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Body-Work Based Alternative Health Modalities

When most people think of body-work, they picture a massage, or maybe a foot rub. And, while these are forms of body-work, and they are very relaxing, there are several types developed specifically for healing. 

Massage Therapy and Related Types of Body-Work

Eselan Massage is the first form taught in massage school. It is a soothing, deeply relaxing form of massage.  From there, course-work generally proceeds to various specialties, such as Sports massage, and so on.

The use of machines, such as the TENS units, percussion devices and so on can be incorporated to great benefit. Hot stone massage is also quite popular.

Many insurance companies will now pay for various forms of massage therapy depending on the condition it is used for. This is a HUGE step from the pre-licensing days when we were all considered little better than prostitutes! 

In many places, massage therapy was illegal until the mid-1990's! Unless a therapist worked out of a doctor or chiropractor's office, they were prosecuted as an "escort service."

Bowen Technique is another form of massage type body work, with its own specific protocols and methods.

Reflexology is a very specialized form of body-work, which looks very much like a plain old foot rub. However, knowing that every part of the body has a corresponding area on the foot, it takes on much more significance. 

Cranio-Sacral therapy also belongs here. This method of healing involves massage techniques, energy work and several other modalities all rolled into one. It is very effective for pain mediation, as well as several other issues.

Rolfing is yet another type of massage. It is very deep tissue work, used to break up scar tissue and other blockages deep in the skeletal muscle structure. 

Chiropractic is explored in depth in the Mainstream Alternative Health area; but deserves a mention here. Manipulation of the joints in the body is, after all, a form of body-work!!

Body-Work and Energy Systems

These techniques are listed here because  they use forms of touch or massage to access the body's energy system to bring healing and relief from various conditions.

Acupuncture is widely accepted by both patients and the medical community these days. It is based on an ancient Chinese system of "meridians" and "pressure points" within the human body.

Its "needle-less" partner, acupressure, uses the same meridians and points but uses only pressure from fingers. Generally, to be effective, the patient is lying down, and the practitioner uses the patient's body weight on their finger tips to put pressure on the points. 

Polarity Therapy combines massage, energy work and other practices into a complete modality for healing.

"Touch" Therapies

The following modalities are leaning more toward energy work which will be covered in depth in its own section. They are mentioned here because they still involve the practitioner or patient (or both) touching various parts of the patient's body.

EFT, or Emotional Freedom Technique combines the use of tapping on a specific set of pressure points on the head and upper body while working through a "script" of verbal self communication.

It has been successfully used to treat everything from soldiers with PTSD to expectant mothers experiencing morning sickness. Each year more research and empirical evidence is pouring in to support the efficacy of this practice.

Restorative Touch, TTouch, and Healing Touch are all based loosely on both energy work and acupressure techniques. 

Touch For Health works almost strictly with the subtle energies of the body and physical touch to strengthen or reduce the stuck energy in these systems. It is the modality that Donna Eden (Energy Medicine) began her studies with.

ES Health News

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