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What is Holistic Massage?

By Harriette Halepis
Updated Feb 20, 2024
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Holistic massage is a type of massage therapy that focuses upon a person as a whole being. Rather than simply treating symptoms associated with stress and pain, holistic massage also treats the cause of any unwanted feelings. Massage therapists that work within this field often undergo an extensive amount of training.

In addition to basic massage therapy skills, therapists who perform holistic massage also study general health, anatomy, physiology, and nutrition. All of these factors combined helps a therapist to focus on a patient's lifestyle as a whole. Any person wishing to visit with a massage therapist can expect the same kind of treatment regardless of geographical location.

The first step towards beginning a holistic massage series is to fill out an extensive questionnaire. All holistic massage therapists ask patients to write down any known family health problems, dietary information, lifestyle information, and other important details. Since this type of form is extensive, a patient can expect to spend 45 minutes or more filling out form information. Once this information has been collected, a therapist will then decide upon the right kind of treatment for each patient, based upon the initial questionnaire.

Following this first visit, a patient and therapist will begin to build a relationship. The idea behind holistic massage is to help a patient feel at ease immediately upon entering a therapist's office. This feeling of complete relief can be achieved after one or two sessions. Through lymphatic drainage, pressure point massage, and various other techniques, a patient should begin to feel rejuvenated, relaxed, and revived right away.

One of the main differences between a holistic therapist and a another type of massage therapist is that a holistic therapist often suggests other treatments. At the end of a massage sessions, a holistic masseuse may encourage a patient to practice yoga, eat nutritious and healthy foods, and continue living a healthier lifestyle. Since holistic massage is based upon total body healing, everyday life is also a part of this type of massage therapy.

While massage is a great way to recharge the body, some people cannot attend a massage therapy session. People who are ill, feverish, or under the influence of alcohol or drugs should not partake in massage. In addition, pregnant women should notify a massage therapist prior to gaining a massage. Special massage techniques do exist for pregnancy purposes, though a masseuse must know about a pregnancy in order to perform this type of massage.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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