BODYWORK AND HERBAL PRACTICE
This is a fun one for me, to teach about, to give and receive. It will be for you, too. Bodywork is a Pillar, our model- bodywork refers to many modalities of massage therapy, and also refers to various kinds of work a facilitator might engage in with a client's body, such as Feldenkrais work, Trager work, some kinds of energy work (cranial sacral, polarity, manual manipulations...etc).
In many states, massage therapy is subject to licensure laws. In Michigan, we have a licensure law, and that law has current exemptions : Trager, Reflexology, Energy Work, Asian Bodywork, Feldenkrais, Rolfing. An exemption means you can offer it without a license in "massage therapy"
I am not advocating for skirting around training, if anything most practitioners should have more training and even when practicing excempted modalities, should have credible training.
Now to the interface between herbal therapeutics and bodywork. Lets look at some bullet points for simplicity:
~ A botanical compress or poultice , applied to a body area, such as the colon or a knee joint, can enhance and add synergy to a bodywork goal. We need all the synergy we can get! Plus this is a pleasant way to heal. We keep comfrey "pesto" (ok, no garlic ) in our Apothecary freezer to offer as an amazing poultice. We have done cayenne spinal compresses, castor oil packs on muscles, colon, liver, pelvic areas....thus expanding the healing sessions clients are receiving.
~ Herbal/botanical applications can tone the nervous system, aid in tissue healing, actually awaken the spinal nerves, stimulate lymph flow in congested lymph stations.....and this is just for starters. Some of these applications benefit from the Pillar of Hydrotherapy/Thermotherapy for additional synergy. These can be powerful accelerators of relief from blockages, congestion and stagnation.
~ My bodywork clients, and in my own body challenges (from an injury, for example), benefit from my knowledge of herbal infusions which build and strengthen tissue. They do this regardless of any "energy" we might personify the plant or a human with- they are one stop healing stores of nourishment and vitality. I cannot imagine healing well without these nourishments.
~ For years I have prepared certain clients to better receive actual "table bodywork" by either giving them a nice nervine tea to knock back, or having a warm compress ready, or a penetrating warm antispasmodic oil blend.... sometimes all 3. If someone comes in frayed or wired, I can let the herbal gifts contribute to the outcome of the bodywork session.
~ Ablutions, washes, baths, soaks- all are hydrotherapy treatments which are enhanced with herbs, and often act as DELIVERY METHODS for the herbs into the systems, regionally and systemically. These additions are easy to integrate into various bodywork sessions, and into energy work sessions.
~ Looking at the other side of the fence- in helping someone with a problem, a health goal- inserting BODYWORK into the healing plan can make all the difference. If you are not trained to offer it, get to know others who reliably and credibly can. As an herbalist, it helps to hybridize your education and practice, or to at least havre a referral base to expand your practice into a larger holistic realm, to better serve the inner and outer ecology.
Join us for a treatment sometime , or come to the class this summer or this fall where we actually do this in class with all participants :
INTEGRATED BODYWORK AND HERBAL APPLICATIONS.