Massage therapists are generally taught to massage a passive body. To feel the neural tone as they work through the patient’s initial reason for coming in. As the massage therapist feels a decrease in neuronal tone the potential for an increase in passive movement increases, but does your massage practice include movement? Are you comfortable with a moving joint? This course will introduce you to harmonic movement and allow you to transition a potential for increased movement into an actual increase in movement. You will learn to feel where the tension is actually and either use oscillations to reduce it or focus your existing repertoire more effectively.
The harmonic motion can be easily integrated into your existing repertoire of techniques or used as a stand-alone therapy. It complements and enhances all types of bodywork from Thai to Sports to Deep Tissue and Myofascial Release. It can be used alongside Cranial Sacral and Swedish massages to enhance the feel and therefore the effectiveness of your massage.
Harmonic movement is a new concept developed from osteopathy using the latest scientific understanding of muscle physiology to relieve stiffness and tension. Rhythmic oscillatory movements lubricate the muscles and joints keeping them loose and supple whilst also flushing out toxins. This creates an overall feeling of wellbeing. These rhythmic movements help the brain to relearn the natural movement giving lasting health benefits between sessions.
Harmonic motion will create a balance in muscle tension. When there is a physical imbalance the joints are pulled out of symmetrical alignment. Symmetry is essential for a body to function correctly and avoid injury. When the body is in symmetry it will move freely and easily. If symmetry is out, areas in the body are put under increased stress.
Modern lifestyles are composed of either sedentary, repetitive postures or active, repetitive movements. Both of these actions create imbalance in the body which leads to asymmetry.
Sedentary Repetitive Movements
The most neutral and natural position to be in at rest is with the hips, knees and elbows slightly flexed. We know this from studies in zero gravity where the joints are free to relax in their most comfortable position. If you sit for a long period of time (at a desk or behind a wheel) you are holding your body in a position at odds with the optimum, most comfortable position. In order to hold you in these positions, certain muscles must work constantly. Over time they become tight and short. Then when you try to move, the muscles are still tight and you feel stiff and less flexible. Some muscles become tighter than others and this leads to the body being pulled out of symmetry.
Active Repetitive Movements
A similar thing happens when you perform a repetitive task. These repetitive movements create imbalances in muscle use. Again, over time, the resting tension of these muscles will vary and the joints will be pulled out of symmetrical alignment.
Some emotional states create increased tension in muscles. In a stressful situation you will often find yourself shrugging your shoulders and holding tension in these muscles. If this situation is prolonged then these muscles will stay in tension and result in an imbalance in symmetry in the body.
There are many other ways in which imbalances may occur in the body’s symmetrical alignment, e.g. after an injury some muscles may go into spasm. Often after the injury has healed these muscles remain in slight spasm, pulling the joints out of alignment.
We are predisposed to injury
Under normal conditions the body can cope with slight variations in symmetry but over time as the asymmetry increases we become more prone to injury and wear and tear. This imbalance in forces on joints and supporting soft tissues eventually leads to joints and soft tissues becoming worn or dried out, predisposing them to injury or degenerative disease. Also when there is an increase in tension somewhere there is a resultant relative weak area somewhere else. These areas are prone to strain more easily. For more information on this see my essay entitled “sprains and strains”.
We start to ache and have less energy
Increasing tension in our muscles means they are constantly working in a static position. This restricts blood flow through them causing them to dry out and stiffen. Toxins build up causing our muscles to fatigue and eventually ache. The muscles are no longer able to move our joints loosely and through their full range. When the body moves freely it conserves energy by utilising the natural elasticity of our muscles and tendons. This is why kangaroos actually use less effort when they run than when they walk; it’s like bouncing along on springs. But if our muscles are stiff we cannot access this energy, consequently the muscles must work harder to move us around and we tire more easily.
Harmonic Therapy is designed to reverse these tensions and asymmetries thereby allowing people to get the most out of their physical body and reduce the chances of becoming injured.