed.
All good massage therapists try to follow and honor your body’s wisdom about what is best for your healing by not only giving you the best massage tailored for your body, but also by holding healing space open for you to release whatever pain is holding you back from being your best self.
You’ll notice from our website that aromatherapy is a part of your massage unless otherwise requested. We have a diffuser with essential oils in it mixed for your massage.
Essential oils are not just room perfume. Of course, there are some mixtures that you can buy for little money that are labeled “essential oil,” but this is misleading; they really are room perfume with as many chemicals in them as an air freshener, if you read the label.
Good essential oils are therapeutic. Before modern pharmaceuticals, people relied upon the medicinal properties of various plants to heal them. Some of these ancient remedies are so potent that they kill MRSA, a deadly bacterial disease resistant to modern antibiotics. During the plague that decimated medieval Europe, the town of Bucklersbury was curiously spared, and researchers have determined that it was because of lavender they grew and processed for export. In fact, thieves from a perfumery town rubbed themselves down with various essential oils in a suspension of vinegar and garlic and proceeded to pilfer from those who died from the plague without ever contracting the disease. When caught and called before their frightened king eager to know how to protect himself against the plague, they revealed their recipe. Today, researches have discovered that these ancient combinations of oils protect against all kinds of diseases, including typhoid and cholera.
Because essential oils are the concentrated essence of the plant, it’s important that the plants from which they come are grown without toxic chemicals in order for them to be truly therapeutic. That’s why you need to consider the plant sources of your essential oils. That’s also why they’re expensive. In fact, of the gifts the magi brought the baby Jesus, the myrrh and frankincense were more valuable than the gold. The reason why is the same reason why good perfume is so expensive: it takes a lot of the best plants, responsibly grown, to make just one 5 ml bottle of an essential oil, which is about the size of your thumb. The parts of the plants that are used to create the oils are steam distilled or, in the case of citrus oils, cold pressed. It takes many, many plants to produce just a little essential oil. For example, it takes 8,000-10,000 roses to produce a 5 ml bottle of essential rose oil. If you buy this oil from a company that works with local growers who do not use a toxic soup of pesticides or fertilizers (which means fewer, smaller plants that are totally natural) and pay them a living wage under good working conditions, http://www.nytimes.com/2003/02/13/us/behind-roses-beauty-poor-and-ill-workers.html you will pay almost $250 for that little bottle of oil. In addition, a good essential oil company tests the quality of its products using an independent third party beyond that of the growers and company. This is important because anyone can slap a label on almost any oil and call it natural and/or organic according to FDA standards. Companies committed to rigorous purity standards, though, produce essential oils that can be ingested, as well as diffused, so that they can be used as the powerful medicines that they are. Essential oils can also be used directly on the body, usually with a carrier oil, to for a more therapeutic effect, which is why we sometimes use them in your massage. Indeed, essential oils have molecules so small and refined that, unlike most medicines, they pass through the blood brain barrier.
Essential oils are powerful healing agents, and that’s why we use only the best,. We’re committed to giving you the best, most natural way for your body to heal. If you’re interested in learning how to use essential oils for yourself , give Teresa a call at 412-818-2333.