I recently joined an Internet social network that asked what modalities I used in my massage and bodywork practice.
The question caught me a little off-guard. I use everything I know with every massage.
By that, I mean that every modality that I’ve learned (and The Whole You, where I attended massage school, taught us a wide range of techniques and modalities) helps me analyze and determine what tools I have for giving the best massage for the client’s
For example, if someone comes in complaining of lower back pain, I ask questions to determine the cause (if known), the level and quality of the pain, the duration of the pain, when and where it hurts, what level of pressure the client prefers, and what outcome he/she is hoping to achieve. I also observe posture and range of motion before the client ever comes to the table.
Depending on those answers, I might decide that Neuromuscular Therapy is needed to release trigger points, or I might decide that Craniosacral Therapy is more likely to release fascia and energy cysts without causing the client additional pain and discomfort. While I am working, I may use Reiki or Polarity to balance the energy and Touch for Health techniques to test the treatment and further balance the body and emotions.
It is my experience that nothing we learn is really useless. Every time I read an article in a massage journal or get a massage myself, I learn something valuable about the way the human body responds to informed touch. I make it a point to learn and practice something new every week so that my abilities grow and my clients benefit.
I never give the same massage twice. It’s what keeps this work exciting.